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Han. How purpos'd, fir, I pray you?
Ham. Goes it against the main of Poland, fir,
Cap. Truly to speak, and with no addition,
five ducats, five, I would not farm it;
Ham. Why, then the Polack never will defend it. Cap. Yes, 'tis already garrison'd. Ham. Two thousand souls, and twenty thousand ducats, Will not debate the question of this straw: This is the imposthume of much wealth, and peace; That inward breaks, and shews no cause without Why the man dies.--I humbly thank you, sir. Cap. God be wi’you, fir.
[Exit Captain. Ro). Will't please you go, my lord? Ham. I will be with you straight. Go a little before.
(Exeunt Ros. and the rest. How all occafions do inform against me, And spur my dull revenge! What is a man, If his chief good, and market of his time', Be but to sleep, and feed? a beast, no more. Sure, he, that made us with such large discourse ?, Looking before, and after, gave us not That capability and god-like reason To fuft in us unus'd. Now, whether it be Beftial oblivion, or some craven scruple 3 Of thinking too precisely on the event,A thought, which, quarter'd, hath but one part wisdom,
'- cbief good, and market of bis time, &c.] If his highest good, and zbat for wbicl be sells bis time, be to sleep and feed. Johnson.
Market, I think, here means profil. MALONE. 2 – large discourse,] Such latitude of comprehenfion, such power of reviewing the past, and anticipating the future. JOHNSON
5-some craven scruple-] Some cowardly scruple. See Vol.III. Po 287, n. 2. MALONE. A a 2
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L And, ever, three parts coward, I do not know Why yet I live to say, This thing's to do ; Sith' l' have cause, and will, and strength, and means, To do't. Examples, gross as earth, exhort me: Witness, this army, of such mass, and charge, Led by a delicate and tender prince ; Whose spirit, with divine ambition puff'd, Makes mouths at the invisible event; Expofing what is mortal, and unsure, To all that fortune, death, and danger, dare, Even for an egg-shell. Rightly to be great, Is, not to stir without great argument* ; But greatly to find quarrel in a straw, When honour's at the stake. How stand I then, That have a father kill'd, a mother stain'd, Excitements of my reason, and my blood”, And let all sleep: while, to my shame, I fee The imminent death of twenty thousand men, That, for a fantasy, and trick of fame, Go to their graves like beds; fight for a plot Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause, Which is not tomb enough, and continent, To hide the sain ?-0, from this time forth, My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth! [Exit.
4 Rightly to be great,
Is, not to stir wiibout, &c.] The sentiment of Shakspeare is partly just, and partly romantick.
Rigbrly to be great,
Is not to fir wit bout great argument ; is exactly philosophical.
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw,
Wben bonour's at tbe fake, is the idea of a modern hero. But oben, says he, bonour is an argu. ment, or subje&t of debate, fufficiently great, and when honour is at stake, we must find cause of quarrel in a fraw. Johnson.
s Excitements of my reason, and my blood, ] Provocations which excite both my reason and my passions to vengeance. JOHNSON.
6 --- continent,] Continent, in our author, means that which comprehends or encloses. So, in King Lear:
“ Rive your concealing continents." STEEVENS.
Enter Queen, and Horatio,
Hor. She is importunate: indeed, distract; Her mood will needs be pity'd.
Queen. What would she have ?
Hor. She speaks much of her father; says, she hears, There's tricks i' the world; and hems, and beats her
heart; Spurns enviously at straws?; speaks things in doubt, That carry but half sense : her speech is nothing, Yet the unshaped use of it doth move The hearers to collection 8 ; they aim at it', And botch the words up fit to their own thoughts ; Which, as her winks, and nods, and gestures yield them, Indeed would make one think, there might be thought, Though nothing sure, yet much unhappily'.
7 Spurns enviously at Araws ;] Envy is much oftener put by our poet (and those of his time) for direct averfion, than for malignity conceived at ibe sigbe of anorber's excellence or bappiness. So, in King Henry VIII.
