Imatges de pàgina

Yet have I in me fomething dangerous,
Which let thy wisdom fear. Hold off thy hand.

King. Pluck them asunder-
Queen. Hamler, Hamlet-
Hor. Good my Lord, be quiet.

[The attendants part them.
Ham. Why, I will fight with him upon this theme,
Until my eye-lids will no longer wag.
Queen. Oh


fon! what theme?
Ham. I lov'd'Ophelia ; forty thousand brothers
Could not with all their quantity of love
Make up my sum. What wilt thou do for her ?

King. 0, he is mad, Laertes.
Queen, For love of God, forbear him.

Ham. Come, shew me what thou'lt do.
Woo't weep? woo't fight? woo't fast? woo't tear thyself ?
Woo't drink up Eifel, eat a crocodile? (69)

I'll (69) Would drink up Efill, eat a crocodile?] This word has thro* all the editions been distinguish'd by Italick characters, as if it were the proper name of some river: and so, I dare say, all the editors have from time to time understood it to be. But then this must be some river in Denmark; and there is none there so callid ; nor is there any near it in name, that I know of, but Ypel, from which the province of Over-xfjell derives its title in the German Flanders

. Besides, Hamlet is not propofing any impossibilities to Laertes, as the drinking up a river would be ; but he rather seems to mean, Wilt thou resolve to do things the most shocking and diftafteful to human nature ? and, behold, I am as resolute. I am perswaded, the Poet wrote ;

Will drink up Eisel, eat a crocodile ? i.e. Wilt thou swallow down large draughts of Vinegar? The propon fition, indeed, is not very grand; but the doing it might be as dis tafteful and unfavoury, as eating the flesh of a crocodile. And now there is neither an impoffibility, nor an anticlimax: and the lowness of the idea is in lome measure remov'd by the uncommon term. CHAUCER has it in his Romaunt of the Rose.

So evil-hew'd was her coloure,
Her semed e' have livid in langoure ;
She was like thing for hungir ded,
That lad her life onely by bred
Knedin with eifel strong and egre

And thereto she was lene and megre, But least this authority should be thought of too long a date, and the word to have become obsolete in our Author's time, I'll produce a pasa


I'll do't. - Do'st thou come hither but to whine ?
To out-face me with leaping in her grave ?
ke buried quick with her; and so will I;
And if thou prate of mountains, let them throw
Millions of acres on us, 'till our ground,
Singeing his pate against the burning zone,
Make Olja like a wart! nay, an thou'lt mouth,
I'll rant as well as thou.

ueen. This is mere madness;
And thus a while the fit will work on him :
Anon, as patient as the female dove,
When that her golden couplets are disclos'd,
His filence will lit drooping.

Ham. Hear you, Sir-
What is the reason that you use me thus ?
I lov'd you ever; but it is no matter
Let Hercules himself do what he may,
The cat


mew, the dog will have his day. [Exit. King I pray you, good Horatio, wait upon him,

[Exit Hor. Strengthen your patience in our last night's speech.

[TO Laertes. We'll put the matter to the present push. Good Girtrude, fet some watch over your This grave shall have a living monument. An hour of quiet shortly shall we see ; "Till then, in patience our proceeding be. [Exeunt. fage where it is used by himself. In a poem of his, calld, A Complaint, he thus expresses himself :

W:jft, like a willing patient, I will drink
Potions of Eile!'gainit my itrong infection :
No bitterness, that I will bitter think,

No double penance to correct correction.
So, likewise, in Sir Tomas More's poems.

Remember wherewithal, How Christ for thee fasted with Eisel and gall. Eisle, acetum, Utregar ; faith SOMNER : and the word is asknowledg'd by Minflacw, Skinner, Blount, &c,

son :

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SCENE changes to a Hall, in the Palace.

Enter Hamlet and Horatio. Ham. . O much for this, now you shall see the other.

You do remember all the circumstance ? Hor. Remember it, my Lord ?

Ham. Sir, in my heart there was a kind of fighting, That would not let me sleep; methought, I lay Worse than the mutines in the bilboes; Rahness (And prais'd be ralhness for it) lets us know, Our indiscretion sometimes ferves us well, When our deep plots do fail; and that should teach us, There's a Divinity that shapes our ends, Rough-hew them how we will.

Hor. That is most certain.

