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The French novelist, Belleforest, extracted from Saxo Grammaticus' History of Denmark the history of Amleth, and inserted it in the collection of novels published by him in the latter half of the sixteenth century; whence it was transfused into English, under the title of “ The Hystorie of Hamblett," a small quarto volume printed in black-letter.
The history of Hamlet also formed the subject of a play which was acted previous to 1589; and arguing from the general course of Shakspeare's mind, that play influenced him during the composition of his own Hamlet. But unfortunately the old play is lost, and the only remaining subject for illustration is the black-letter quarto.
We learn from that authority, that the happiness of Horvendille, king of Denmark, excited VOL. II.