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Pol. That did I, my lord: and was accounted a good a&tor.
Ham. And what did you enact ?
Pol. I did enact Julius Cæsar 8: I was killd i' the Capitol; Brutus kill'd me.
Ham. It was a brute part of him', to kill so capital a calf there.-Be the players ready?
Rof. Ay, my lord; they stay upon your patience'.
Queen. Come hither, my dear Hamlet, fit by me. Ham. No, good mother, here's metal more attractive. Pol. O ho! do you mark that?
[to the king. Ham. Lady, shall I lie in your lap? (lying down at Ophelia's feet?
Oph. tion of the last mentioned play, and another Latin comedy, called Bellum Grammaticale. MALONE.
It lould seem from the following passage in Vice Chancellor Hatchet's letter to Lord Burghley, on June 21, 1580, that the common players were likewise permitted to perform in the universities. " Whereas it hath pleased your honour to recommend my lord of Oxenford his players, that they might shew their cunning in several plays already practiced by 'em before the Queen's Majesty ;-(denied on account of the peftilence and commencement :)— of late we denied the like to the right honourable the Lord of Leicester his fervants.” FARMER.
8 I did ena&t Julius Cæsar :-) A Latin play on the subject of Cæsar's death was performed at Chrift-Church in Oxford, in 1582 ; and several years before a Latin play on the same subject, written by Jaques Grevin, was acted in the college of Beauvais, at Paris. I Tuspect that there was likewise an English play on the story of Cæsar before the time of Shakspeare. See Vol. VII. p. 307, n. 1. and the Elay on tbe order of Sbakspeare's plays, Vol. 1. MALONE.
9 - It was a brute part of bim,-) Sir John Harrington, in his Metamorpbolis of Ajax, 1596, has the same quibble: “ O braveminded Brutus! but this I must truly say, they were two brutis parts both of him and you; one to kill his sons for treason, the other to kill his father in treason." STEEVENS.
tbey ftay upon your parience. ) May it not be read more in. tolligibly, Tbey Ray upon your pleasure. In Macbetb it is :
« Noble Macbeth, we stay upon your leisure.". JOHNSON. 2 - at Opbelia's feer.] To lie at the feet of a mistress during any dramatic representation, seems to have been a common act of gal. lantry. So, in the Queen of Corintb, by B. and Fletcher :
“ Uhers her to her coach, lies at ber feet
“ A folemn masques, applauding what the laughs at." YOL. IX,
Oph. No, my lord.
Ham. O your only jig-makers. What should a man do, but be merry: for, look you, how cheerfully
Again, in Gascoigne's Greene Knigbt's farewell to Fancie;
“ To lie along in ladies lappes," &c. This fashion, which Shakspeare probably designed to ridicule by ap. propriating it to Hamlet during his ditlembled madness, is likewise exposed by Decker, in his Guls Hornbook, 1609. See an extract from it among the prefaces. ŠTEEVENS.
I do not conceive that this fashion was intended to be ridiculed by Shakspeare. Decker, in his Guls Hornebooke, inveighs in general against the custom of fitting on the stage, but makes no mention of lying in ladies' laps, nor did any woman, I believe, fit on the publick ftage, in our poet's time. MALONE.
3 I mean, &c.] This speech, and Ophelia's reply to it, are omitted in the quartos. STEEVENS.
4 Do you ibink, I meant country matters ?] Dr. Johnson, from a casual inadvertence, proposed to read-country manners. The old reading is certainly right. What Shakspeare meant to allude to, must be too obvious to every reader, to require any explanation. MALONE.
5- your only jig-maker.] A jig, as has been already observed, fignified not only a dance, but also a ludicrous prose or metrical composition, which in our authour's time was sometimes represented or fung after a play. So, in the prologue to Fletcher's Fair Maid of ibe
when for approbation
« Prais'd and applauded by a clamorous chime." See also p. 277, n. 7. and The Historical Account of Ibe old Erglijf beatres, Vol. I. P. II. MALONE.
Many of these jiggs are entered in the books of the Stationers' Company :-" Philips his Jigg of the slyppers, 1595; Kempe's Jils of the Kitchen-Stuff-woman, 15953" ST LEVENS.
my mother looks, and my father died within these two hours.
(ph. Nay, 'tis twice two months, my lord,
Ham. So long? Nay, then let the devil wear black, for I'll have a suit of sables. O heavens ! die two months ago, and not forgotten yet; Then there's hope, a great man's memory may out-live his life half a year: But, by’s-lady, he must build churches then: or else shall he suffer not thinking on, with the hobby-horfe?; whose epitaph, is, For, o, for, o, the hobby-horse is forgot
6 Nay, then let ibe devil wear black, for I'll bave a suit of fables. ] Nay then, says Hamlet, if my father be so long dead as you say, let the devil wear black; as for me, lo far from wearing a mourning dress, I'll wear the most costly and magnificent suit that can be procured ; a suit trimmed witb sables.
