Imatges de pàgina

I have a daughter; have, while she is mine ;
Who, in her duty and obedience, mark,
Hath given me this; now gather, and surmise.

[He opens a letter, and reads.] To the celestial, and my fuul's it'o', the most beatified (29) Ophelia. -That's an ill phrase, a vile phrase : b.atified is a vile phrase ; but you shall hear-I bese to her ixtellent white bojom, thife.

Queen. Came this from Hamlet to her? Pol. Good Madam, stay a while, I will be faithful. (29) Torbe celestial, and my soul's idol, the most beautified Ophelia.) I have ventur'd at an emendation here, against the authority of all the copies: but, I hope, upon examination it will appear probable and reasonable. The word beautified may carry two distinct ideas, either as applied to a woman made up of artificial beauties, (which our Poet afterwards calls,

The harlot's cheek beautied with plaftring art).or as applied to a person rich in native charms : As in the Two Gentlemen of Verona ;

And partly seeing you are beautified

With goodly shape. As Shakespeare has therefore chose to use it in the latter accepta. tion, to express natural comeliness; I cannot imagine, that, here, he would have excepted to the phrase, and call'd it a vile one. stronger obj.ction still, in my mind, lies against it. As celestial and foul's idol are the introductory characteristics of Ophelia, what a dread. ful anticlimax is it to descend to such an epithet as beautified ? On the other hand, beatified, as I have conjectur'd, raises the image : but Polonius might very well, as a Roman Catholick, call it a vile phrase, i. e. favouring of prophanation; since the epithet is peculiarly made an adjunct to the Virgin Mary's honour, and therefore ought not to be emp'oy'd in the praise of a meer mortal. Again, tho' beatified, perhaps, is no where else apply'd to an earthly beauty, yet the fame fapturous ideas are employ'd in terms purely fynonymous.

No Valentine indeed for sacred Sylvia. Iwo Gent. of Verona,
Ev'n fhe; and is he not a beav'nly faint ?
Call her divine.

My vows was earthly, thou a beav'nly love.

Love's Lab, Lef. Celesiial as thou art, 0, pardon, Love, this wrong;

That sings Heav'n's praise with such an earth'y tongue. Ibid. And Beaumont and Fletcher, I remember, in A Wife for a Montb, make a lover subscribe bis letter to his mistress, thus ; To the blef Eva::tbe.


But a

Doubt tbou, th: fars are fire,

[Reading Doubl, that the sun doth move; Doubt truth to be a liar,

But never doubt, I love. Oh, dear Ophelia, I am ill at this numbers; I bave not art to reckon my groans ; but that I love thee beft, ob moft beft, believe it.

Thine evermore, most dear Lady, whilf

(this Machine is to him, Hamlet.
This in obedience hath my daughter shewn me :
And, more above, hath his follicitings,
As they fell out by time, by means, and place,
All given to mine ear.

King. But how hath she receiv'd his love ?
Po'. What do you think of me?
King. As of a man, faithful and honourable.

Pol. I would fain prove so. But what might you think?
When I had seen this hot love on the wing,
(As I perceiv'd it, I must tell you that,
Before my daughter told me:) what might you,
Or my dear Majesty your Queen here, think?
If I had play'd the desk or table-book,
Or giv'n my heart a working, mute and dumb,
Or look'd upon this love with idle fight;
What might you think? no, I went round to work,
And my young mistress thus I did befpeak;
Lord Hamlet is a Prince out of thy sphere,
This must not be ; and then, I precepts gave her,
That she should lock herself from his resort,
Admit no messengers, receive no tokens:
Which done, the took the fruits of my advice;
And he repulsed, a short tale to make,
Fell to a fadness, then into a faft,
Thence to a watching, thence into a weakness,
Thence to a lightness, and, by this declension,
Into the madness wherein now he raves,
And all we wail for.

King. Do you think this ?
Queen. It may be very likely:

G 2


may we

Po?. Hath there been such a time, I'd fain know that;
That I have positively said, 'tis so,
When it prov'd otherwise ?

King. Not that I know.
Pol. Take this from this, if this be otherwise.

[Pointing to his Head and Shoulder.
If circumstances lead me, I will find
Where truth is hid, though it were hid indeed
Within the center.
King. How

it further?

