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Adapted from the Text of the Cambridge Editors, with Introductory Remarks, &c.,

By HENRY L. HINTON.

NEW YORK:

PUBLISHED BY HURD & HOUGHTON,

459 BROOME STREET.

OF THE

WORKS OF J. FENIMORE COOPER. .

Printed on tinted paper from clear and handsome type. Each volume contains two engravings on steel, from drawings by F. 0. C. Darley, engraved in pure line and etching, and several sketches on wood. In thirty-two volumes, crown 8vo. Precaution.

The Prairie.
The Spy.

Wept of Wish-ton-Wish.
The Pioneers.

The Water Witch.
The Pilot.

The Bravo.
Lionel Lincoln.

The Heidenmauer.
Last of the Mohicans.

The Headsman.
Red Rover.

The Mon ikins
Homeward Bound.

Miles Wallingford.
Home as Found.

The Chainbearer.
The Pathfinder.

Satanstoe.
Mercedes of Castile.

The Red Skins.
The Deerslayer.

The Crater.
The Two Admirals.

Jack Tier.
Wing and Wing.

The Sea Lions.
Wyandotte.

Oak Openings.
Afloat and Ashore.

The Ways of the Hour.

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The Leather-Stocking Tales, five volumes, comprising :-
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Prairie.
Pioneers.

Pathfinder.
Last of the Mohicans.
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HURD AND HOUGHTON, Publishers,

459 Broome Street, New York.

SHAKESPEARE'S

COMEDY OF

THE MERCHANT OF

VENICE

AS PRODUCED BY

EDWIN BOOTH.

Adapted from the Text of the Cambridge Editors, with Introductory Remarks, &c.,

By HENRY L. HINTON.

NEW YORK:

PUBLISHED BY HURD & HOUGHTON,

459 BROOME STREET.

HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY

FROM
THE BEQUEST OF
EVERT JANSEN WENDS!

1918

13486.40.15

ENTERED, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1868,

BY HENRY L. HINTON,

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the

Southern District of New York.

INTRODUCTION.

from the stage.

The Merchant of Venice was the first of those greater dramas of Shakespeare which were written in what has been termed the middle period of the poet's career. The materials from which Shakespeare prepared the plot, or, more properly speaking, the plots, of this play, seem to have been derived from various sources. But they receive all their interest from the heightening touch of the poetic artist.

This play was one of those of our author's productions which were severely handled by the improvers' of the latter part of the seventeenth century. Indeed, it was not until Macklin restored the original text, in 1741, that the presumptuous improvements of this play were banished

Macklin's adaptation is the one familiar to the theatre of to-day,

Some may ask : Why make an adaptation at all? why not give the play as Shakespeare composed it? Such should remember, that Shakespeare wrote in a primitive day of stage machinery. His auditors did not demand completeness in scenic effects, properties, and costumes, as do those of our time. A compliance with these modern demands, sometimes necessitates a transposition of scenes, and often a new division of acts and scenes.

Of the performance of this play prior to the restoration of the monarchy, there appear to be no detailed accounts. Richard Burbage, one of the company of which Shakespeare was a member, was the original representative of Shylock. He is spoken of as playing the part in a red beard and wig, a garb adopted, no doubt, to make him the more odious, and to suit the popular appetite of the time.

In 1663, Charles II. granted patents for two theatres in London. The drama again rose and Aourished. But what of Shylock? The Jew's

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