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President: ROBERT BROWNING, Esq.

Director: F. J. FURNIVALL, Esq., 3, St. George's Square, London, N.W.
Hon. Sec. K. GRAHAME, Esq., 24, Bloomsbury St., Bedford Sq., W.C.
Bankers: The Alliance Bank, Bartholomew Lane, London, E. C.

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Founded by Mr. Furnivall in 1873 to further the study of Shakspere's works chronologically and as a whole, and to print Parallel and other Texts of the Quartos and Folio of Shakspere's Plays, as well as works illustrating Shakspere's time and the History of the Drama. Subscription, which constitutes membership, One Guinea, to be paid to the Hon. Sec.

The Society has already issued 33 important publications in 4to and 8vo.

The following Publications of the New Shakspere Society are in the Press : Series II. Plays. 12. Cymbeline: a. A Reprint of the Folio of 1623; b. a revisd Edition with Introduction and Notes, by W. J. Craig, M.A.

Series IV. Allusion-Books. 3. Three hundred and more Additions to Shakspere's Centurie of Praise, gatherd by Members of the New Shakspere Society, and edited by F. J. Furnivall, M.A.

Ser. V. Plays. An Old Spelling Shakspere. The Comedies in 3 volumes, edited by F. J. Furnivall and W. G. Stone. Each play will be in the spelling of the Quarto or Folio that is chosen as the basis of its text. The Histories will follow in 1884, and the Tragedies and Poems in 1885.

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Shakspere Quarto Facsimiles, at 6s. each, issued under Mr. Furnivall's superintendence, by W. Griggs, Elm House, Hanover St., Peckham, S. E.


Director: F. J. FURNIVALL, Esq., 3, St. George's Square, London, N. W. Treasurer H. B. WHEATLEY, Esq., 6, Minford Gardens, West Kensington Park, W. Hon. Sec. W. A. DALZIEL, Esq., 67, Victoria Rd., Finsbury Park, London, N. Bankers: THE UNION BANK OF LONDON, Head Office, Princes Street, E.C. Publishers: N. TRÜBNER AND Co., 57 & 59, Ludgate Hill, London, E.C.

The Early English Text Society was started by Mr. Furnivall in 1864, for the purpose of bringing the mass of Old English Literature within the reach of the ordinary student, and of wiping away the reproach under which England had long rested, of having felt little interest in the monuments of her early life and language.

The E. E. T. Soc. desires to print in its Original Series the whole of our unprinted MS. literature; and in its Extra Series to reprint in careful editions all that is most valuable of printed MSS. and early printed books.

The Society has issued to its subscribers 118 Texts, most of them of great interest; so much so indeed that the publications of its first two years have been reprinted, and those for its third year, 1866, will follow.

The Subscription is £1 1s. a year [and £1 18. (Large Paper, £2 12s. 6d.) additional for the EXTRA SERIES], due in advance on the 1st of JANUARY, and should be paid either to the Society's Account at the Head Office of the Union Bank of London, Princes Street, E. C., or by Money Order (made payable at the Chief Office, London) to the Hon. Secretary, Mr. W. A. DALZIEL, 67, Victoria Road, Finsbury Park, London, N.

In the Original Series, the Publications for 1881 and 1882 are:

Catholicon Anglicum, an early English Dictionary, from Lord Monson's MS. A.D. 1483, ed., with Introduction and Notes, by S. J. Herrtage, B.A.; and with a Preface by H. B. Wheatley. 20s.

Aelfric's Metrical Lives of Saints, in MS. Cott. Jul. E 7., ed. Rev. Prof. Skeat, M. A. Part I. 10s.

Beowulf, the unique MS. autotyped and transliterated, ed. Prof. Zupitza, Ph. D. 25s. The Fifty Earliest English Wills, in the Court of Probate, London, 1387-1439, ed. by F. J. Furnivall, M. A. 6s.

In the Extra Series, the Publications for 1882 are :

magne Romances:-6. Rauf Coilyear, Otuel, &c., ed. S. J. Herrtage. 15s. agne Romances:-7. Huon of Burdeux, englisht by Lord Berners, about A.D., ed. S. L. Lee, B.A. Part I. 158.









MOXON, 1852.)



The Browning Society

LONDON, 1881.

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THIS Essay interested me so much when I first read it, that I have got leave from its Writer, and the representatives of its Poblisher, whom I thank heartily for their kindness, to reprint it as the first publication of the Browning Society.

The interest lay in the fact, that Browning's "utterances" here are his, and not those of any one of the "so many imaginary persons 1" bebind whom he insists on so often hiding himself, and whose necks I, for one, should continually like to wring, whose bodies I would fain kick out of the way, in order to get face to face with the poet himself, and hear his own voice speaking his own thoughts, man to man, soul to soul. Straight speaking, straight hitting, suit me best2.

The main subject of the Essay is SHELLEY, his life, his nature, work and art. And to any reader of Pauline and Memorabilia3, it will be no surprise to find (p. 19) that it was the dream of Browning's boyhood to render some signal service to Shelley's fame and memory; while to the student and lover of Shelley, what can be more worthful than the criticism and loving tribute of a mind and spirit like Browning's? But it was not the praise or estimate of Shelley that drew me to this Essay; it was Browning's statement of his own aim in his own work, both as objective and subjective poet, that so interested me, and that makes the Essay a necessity to every student of Browning who would understand him. We now know in what spirit, with what aim our poet, so far as he is subjective, has undertaken his work :—

"He . . . is impelled to embody the thing he perceives, not so much with reference to the one below, as to the One above him, the supreme Intelligence which apprehends all things in their absolute truth. Not what man sees,

but what God sees-the Ideas of Plato, seeds of creation lying burningly on the Divine Hand-it is toward these that he struggles. Not with the combination of humanity in action, but with the primal elements of humanity, he has to do ; and he digs where he stands,-preferring to seek them in his own soul as the nearest reflex of that absolute Mind, according to the intuitions of which he desires to perceive and speak. Such a poet does not deal habitually with the picturesque groupings and tempestuous tossings of the forest-trees, but with their roots and fibres naked to the chalk and stone." (p. 7, below. See too p. 10, at foot.)

See note to "Lyrics" in Bells and Pomegranates II, Poems, 1849, Poet. Works, 1863, i. 1, &c.

2 The end of The Ring and the Book gives the defence of maskt advances and flank movements : "Art may tell a truth

Obliquely, so the thing shall breed the thought,

Nor wrong the thought, missing the mediate word."

But if the reader is thick-headed, or can't spare time to study and think a poem out, should not a poet give him a helping hand by a 'mediate word'?

3 See too Sordello, Works, 1863, iii. 254-5. My father knew Shelley, attended his wife in 1816, and often told us about him.

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