Ham. Up from my cabin,
My sea-gown scarft about me, in the dark
Grop'd I to find out them ; had my desire,
Finger'd their packet, and in fine withdrew
To mine own room again ; making so bold
(My fears forgetting manners) to unseal
Their grand commiifion, wliere I found, Horati',
A royal knavery; an exact command,
Larded with many several forts of reasons,
Importing Denmark's health and Englana's too,
(With, ho! such buggs and goblins in my life ;)
That on the supervize, no leisure bated,
No, not to stay the grinding of the ax,
My head should be struck off.

Hyr. Is't possible?
Ham. Here's the com

ommission, read it at more leisure ; But wilt thou hear now how I did proceed ?

Hor. I beseech you.

Ham. Being thus benetted round with villainy, (Ere I could make a prologue, to my bane (70)


(70) Being thus benetted rourd with villains,

E'er I could make a prologue' to my brains,
Tbey bad begun tbe play. I fate me down, &i.}

They had begun the play :) I sate me down,
Devis'd a new commission, wrote it fair :
(I once did hold it, as our Statists do,
A baseness to write fair; and labour'd much
How to forget that learning; but, Sir, now
It did me yeoman's service ;) wilt thou know
Th' effect of what I wrote ?

Hor. Ay, good my Lord.

Ham. An earnest conjuration from the King,
As England was his faithful tributary,
As love between them, like the palm, might flourish,

should still her wheaten garland wear, (71)
And stand a Commere 'tween their amities;
And many such like As's of great charge ;
That on the view and knowing these contents,
Without debatement further, more or less,

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This passage is certainly corrupt both in the text and pointing. Making a prologue to bis brain is such a phrase as SHAKESPEARE would never have us’d, to mean, e're I could form my tboughts to making A prologue. I communicated my doubts to my two ingenious friends Mr. Warburton and Mr. Bijhop; and by their affiftance, I hope, I have reform'd the whole to the Author's intention :

Being tbus benetted round wirb villainy,
(Ere I could make a prologue, to my bane

They had begun the play:) I sate me down,
j.e. Being thus in their snares, ere I could make a prologue (take the
Jeast previous step) to ward off danger, they had begun the play (put
their schemes in action, which was to terminate in my destruction.
(71) As Peace should fill ber wbeaten garland wear,

And fand a comma 'tween tbeir amities, &c.] Peace is finely and properly personaliz'd here, as the goddess of good league and friendship: but what ideas can we form of her Atanding as a comma, or stop, betwixt their amities? I am sure, the ftands rather like a cypher, in this reading. I have no doubt, but the Poet wrote;

And stand a commere 'tween their amities; 3. c. a guarantee, a common mother. Nothing can be more piftso resque than this image of Peace's standing drest in her wheaten garland between the two princes, and extending a hand to each. In this equipage and office we frequently see her on Roman coins : particu• larly, on two exhibited by Baron Spanheim; one of Augufius, and the other of Vespatian. The poets likewise image to us Peace holding an ear of corn, as the emblem of plenty. Tibull. lib. I. Eleg, x.

At nobis, Pax alma, veni, spiçamque teneto. Mr. Warburtor.

He should the bearers put to sudden death.
Not shriving-time allow'd.

Hor. How was this seal'd?

Ham. Why, ev’n in that was heaven ordinant;
I had my father's Signet in my purse,
Which was the model of that Danish seal :
I folded the Writ up in form of th' other,
Subscrib'd it, gave th'impression, plac'd it safely,
The changeling never known ; now, the next day
Was our fea-fight, and what to this was sequent
Thou know'st already.

Hor. So, Guildenstern and Rofincrantz go to't.
Ham. Why, man, they did make love to this em-

They are not near my conscience; their defeat
Doth by their own insinuation grow:
'Tis dangerous when the baser nature comes
Between the pass, and fell incensed points,
Of mighty opposites.

Hor. Why, what a King is this !

Ham. Does it not, think it thou, stand me now upon ? He that hath kill'd my King, and whor'd my mother, Popt in between th'election and my hopes, Thrown out his angle for my proper life, And with such cozenage ; is't not perfect conscience, To quit him with this arm ? and is't not to be damn'd, To let this canker of our nature come In further evil ?

Hor. It must be shortly known to him from England, What is the issue of the business there.

Ham. It will be short.
The Interim's mine; and a man's life's no more
Than to say, one.
But I am very sorry, good Horatio,
That to Laertes I forgot mytelf;
For by the image of my cause I see
The portraiture of his; l'll court his favour;
But, sure, the bravery of his grief did put me
Into a tow'ring paffion.
Hor, Peace, who comes here?


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