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Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
Laer. Most humbly do I take my leave, my lord.
Laer. Farewel, Ophelia, and remember well
Oph. 'Tis in my mem'ry lockt,
(7) The Time invites your ] This Reading is as old as the firš Folio ; however I suspect it to have been substituted by the Players, who did not understand the Term which possefles the elder Quarto's:
The Time invests you ;
i. e. besieges, preffes upon you on every Side. To invest a Town, is the military Phrase from which our Author borrowed his Metaphor.
What is between you give me up the truth.
Oph. He hath, my Lord, of late, made many tenders Of his affe&tion to me.
Pol. Affection! puh! you speak like a green girl, Unfifted in such perilous circumstance. Do you
believe his tenders, as you call them ? Oph. I do not know, my Lord, what I should think.
Pol. Marry, I'll teach you ; think yourself a baby, That you have ta'en his tenders for true pay, Which are not sterling. Tender yourself more dearly; (8) Or (not to crack the wind of the poor phrase, Wringing it thus) you'll tender me a fool.
Oph. My Lord, he hath importun'd me with love, In honourable fashion.
Pol. Ay, fashion you may call’t: go to, go to.
Oph. And hath giv'n count'nance to his speech,my Lord,
Pol. Ay, springes to catch woodcocks. I do know,
Wronging it thus, you'll tender me a Fool.j The Parenthesis is clos d at the wrong Place; and we must make likewise a slight Correction in the last Verse. Polonius is racking and playing on the Word Tender, 'till he thinks proper to correct himself for the Licence; and then he would say not farther to crack the Wind of the Phrase by trifting and contorting ii, as I have done ; &c. Mr. Warburton.
(9) Do not believe bis Vows; for they are Brokers ;
Not of that die which their investments Thew,
The better to beguile. ]
Tho' all the Editors have swallowed this Reading implicitly, it is certainly corrupt; and I have been furprized, how Men of Genius and Learning could let it pass without some Suspicion. What Ideas can we form to ourselves of a breathing Bond, or of its being sanetified and picus? As he, just before, is calling amorous Vows Brokers, and implorers of unholy Suits ; I think, a Continuation of the plain and natural Sense directs to an easy Emendation, which makes the whole Thought of a piece, and gives it a Turn not unworthy of our Poet.
Breathing, like fanctified and pious Bawds,
Broker, 'tis to be observed, our Author perpetually uses as the more modest synonymous Term for Bawd. Besides, what strengtheas my Correction, and makes this Emendation the more necessary and probable, is, the Words with which the Pret winds up his Thoughts, the better to beguile. It is the Ny Artifice and Custom of Bawds to put on an Air and form of Sanctity, to betray the Virtues of young Ladies ; by drawing them first into a kind Opinion of them, from their exterior and dissembled Goodness. And Bawds in their Office of Treachery are likewise properly Brokers; and the Implorers and Prompters of unholy (that is, uncharte) Suits : And fo a chain of the same Metaphors is continued to the End.
SCEN E changes to the Platform before the
Enter Hamlet, Horatio, and Marcellas.
Ham. HE air bites fhrewdly; it is very cold.
Hor. It is a nipping and an eager air.
Hor. I heard it not : it then draws near the season, Wherein the spirit held his wont to walk.
[Noise of warlike mufick zvithin. What does this mean, my Lord ?
Ham. The King doth wake to-night, and takes his rouse. Keeps waffel, and the swagg'ring up-Spring reels; And as he drains his draughts of Rhenish down, The kettle-drum and trumpet thus bray out The triumph of his pledge.
Hor. Is it a custom ?
Ham. Ay, marry, is't : But, to my mind, though I am native here, And to the manner born, it is a custom More honour'd in the breach, that the observance. This heavy-headed rével, east and weft, Makes us traduc'd, and tax'd of other nations ; They clepe us drunkards, and with swinish phrase Soil our addition ; and, indeed, it takes From our atchievements, though perform'd at height, The pith and marrow of our attribute. So, oft it chances in particular men, That for some vicious mole of nature in them, As, in their birth, (wherein they are not guilty, Since nature cannot chuse his origin) By the o'ergrowth of some complexion, Oft breaking down the pales and forts of reason; Or by some habit, that too much o'er-leavens
The form of plaufive manners; that these men
Hor. Look, my Lord, it comes !
defend us !
The Dram of Ease. Doib all the roble Substance of a Doubt
To his crun scanial.] I do not remember a Passage, throughout all qur Poet's Works more intricate and depraved in the Text, of less Meaning to outward Appearance, or more likely to baffle the Attempts of Criticism in iis Aid. It is certain, there is neither Senfe, nor Grammar, as it now stands: yet with a flight Alteration, I'll endeavour to cure thofe Defects, and give a Sentiment too, that Thall make the Poet's Thought clofe nobiy. i he Dram of Bose, (as I have corrected the Text) means the least Alloy of Baseness or Vice. ' It is very frequent comith our Poet to use the Adjective of Quality initead of the Sulltantive signifying the Thing. Besides, I have observed, that elsewherë, speaking of Wurth, he delights to consider it as a Quality that adds Weight to a Perfon, and connects the Word with that Idea.