Dumas, Alexandre. (Père, 1802–1870) [Shakespeare, William. (1564–1616)]
Autograph Quotation Signed from his "Billet d'Hamlet à Ophélie"
Autograph quotation signed from the distinguished French novelist of such historical classics as The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, and The Man in the Iron Mask. Dumas has neatly penned a quotation of the first four lines from his "Billet d'Hamlet à Ophélie," this opening portion consisting of his translation of Shakespeare. The quotation reads: "Doutez qu'au firmament l'étoile soit de flamme/ Doutez que dans les cieux marche l'astre du jour/ La sainte vérité doutez-en dans votre âme/ Doutez de tout enfin, mais non de mon amour./ Hamlet II acte, Mr. Dumas." There are some small folds in the corners, and light tonight, but otherwise fine. approx. 7 x 9 in (17.7 x 23 cm.)
The present lines are Dumas' translation of the Shakespeare: "Doubt thou the stars are fire;/ Doubt that the sun doth move;/ Doubt truth to be a liar;/ But never doubt I love."
"Billet d'Hamlet à Ophélie" ("Hamlet's Letter to Ophelia") is an extract from Dumas' French-language adaptation of Shakespeare's Hamlet. The first four lines are a direct translation, in verse, of Hamlet's letter to Ophelia from the original Shakespeare. Dumas enlisted the assistance of Paul Meurice, one of his many protégés, to assist with the translation, as Dumas did not speak or read English particularly well. Their rendition of Hamlet was first performed at Dumas' Théâtre Historique in 1847.