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That grows to feed; things rank, and grofs in na
Poffefs it merely. That it fhould come to this!
By what it fed on: And yet, within a month,-
A little month; or ere thofe fhoes were old,
Hor. I faw him once, he was a goodly king. Ham. He was a man, take him for all in all, 15 fhall not look upon bis like again.
Hor. My lord, I think I saw him yesternight.
Hor. My lord, the king your father.
Ham. The king my father!
Hor. Seafon your admiration for a while
Ham. For heaven's love, let me hear.
Her. Two nights together had thefe gentlemen,
15 In the dead waste and middle of the night,
My father's brother; but no more like my father, 20 By their oppreft and fear-furprized eyes,
Than I to Hercules: Within a month;
Ere yet the falt of most unrighteous tears
She marry'd. O most wicked speed, to poft
But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue!
Hor. Hail to your lordship!
Within his truncheon's length; whilst they, diftill'd
Stand dumb and speak not to him. This to me
25 And I with them, the third night, kept the watch:
And what make you from Wittenberg, Horatio?-35
Mar. My good lord,—
Ham. I am very glad to fee you; good even,
Nor fhall you do mine ear that violence,
Ham. I pray thee, do not mock me, fellow-
Her. Indeed, my lord, it follow'd hard upon.
Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.
My father, Methinks, I see my father.
Ham. In my mind's eye, Horatio.
Ham. But where was this?
But anfwer made it none: yet once, methought,
Ham. 'Tis very strange.
By the Satyr is meant Pan, as by Hyperion, Apollo. it to the contention between those gods for the preference in mufic. you fhall be my friend.
3 It was anciently the general cuftom to give a cold entertainment to mourners at a funeral. In distant counties this practice is continued among the yeomanry, is moft immediate, confequential, important. 5 Eye is certainly more worthy of Shakspeare. is, temper it.
Ham. I would I had been there.
Hor. It would have much amaz'd you. Ham. Very like,
Very like: Stay'd it long?
Hor. While one with moderate hafte
Might tell a hundred.
Both. Longer, longer.
Hor. Not when I faw it.
Ham. His beard was grizzl'd? no?
Hor. It was, as I have seen it in his life,
A fable filver'd.
Ham. I will watch to-night; Perchance, 'twill walk again. Hor. I warrant, it will.
Ham. If it affume my noble father's perfon, I'll fpeak to it, though hell itself should gape, And bid me hold my peace. I pray you all, If you have hitherto conceal'd this fight, Let it be tenable in your filence still; And whatsoever elfe thall hap to-night, Give it an understanding, but no tongue; I will requite your loves: So, fare you well: Upon the platform, 'twixt eleven and twelve, I'll vifit you.
All. Our duty to your honour.
Ham. Your loves, as mine to you: Farewel.
My father's fpirit in arms! all is not well;
'Till then fit ftill, my foul: Foul deeds will rife
Laer. My neceffaries are embark'd; farewel:
But let me hear from you.
Oph. Do you doubt that?
Laer. For Hamlet, and the trifling of his favour,
Opb. No more but fo?
Laer. Think it no more :
For nature, crefcent, does not grow alone
In thews 2, and bulk; but, as this temple waxes,
Grows wide withal. Perhaps, he loves you now;
¡His greatness weigh'd, his will is not his own; For he himself is fubject to his birth:
He may not, as unvalued perfons do,
roit fits your wifdom so far to believe it,
May give his faying deed; which is no further, Than the main voice of Denmark goes withal. Then weigh what lofs your honour may sustain, 15 If with too credent ear you lift his fongs;
Or lose your heart; or your chafte treasure open To his unmafter'd 5 importunity. Fear it, Ophelia, fear it, my dear fifter; And keep you in the rear of your affection, 20 Out of the fhot and danger of defire. The charieft maid is prodigal enough, If the unmask her beauty to the moon: Virtue itself fcapes not calumnious strokes : The canker galls the infants of the spring, Too oft before their buttons be difclos'd; And in the morn and liquid dew of youth Contagious blastments are most imminent. Be wary then: best safety lies in fear; Youth to itself rebels, though none else near.
Opb. I fhall the effect of this good leffon keep, As watchman to my heart: But, good my brother, Do not, as fome ungracious pastors do, Shew me the steep and thorny way to heaven; Whilft, like a puft and reckless libertine,
35 Himfelf the primrose path of dalliance treads, And recks not his own read 7.
The wind fits in the fhoulder of your fail,
45 And you are ftaid for: There,-my blessings with you; [Laying bis band on Laertes' bead. And thefe few precepts in thy memory Look thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue, Nor any unproportion'd thought his act.
50 Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
Bear it that the oppofer may beware of thee.
1i. e. what is supplied to us for a minute. The idea feems to be taken from the short duration of vegetable perfumes. 2 i. e. in finews, muscular strength. 3 i. e. no fraud, deceit. feems here to comprise both excellence and power, and may be explained the pure effect. 5 i. e. licentious. Chary is cautious. 7 That is, heeds not his own leffons. The literal fenfe is, Do not make thy palm callous by shaking every man by the hand. The figurative meaning may be, Do not by promifcuous converfation make thy mind infenfible to the difference of characters.
Take each man's cenfure, but referve thy judg
Coftly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
And they in France, of the best rank and station,
Opb. 'Tis in my memory lock'd,
And you yourself shall keep the key of it.
[Exit Laertes. Pol. What is't, Ophelia, he hath said to you Opb. So please you, fomething touching the lord Hamlet.