Our poet furnished Hamlet with a suit of fables on the present oc. fion, not, as I conceive, because such a dress was suited to " country where it was bitter cold, and the air was nipping and eager," (as Dr. Johnson fupposed,) nor because “ a suit of fables was the richest dress that could be worn in Denmark," (as Mr. Steevens has suggested,) of which probably he had no knowledge, but because a suit trimmed with fables was in Shakspeare's time the richest dress worn by men in England. We have had again and again occafion to observe, that, wherever his scene might happen to be, the customs of his own country were still in his thoughts.
By the statute of apparel, 24 Henry VIII. C. 13, (article furres,) it is ordained, that none under the degree of an earl may use sables.
Bishop says in his Bloffoms, 1577, (peaking of the extravagance of those times, that a tbousand ducates were sometimes given for “ 4 face of fables."
That a suit of fables was the magnificent dress of our authour's time, appears from a passage in B. Jonson's Discoveries : “ Would you not laugh to meet a great counsellor of state, in a flat cap, with his trunkhole, and a hobby-horse cloak, and yond haberdasher in a velvet gowa trimm'd with fables" MALONE.
7 – Suffer not tbinking on, with the bobby-borse ;-) Amongst the country may-games there was an hobby-horse, which, when the puria tanical humour of those times opposed and discredited these games, was brought by the poets and ballad-makers as an instance of the ridiculous zeal of the sectaries: from these ballads Hamlet quotes a line of two. WARBURTON.
8 - 0, the bobby-borse is forgot.] In Love's Labour's Loft, this line
is also introduced.
Trumpets found. The dumb few follows.
bracing him, and be her. She kneels, and makes thew of
flowers; fe, seeing him asleep, leaves him. Anon, comes in a fellow, takes off his crown, kisjes it, and pours poison in the king's ears, and exit. The queen returns ; finds the king dead, and makes passionate action. The poisoner, with some two or three mutes, comes in again, Jeeming to lament with her. The dead body is carried away. The poisoner wooes the queen with gifts ; sbe seems loath and unwilling a while, but in the end, ac
[Exeunt. Oph. What means this, my lord?
Ham. Marry, this is miching mallecho'; it means mischief.
cepts his love.
In TEXNOGAMIA, or the Marriage of tbe Arts, 1618, is the following ftage-direction.
“ Enter a bobby-borse, dancing the morrice," &c. Again, in B. and Fletcher's Woman Pleased :
Soto. “ Shall the bobby.borse be forgot then,
“ The hopeful bobby-borse, shall he lie founder'd ?" The scene in which this passage is, will very amply confirm all that Dr. Warburton has said concerning the bobby. borse.
Again, in Ben Jonson's Entertainment for ibe Queen and Prince at
" But see, ibe bobby. borse is forgot,
" And some other buffoon graces."
9 - micbing mallecbo ;] A secret and wicked contrivance ; a concealed wickedness. To micb is a provincial word, and was probably once general, fignifying to lie hid, or play the truant. In Norfolk micbers fignify pilferers. The fignification of micbing in the present passage may be ascertained by a paisage in Decker's Wonderful Yeare, 4to, 1603 : “ Those that could shift for a time, -went most bitterly psiching and muffied, up and downe, with rue and wormwood fuft into their cars and noftrills."
Oph. Belike, this fhew imports the argument of the play.
Enter Prologue. Ham. We shall know by this fellow: the players cannot keep counsel; they'll tell all.
Oph. Will he tell us what this shew meant?
Ham. Ay, or any few that you'll shew him : Be not you
ashamed to thew , he'll not shame to tell you what it means.
Oph. You are naught, you are naught; I'll mark the play. Pro. For us, and for our tragedy,
Here ftooping 10 your clemency,
Wbeg your bearing patiently.
Enter a King, and a Queen.
See also Florio's Italian Di&tionary, 1598, in v. Acciapinare, “ T. miche, to shrug or sneak in some corner; and with powting and lips to shew some anger.” In a subsequent passage we find that the murderer before he poisons the king makes damnable faces.
Where our poet met with the word mallecbo, which in Minsheu's Spanish Dictionary, 1617, is defined malefa&tum, I am unable to af. certain. In the folio, the word is spelt malicbo. The quarto reads muncbing Mallico. Mallico is printed in a distinct character, as a proper name. MALONE.
Be not you afham'd to pew, &c.] The conversation of Hamlet with Ophelia, which cannot fail to disgust every modern reader, is probably such as was peculiar to the young and fashionable of the age of Shakspeare, which was, by no means, an age of delicacy. The poet is, however, blameable; for extravagance of thought, not inde. cency of expression, is the characteristic of madness, at least of such madness as should be represented on the scene. STEEVENS.
2-cart-) A chariot was anciently so called. Thus Chaucer in the Knigbe's Tale, late edit. ver. 2024:
* The carter overridden with his cart," STIEVENS. 3 - facen,] Splendour, luftre. JOHNSON, X 3