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• For. PINCE OF DENMARK. The original story on dan mas cars but a fund in Saxo Grammaticus the From Dance Beletorat adopted it in his colscort of leves, i ha rimes, which he began in 1564, and Chanzer & pak vragi iccreting years. From this work, So, u, i was tranflated. I have

hitherto net with a carer enn of the play than one in the To: dagt i mot tre bem pertened before that time, strešicer of Soegit's eation of Chancer, which formeri bel nged a Dr. Ganze Harvey, the antagonist of Nash) be in his own hindening, has it down Hamlet, as a percene na vite acquainted, in the year 1598. Ha vas je tek: The younger fort take much delight in Stuchere's Vinos and Aleris; but his Lacrece, and his tragedy of Hanet Prisct of Dennurse, have it in them to please the wifer

In the books of the Sutioners' Company, this play was entered brJames Roberts, July 15, 1502, ander the title of "A booke Good To Aag fine, I'm g“ Dommerie, as it was lately acted by the Lord Chamberlains."

In Forums Me, by George Chapa, Ben Jonson, and John Mardon, 1607, is a fing at de hero of this tragedy. A footman named Hamit exters, and a tankard-bearer aks him—“ 'Sfoote, Hamit, are you may ***

The frequent alludices of contemporary authors to this play fuficiently how its popularity. Thus, in Decker's Bel-man's Nightwalker, 420, 18:2, we have But if any mad Hamlet, hearing this, fell villainie, and rath in by violence to see what the taway diuels gypses are dooing, then they excufe the fact" &c. Again, in an old collection of Satirical Poems, called The NightRaven, is this couplet:

"I will not cry Haniet Revenge my greeves,

But I will call Hangman, Revenge on thieves."


Surely no fatire was intended in Feward He, which was acted at Shak fpeare's own playhoufe, (Blackfriers,) by the children of the revels, in 1605. MALONE.

The following particulars relative to the date of this piece, are borrowed from Dr. Farmer's Elay on the Learning of Shakspeare, p. 85, 86, fecond edition :

"Greene, in the Epiftle prefixed to his Arcadia, hath a lash at fome vaine glorious tragedians,' and very plainly at Shakspeare in particular. I leave all thefe to the mercy of their mothertongue, that feed on nought but the crums that fall from the tranflator's trencher.-That could scarcely latinize their neck verse if they should have neede, yet English Seneca read by candlelight

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yeelds many good fentences-hee will afford you whole Hamlets, I fhould fay, handfuls of tragicall fpeeches.'-I cannot determine. exactly when this Epiftle was firft published; but, I fancy, it will carry the original Hamlet fomewhat further back than we have hitherto done and it may be obferved, that the oldeft copy now extant, is faid to be enlarged to almost as much againe as it was.' Gabriel Harvey printed at the end of the year 1592, Foure Letters and certaine Sonnetts, especially touching Robert Greene:' in one of which his Arcadia is mentioned. Now Nab's Epiftle must have been previous to these, as Gabriel is quoted in it with applaufe; and the Foure Letters were the beginning of a quarrel. Nab replied in Strange News of the intercepting certaine Letters, and a Convoy of Verfes, as they were going privilie to victual the Low Countries, 1593.' Harvey rejoined the fame year in • Pierce's Supererogation, or a new Praife of the old Affe.' And Nah again, in Have with you to Saffron Walden, or Gabriell Harvey's Hunt is up;' containing a full answer to the eldeft fonne of the halter-maker, 1596.”—Nah died before 1606, as appears from an old comedy called The Return from Parnaffus. STEEVENS.

A play on the subject of Hamlet had been exhibited on the stage before the year 1589, of which Thomas Kyd was, I believe, the author. On that play, and on the bl. letter Hiftorie of Hamblet, our poet, I conjecture, conftructed the tragedy before us. The earlieft edition of the profe-narrative which I have feen, was printed in 1608, but it undoubtedly was a republication.

Shakspeare's Hamlet was written, if my conjecture be well founded, in 1596. See An Attempt to afcertain the Order of his Plays, Vol. I. MALONE.

PERSONS represented.

Claudius, King of Denmark.

Hamlet, fon to the former, and nephew to the prefent,


Polonius, Lord Chamberlain.

Horatio, friend to Hamlet.

Laertes, fon to Polonius.






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Francifco, a foldier.

Reynaldo, fervant to Polonius.
A Captain. An Ambassador.
Ghost of Hamlet's father.
Fortinbras, Prince of Norway.

Gertrude, Queen of Denmark, and mother of Hamlet.
Ophelia, daughter of Polonius.

Lords, Ladies, Officers, Soldiers, Players, Gravediggers, Sailors, Meffengers, and other Attendants.

SCENE, Elfinore.

Hamlet,] i. e. Amleth. The h transferred from the end to the

beginning of the name.

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FRANCISCO on his poft. Enter to him BERNARDO.

BER. Who's there?



Nay, answer me:' ftand, and unfold

BER. Long live the king!3





FRAN. You come most carefully upon your hour.
BER. 'Tis now ftruck twelve; get thee to bed,

FRAN. For this relief, much thanks: 'tis bitter

And I am fick at heart.

BER. Have you had quiet guard?


Not a mouse stirring.

―me:] i. e. me who am already on the watch, and have a right to demand the watch-word. STEEVENS.

3 Long live the king!] This sentence appears to have been the watch-word. MALONE.

4 'Tis now ftruck twelve;] I ftrongly fufpect that the true reading is-new ftruck &c. So, in Romeo and Juliet, A& I. fc. i:

"But new ftruck nine." STEEVENS.

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