Imatges de pàgina

Coftly thy habit as thy purfe can buy,
But not expreft in fancy; rich, not gaudy:
For the apparel oft proclaims the man,

And they in France of the best rank and ftation
Are most select and generous, chief in that.
Neither a borrower, nor a lender be;
For loan oft lofes both itself and friend:
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all; to thine own felf be true;
And it muft follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewel; my bleffing feafon this in thee!
Laer. Moft humbly do I take my leave, my lord.
Pol. The time invefts you; go, your fervants tend. (7)
Laer. Farewel, Ophelia, and remember well

What I have faid.

Oph. 'Tis in my mem❜ry lockt,

And you yourself fhall keep the key of it.

Laer. Farewel.

[Exit Laer.

Pol. What is't, Ophelia, he hath faid to you?

Oph. So please you, fomething touching the Lord Hamlet.

Pol. Marry, well bethought!

'Tis told me, he hath very oft of late

Given private time to you; and you yourself

Have of your audience been moft free and bounteous.

If it be fo, (as fo 'tis put on me,

And that in way of caution,) I must tell you,
You do not understand yourself so clearly,
As it behoves my daughter, and your honour.

(7) The Time invites You] This Reading is as old as the firft Folio; however I fufpect it to have been fubftituted by the Players, who did not understand the Term which poffeffes the elder Quarto's:

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i. e. befieges, 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 affection to me.

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Pol. Affection! puh! you speak like a green girl, Unfifted in fuch perilous circumftance.

Do you believe his tenders, as you call them ?

Oph. I do not know, my Lord, what I fhould think. Pol. Marry, I'll teach you; think yourself a baby, That you have ta'en his tenders for true pay, Which are not fterling. Tender yourfelf 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 fpeech,my Lord, With almost all the holy vows of heav'n.

Pol. Ay, fpringes to catch woodcocks. I do know, When the blood burns, how prodigal the foulLends the tongue vows. Thefe blazes, oh my daughter, Giving more light than heat, extinct in both, Ev'n in their promife as it is a making, You must not take for fire. From this time, Be Tomewhat fcanter of your maiden-prefence, Set your intreatments at a higher rate, Than a command to parley. For Lord Hamlet, Believe fo much in him, that he is young; And with a larger tether he may walk, Than may be giv'n you. In few, Ophelia,

Do not believe his vows; for they are brokers, (9)

(8) Tender yourself more dearly;

Or (not to crack the Wind of the poor Phrafe)



Wronging it thus, you'll tender me a Fool.] The Parenthesis is clos'd at the wrong Place; and muft make like wife a flight Correction in the last Verfe. Polonius is racking and playing on the Word Tender, 'till he thinks proper to correct himself for the Licence; and then he would fay not farther to crack the Wind of the Phrafe Mr. Warburton.

by twifting and contorting it, as I have done; &c.
(9) Do not believe his Vows; for they are Brokers ;

Breathing like fanctified and picus Bonds;




Not of that die which their investments fhew,
But mere implorers of unholy fuits,

Breathing like fanctified and pious bawds,
The better to beguile. This is for all :

I would not, in plain terms, from this time forth,
Have you fo flander any moment's leisure,

As to give words or talk with the Lord Hamlet.
Look to't, I charge you, come your way.
Oph. I fhall obey, my Lord.

The better to beguile.]


Tho' all the Editors have fwallowed this Reading implicitly, it is certainly corrupt; and I have been furprized, how Men of Genius and Learning could let it pafs without fome Sufpicion. What Ideas can we form to ourselves of a breathing Bend, or of its being fanctifed and picus? As he, juft before, is calling amorous Vows Brokers, and implorers of unholy Suits; I think, a Continuation of the plain and natural Senfe directs to an eafy 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,
The better to beguile.

Broker, 'tis to be obferved, our Author perpetually uses as the more modeft fynonymous Term for Bawd. Befides, what ftrengthens my Correction, and makes this Emendation the more neceffary and probable, is, the Words with which the Poet winds up his Thoughts, the better to beguile. It is the fly Artifice and Cuftom of Bawds to put on an Air and form of Sanctity, to betray the Virtues of young Ladies; by drawing them firft into a kind Opinion of them, from their exterior and diffembled Goodness. And Bawds in their Office of Treachery are likewife properly Brokers; and the Implorers and Prompters of unholy (that is, unchafte) Suits: And fo a chain of the fame Metaphors is continued to the End.


SCENE changes to the Platform before the

Enter Hamlet, Horatio, and Marcellus.

Ham. T

HE air bites fhrewdly; it is very cold.
Hor. It is a nipping and an eager air.

Ham. What hour now?

Hor. I think, it lacks of twelve.

Mar. No, it is ftruck.

Hor. I heard it not it then draws near the feafon,

Wherein the spirit held his wont to walk.

[Noife of warlike mufick within.

What does this mean, my Lord?

Ham. The King doth wake to-night, and takes his rouse. Keeps waffel, and the fwagg'ring up-fpring 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 revel, east and weft,

Makes us tradúc'd, and tax'd of other nations;

They clepe us drunkards, and with fwinifh phrafe
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 fome vicious mole of nature in them,
As, in their birth, (wherein they are not guilty,
Since nature cannot chufe his origin)

By the o'ergrowth of fome complexion,

Oft breaking down the pales and forts of reafon ;
Or by fome habit, that too much o'er-leavens

F 2


The form of plaufive manners; that these men
Carrying, I fay, the ftamp of one defect,
(Being nature's livery, or fortune's fcar)
Their virtues elfe, be they as pure as grace,
As infinite as man may undergo,

Shall in the general cenfure take corruption
From that particular fault. -The dram of Base (10)
Doth all the noble fubftance of worth out,

To his own fcandal.

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Enter Ghoft.

Hor. Look, my Lord, it comes!

Ham. Angels and minifters of grace defend us! Be thou a fpirit of health, or goblin damn'd, Bring with thee airs from heav'n, or blafts from hell, Be thy intents wicked or charitable,

Thou com'ft in fuch a queftionable shape,

That I will speak to thee. I'll call thee Hamlet,
King, Father, Royal Dane: ch! anfwer me;
Let me not burft in ignorance; but tell,
Why thy canoniz'd bones, hearfed in death,
Have burft their cearments? why the fepulchre,
Wherein we faw thee quietly in-urn'd,
Hath op'd his ponderous and marble jaws,
To caff thee up again? What may this mean?


The Dram of Eafe. Doth all the noble Subftance of a Doubt

To bis own feandal.] I do not remember a Paffage, throughout all our 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 its Aid. It is certain, there is neither Senfe, nor Grammar, as it now ftands: yet with a flight Alteration, I'll endeavour to cure thofe Defects, and give a Sentiment too, that shall make the Poet's Thought clofe nobly. The Dram of Bafe, (as I have corrected the Text) means the leaft Alloy of Bafenefs or Vice. It is very frequent with our Poet to use the Adjective of Quality inftead of the Subitantive fignifying the Thing. Befides, I have obferved, that elsewhere, freaking of Worth, he delights to confider it as a Quality that adds Weight to a Perfon, and connects the Word with that Idea.


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