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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 18

Preface

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Preface.

The controversy which is embodied in this little pamphlet arose out of the queftion, "Is Mr. Montgomery justified in basing his interpretation of Hamlet on the supposition that his madnefs was feigned and not real?" In a letter to the Editor of the "Argus," Mr. James Smith contended that this view of the character is erroneous, and in direct opposition to the opinions of some of the best Shakspearian commentators, Mr. Smith was promptly replied to by Messrs. Brown, Jones, and Robinson (senior and junior), who held that Mr. Montgomery's reading of the character is the correct one; and as the discussion has excited wide and general interest amongst students of Shakspeare, and lovers of the drama generally, the publisher thought that a reprint of the letters in a convenient form would prove acceptable to the public.

As the play is now played out, and no reason for the preservation of the anonymous any longer exists, it may add interest to the controversy to give the real names of the actors in the little comedy. The name of Mr. James Smith of course speaks for itself; the red of the dramatis persona, with their pseudonyms, are as follows:
John Brown James Edward Neild, M.D.
Thomas Jones Charles Bright.
Jack Robinson Archibald Michie, Q.C.
Jack Robinson, junior David Blair.
R. H. H. R. H. Horne.

It is only necessary to add that the Editor's duties have been confined simply to seeing fair play between the combatants, to a careful revision of the proofs, and the writing of these few introductory lines.

F.W.H.

"Argus" Office,