“ You turn the good we offer into envy." Again, in God's Revenge against Murder, 1621, Hij. VI.- "She loves the memory of Sypontus, and envies and detests that of her two husbands." STEEVENS. See Vol. VII. p. 42, n. 1, and Vol. VI. p. 75, n. 6. MALONE.
- to collection ;] i. e. to deduce consequences from such premises. So, in Cymbeline, Scene the last:
« Make no colle&tion of it."
9 — they aim at ir,] The quartos read--they gawn at it. To aim is to guess. STEVENS.
" Tbough notbing sure, yet much unhappily.) i. e. though her meaning cannot be certainly collected, yet there is enough to put a mischievous interpretation to it. WARBURTON.
See Vol. II. p. 234, n. 2 ; Vol. III. p. 456, n. 6; and Vol. VII. p. 37, n. 2. MALONE.
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Queen. 'Twere good, she were spoken with ? ; for the
Dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds :
Re-enter HORATIO, with OPHELIA.
From another one?
That unbappy once signified misobievous, may be known from P. Holland's translation of Pliny's Nat. Hift. b. 19. ch. 7. “ - the shrewd and unbappie foules, which lie upon the lands, and eat up the feed new-lowne." We fill use unlucky in the same sense. STEEVENS.
2 "Twere good, pe were spoken witb;-) These lines are given to the Queen in the folio, and to Horatio in the quarto. JOHNSON.
I think the two first lines of Horatio's speech, ['Twere good, &c.] belong to him; the rest to the queen. BLACKSTONE.
In the quarto, the Queen, Horatio, and a Gentleman, enter at the beginning of this scene. The two speeches, “ She is importunate," &c. and “She speaks much of her father," &c. are there given to the Genrieman, and the line now before us, as well as the two following, to Horario: the remainder of this speech to the queen. I think it probable that the regulation proposed by Sir W. Blackstone was that intended by Shakspeare. MALONE.
3-10 some great amiís ;] Shakspeare is not fingular in his use of this word as a subitantive. So, in the Arraignment of Paris, 1584:
« Gracious forbearers of this world's amiss." Again, in Lilly's Woman in tbe Moon, 1597 :
“ Pale be my looks, to witness my amiss." STEEVENS. See Vol. X. p. 315. Each toy is, each trifle. MALONE.
4 How pould I your true love, &c.] There is no part of this play, in its representation on the stage, more pathetick than this scene; which, I fuppose, proceeds from the utter insensibility Ophelia has to her own misfortunes.
Queen. Alas, sweet lady, what imports this song?
[lings. He is dead and
At his heels a stone.
Queen. Nay, but Ophelia,-
Which bewept to the grave did not go,
With true-love showers. King. How do you, pretty lady? Opb. Well, God 'ield you?! They say, the owl was a
A great sensibility, or none at all, seems to produce the same effect. In the latter the audience supply what she wants, and with the former they sympathize. Sir J. REYNOLDS. s By bis cockle bar, and paf,
And bis sandal poon.] This is the description of a pilgrim. While this kind of devotion was in favour, love intrigues were carried on under that mask. Hence the old ballads and novels made pil. grimages the subjects of their plots. The cockle-lhell hat was one of the eliential badges of this vocation : for the chief places of devotion being beyond lea, or on the coasts, the pilgrims were accustomed to put cockle-shells upon their hats, tɔ denote the intention or performance of their devotion. WAR BURTON. So, in Greene's Never 100 late, 1616:
« A hat of straw like to a swain,
« With a scallop-fhell before," &c. Again, in Tbe Old Wives Tale, by George Peele, 1595: " I will give thee a Palmer's faffe of yvorie, and a scallop-fhell of beaten gold." STEEVENS.
6 Larded all with sweet flowers;] The expression is taken from cookery. JOHNSON.
? Well, God'ield you !) i. e. Heaven reward you! So, in Antony and Cleaparra:
" Tend me to-night two hours, I ask no more,
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