[ther, Pol. You know, sometimes he walks four hours toge. Here in the lobby.

Queen. So he does, indeed.

Pol. At such a time I'll loose my daughter to him ;

and I behind an arras then,
Mark the encounter: If he love her not,
And be not from his reason fall’n thereon,
Let me be no assistant for a state,
But keep a farm and carters.
King. We will try it.

Enter Hamlet reading.
Queen. But, look, where, fadly the poor wretch comes

reading Pol. Away, I do beseech you, both away. I'll board him presently. [Exe. King and Queen Oh, give me leave.-How does my good Lord Hamtet? Ham. Well, God o'

mercy. Pol. Do you know me, my

Lord ?
Ham. Excellent well; you are a filhmonger.
Pol. Notl, my Lord.
Ham. Then I would you were fó honest a man.
Pol. Honest, my Lord ?

Ham. Ay, Sir; to be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man pick'd out of ten thousand.

Pul. That's very true, my Lord.

Ham. For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, Being a good kissing carrionHave you a daughter? Fol. I have, my Lord.. 5


Ham. Let her not walk i'th' fun; conception is a blessing, but not as your daughter may conceive. Friend, look to't.

Pol. How say you by that? itill harping on my
Yet he knew me not at first; he said, I was a filhmonger.
He is far gone; and, truly, in my youth, [vijideo
I suffer'd much extremity for love;
Very near this. ---I'll speak to him again.
What do you read, my Lord ?

Ham. Words, words, words.
Pol. What is the matter, my Lord ?
Ham. Between whom?
Po!. I mean the matter that you read, my Lord,

Ham. Slanders, Sir: for the satirical fiave fa;s here, that old men have grey beards; t'iat their faces are wrinkled; their eyes purging thick amber, and plumtree gum: and that they have a plentiful lack of wit; together with moit weak hams. All which, Sir, tho' I most powerfuliy and potently believe, yet I hold it not honeity to have it thus fet down ; for yourself, Sir, shall be as old as I am, if, like a crab you could go backward.

Pol. Though this be madness, yet there's method in't: Will you

walk out of the air, my Lord ? Ham. Into my grave.

Pol. Indeed, that is out o'th' air:
How pregnant (sometimes) his replies are ?
A happineis that cfien madness hits on,
Which fanity and reason could not be
So prosp'rously deliver'd of. I'll leave him,
Ani suddenly contrive the means of mecting
Letween him and my daughter.
My honourable Lord, I will most humbly
Take my leave of you.

Ham. You cannot, Sir, take from me any thing that I will more willingly part withal, except my life.

Pol. Fare you well, my Lord.
Han. These tedious old fools!
Fo'. You go to feck Lord Hamlet; there he is. [Exit.


G 3

Enter Rosincrantz and Guildenstern.
fof. God save you, Cir.
Guil. Mine honour'd lord!
Rof. Miy most doar Lord !

[Gilder ftern? Ham. My excellent good friends! How dost thou Oh, Ro«crantz, good lads! how do ye both ?

Ros. As the indifferent children of the earth. Happy, in that we are not over-happy; on fortune's cap, we are not the very button.

Ham. Nor the roles of her shoe?
Rif. Neither, my Lord.

Ham. Then you live about her waist, or in the middle of her favours?

G:il. Faith, in her privates we. In the secret parts of fortune ? oh, moể true ; she is a krumpet. What news!

None, my Lord, but that the world's grown honest.

Tan. Then is dooms-day near; but your news is not true. Let me question more in particular : what have you, my good friends, deserved at the hands of fortune, that the fends you to prison hither?

Gail. Prison, my Lord !
Har. Demari's a prison.
R-. Then is the world one.

Ham. A goodly one, in which there are many confines, wards, and dungeons; Denmark being one o'tk' wort,

krs. We think not fo, my Lord.

Ham. Why, then, 'tis none to you; for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it fo: to me, it is a prison.

Ro;. U hy, then your ambition makes it one : 'tis tco narrow for your mind.

A m. Ch God, I could be bounded in a nut-fhell, and count myself a King of infinite space; were it not, that I have bad dreams. G. 1!. Which dreams, indeed, are ambition ; for the

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