Pol. Marry, well bethought:
"Tis told me, he hath very oft of late
Given private time to you; and you yourself
Pol. Ay, fashion you may call it; go to, go to. Oph. And hath given countenance to his speech, my lord,
With almost all the holy vows of heaven.
Pol. Ay, fpringes to catch woodcocks 9. I do
When the blood burns, how prodigal the foul
Breathing like fanctified and pious bonds,
25 As to give words or talk with the lord Hamlet.
And that in way of caution) I must tell you,
Pol. Affection? puh! you speak like a green
Unfifted in fuch perilous circumstance.
Ham. The air bites fhrewdly; it is very cold.
Hor. I think, it lacks of twelve.
Hor. Indeed? I heard it not: it then draws
40 Wherein the spirit held his wont to walk.
[Noife of music within.
What does this mean, my lord?
Pol. Marry, I'll teach you think yourself a That you have ta'en these tenders for true pay, Which are not sterling. Tender yourself more 45 Keeps wassel 14, and the swaggering up-spring 15
Or (not to crack the wind of the poor phrase)
And, as he drains his draughts of Rhenish down,
Hor. Is it a custom?
■ Cenfure is opinion. 2 Chief is an adjective used adverbially, a practice common to our author. Chiefly generous. 3 That is, infix it in such a manner as that it never may wear out. 4 i. e. your fervants are waiting for you. 5 The meaning is, that your counfels are as fure of remaining locked up in my memory, as if you yourself carried the key of it. 6 Unfifted, for untried. Untried signifies either not tempted, or not refined; unfifted, fignifies the latter only, though the fenfe requires the former. 7 That is, if you continue to go on thus wrong, 3 She uses fabion for manner, and he for a tranfient practice. 9 A proverbial saying. 10 Entreatments here means company, conversation, from the French entrétien. 11 Tether is that string by which an animal, set to graze in grounds uninclosed, is confined within the proper limits. 12 Do not believe (fays Polonius to his daughter) Hamlet's amorous vows made to you; which pretend religion in them (the better to beguile) like thofe fanctified and pious vows [or bonds] made to beaven. 13 A roufe is a large dofe of liquor, a debauch. 14 See Macbeth, Act I. 15 That is, the bluftering upstart, according to Dr. Johnson; but Mr. Steevens Lays, that up-fpring was a German dance; and that the spring was also anciently the name of a tune.
But, to my mind,--though I am native here,
Hor. Look, my lord, it comes!
And for my foul, what can it do to that,
It waves me forth again ;—I'll follow it.
Or to the dreadful fummit of the cliff,
Ham. Angels and ministers of grace defend us!
Thou com'ft in such a questionable shape 3,
That I will speak to thee; I'll call thee, Hamlet,
King, father, royal Dane: O, answer me!
Let me not burst in ignorance! but tell,
Why thy canoniz'd bones, hearsed in death,
To caft thee up again? What may this mean, 40
[Exeunt Gbeft, and Hamki.
A more remote Part of the Platform.
Re-enter Ghoft, and Hamlet.
Ham. Whither wilt thou lead me? fpeak, I'll go no further,
Gboft. Mark me.
Ham. I will.
Ghost. My hour is almost come,
When I to fulphurous and tormenting flames 45 Muft render up myself.
Ham. Alas, poor ghost!
Ghoft. Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing To what I fhall unfold.
But do not go with it.
Ghost. I am thy father's fpirit;
Her. No, by no means.
Ham. It will not speak; then I will follow it.
Ham. Why, what should be the fear?
Doom'd for a certain term to walk the night;
And, for the day, confin'd to fast in fires,
1i.e. humour; as fanguine, melancholy, phlegmatic, &c. 2 The dram of base means the leaft alloy of bafeness or vice. To do a thing out, is to extinguish it, or to efface or obliterate any thing painted a written. 3 i.e. in a fhape or form capable of being converfed with. To queftion, certainly, in our author's time fignified to converje. 4 It was the custom of the Danish kings to be buried in that manner. 51 he expreffion is fine, as intimating we were only kept (as formerly, fools in a great family) to make sport for nature, who lay hid only to mock and laugh at us, for our vain searches into her mysteries. Difpofition, for frame. 7 i, e. the value of a pin. i. e. take away. 9 Tys
That, fwift as quick-filver, it courses through
Moft lazar-like, with vile and loathsome cruft,
Thus was I, fleeping, by a brother's hand,
20 Taint not thy mind, nor let thy foul contrive
A ferpent ftung me; fo the whole ear of Den-25
Ham. O, my prophetick foul! my uncle?
But virtue, as it never will be mov'd,
But, foft! methinks, I fcent the morning air-
And fhall I couple hell?-O fie!-Hold, hold, my
35 I'll wipe away all trivial fond records,
O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain!
This fimilitude is extremely beautiful. The word meditation is confecrated, by the myftics, to fignify that stretch and flight of mind which aspires to the enjoyment of the fupreme good. So that Hamlet, confidering with what to compare the fwiftnefs of his revenge, chooses two of the most rapid things in nature, the ardency of divine and human paffion, in an enthusiast and a lover. 2 Orchard for garden. 3 That is, benbane. 4 Dispatch'd for bereft. 5. e. without the facrament taken; from the old Saxon word for the facrament, bousel. 6 Difat pointed is the fame as unappointed, and may be properly explained unprepared. 7 i. e. unanointed, not having the extreme unction. Lewdness. 9 i. e. fire that is no longer feen when the light of morning approaches. this head confufed with thought.
8 i. e. for 10 i. e. in
1 Hamlet alludes to the watch-word given every day in the mili
tary fervice, which at this time he fays is, Adicu, adieu, remember me. '