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HAMLET.

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HARVARD
COLLEGE
LIBRARY

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

INTRODUCTION.

66

SHAKESPEARE's Hamlet was first printed in quarto in 1603. That First Quarto contains a very imperfect text, which was entered by James Robertes at Stationers' Hall, on the 26th of July, 1602, as "A booke called the Revenge of Hamlett Prince Denmarke, as yt was latelie Acted by the Lord Chamberleyne his servantes." The text of this publication was evidently unauthorised, and is very imperfect; but it contains indications of some touches of change that must have been made soon after the piece was first put upon the stage. Thus, the names of Polonius and his servant Reynaldo appear in this First Quarto as Corambis and Montano, and it is to be inferred, also from its text, that there may have been some early readjustment of the lights and shades of character. James Robertes, who entered the book for publication, seems to have transferred his responsibility to Nicholas] L[ing], for whom and for John Trundell the First Quarto was printed; and a really good text of the play was afterwards obtained and printed in 1604, for Nicholas] L[ing] by I[ames] R[obertes?]. The text of this Second Quarto, when collated with that of the first edition of Shakespeare's collected plays, published in 1623 by his fellow-players, Heminge and Condell, the edition known as the First Folio, practically assures to us the whole play as Shakespeare left it. The Second Quarto contains passages that are omitted in the First Folio, and the First Quarto helps now and then to settle a reading, Thore were three

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