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rendered as it were visible by. allusions and circumstances fo ftriking, as to have in themfelves a powerful tendency to ftimulate and augment his anguish.
Or ere those fhoes were old, With which the follow'd my poor father's body, &ex
And again :
Within a month
The crisis of his agitation heightened to its extremity, is strongly marked in the following exclamation:
Oh, most wicked speed, to poft
The observation following immediately after, is that of a mind reflecting with fome composure, on effects and confequences.
It is not, nor it cannot come to good.
Hamlet in his retirement expresses his agony without reserve, and by giving it utterance he receives relief. In public he restrains it, and welcomes his friends with that ease and affability which are the result of polished manners, good sense, and humanity. His conversation, though familiar, is graceful: Yet, in his demeanour we discover a certain air of pensiveness and solemnity, arising naturally from his internal trouble
Hor. Hail to your Lordfhip!
Ham. I am glad to see you well; Horatio, or I do forget my felf?
Hor. The fame, my Lord, and your poor fervant
Ham. Sir, my good friends ru change that natno
And what make you from Wittenberg, Horatio ?
Mar. My good Lord
Ham. I am very glad to see you ; good Even, Sir, But what, in faith, make you from Wittenberg ??
Hor. A truant dispofition, good my Lord.
Ham. I would not hear your enemy say so; Northall you do mine ear that violentu
To make it truster of your own report
Hor, My Lord, I came to see your father's funeral.
On a subject so interesting as his father's funeral, he cannot easily command himself: And, repofing confidence in the loyalty of his friend, he does not entirely disguisé his emotion. He corrects it, however ; and avoiding any appearance of violence or of extravagance, he expresses himself with humour.
I pray thee, do not mock me, fellow student; I think, it was to fee
Ham. Thrift, thrift, Horatio ! the funeral bak'd meats
Yet he is too violently agitated to preserve, uniformly, the character of a cheerful satirist. He becomes serious.
Would I had met my dearest foe in heaven, Or ever I had seen that day, Horatio.
Having expressed himself strongly, and pofseffing a delicate sense of propriety, he thinks it necessary to explain the cause. About to preface it with an account of his father, he mentions him :
The idea strikes his mind with a sudden and powerful impulse: He pauses: Forgets his intention of explaining himself to Horatio : The image of his father possesses him: And, by the most folemn and striking apostrophe that ever poet invented, he impresses it on his audience.
Methinks, I see my father!
Returning from his reveree, he men, tions. his character to Horatio, not by a particular detail, but in a summary manner, as if it were the result of a preceding enumeration. Horatio, astonished at his abstracted aspect and demeanour, and Ꮐ Ꮞ
having having imagined that he saw the apparition which he had himself beheld, by a natural and easy transition, makes mention of the ghost.
Hor. I saw him once, he was a goodly king.
Ham. He was a man, take him for all in all, I shall not look upon his like again.
Hor. My Lord, I think, I saw him yesternight, &Co
The whole of this scene between HamJet and his friends is masterly and affecta ing. Hamlet, exceedingly moved, expressesamazement : Yet he utters nothing verö bofe and extravagant, nor any violent exelamation of wonder. The narration is fimple and the dialogue easy. Though the prince can entertain no doubt of the veracity of his friends, he is not credulous : And he questions them very minutely concerning the circumstances of the prodigy. His inquiries indicate extreme uneasinefs, and even suspicion conterning his father's death : Yet he modetates his apprehenfionsand will not in