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Next your Son gone, and he most violent author
my dear Gertrude, this,
Enter a Mepenger. King. Where are my Switzers ? let them guard the What is the matter?
[door. Mes. Save yourself, my Lord. The ocean, over-peering of his lift, Eats not the flats with more impetuous hafte, Than young Laertes, in a riotous head, O'er-bears your officers; the rabble call him Lord'; And as the world were now but to begin, Antiquity forgot, custom not known, The ratifiers and props of every Ward; (65)
(60) The rarifiers and props of ev'ry word ;] The whole tenour of the context is sufficient to thew, that this is a mistaken reading. What can antiquity and custom, being the props of words, have to do with the business in hand ? Or what idea is conveyed by it ? Certainly, the Poet wrote;
The ratifiers and props of ev'ry ward; The messenger is complaining, that the riotous head had over-born the King's officers; and then fubjoins, that antiquity and custom were forgot, which were the ratifiers and props of every ward; i: e. of every one of those securities that nature and law place about the person of a King. All this is rational and consequential.
They cry, “Chuse we Laertes for our King."
Laertes shall be King, Laertes King !"
Queen. How chearfully on the false trail they cry! Oh, this is counter, you falfe Danish dogs.
Noise within. Enter Laertes, with a Party at the Door. King. The doors are broke. Laer. Where is this King? Sirs! Stand you all withAll. No, let's come in.
[out. Laer. I pray you, give me leave, All. We will, we will.
[Exeunt. Laer. I thank you; keep the door, O thou vile King, give me my father. Queen. Calmly, good Laertes.
[bastard ; Laer, That drop of blood that's calm, proclaims me Cries cuckold to my father ; brands the harlot Ev’n here, between the chaste and unsmirch'd brow Of my true mother.
King. What is the cause, Laertes, That thy Rebellion looks fo giant-like? Let him go, Gertrude ; do not fear our person: There's such divinity doth hedge a King, That treason can but peep to what it would, Acts little of its will. Tell me, Laertes, Why are you thus incens'd? Let him Gertrude. Speak, man: Laer. Where is my father? King. Dead. Queen. But not by him. King. Let him demand his fill.
Laer. How came he dead? I'll not be juggled with; To hell, allegianoe! vows, to the blackest devil! (61)
(61) To bell, allegiance ! vows, to tbe blackest devil! ) Laertes is a good character; but he is here in actual rebellion. Left, therefore, this character !hould seem to sanctify rebellion, instead of putting into his mouth a reasonable defence of his proceedings, such as the right the subject has of shaking off oppression, the usurpation, and
Conscience and grace, to the profoundeft pit !
King. Who shall stay you ?
King. Good Laertes. If you desire to know the certainty of your dear father, is't writ in your revenge, (That sweep-stake) you will draw both friend and foe, Winner and loser?
Laer. None but his enemies.
Laer. To his good friends thus wide I'll ope my arms,
King. Why, now you speak
Laer. How now, what noise is that?
Dear maid, kind fifter, sweet Opbelia!
And on bis grave reigns many a tear ;
(62) Nature is fine in love,) Mr. Pope seems puzzled at this pafago, and therefore in both his editions subjoins this conjecture. Perhaps, fays he,
Nature is fire in love, and where 'tis fire,
After the thing it loves. I own, this conjecture to me imparts no satisfactory idea. Nature is supposid to be the fire, and to furnish the incense too: had love been suppos’d the fire, and nature feot out the incense, I should more jeadily have been reconcil'd to the sentiment. But no change in my opinion, is necessary to the text; I conceive that this might be the Poet's meaning.
" In the paffion of love, nature becomes more ex" quifite of sensation, is more delicate and refin'd; that is, natural 6 affe&tion, rais'd and sublim'd into a love-paffion, becomes more " inflamed and intense than usual ; and where it is so, as people in “ love generally send what they have of most value after their “ lovers; so poor Opbelia has sent her most precious fenses after the
object of her inflam'd affection.” If I mistake not, our Poet, has. play'd with this thought, of the powers being refind by the passion, in several other of his plays, His clown in As You Like it," seems. fenfible of this refinement; but, talking in his own way, interpret it a fort of frantickness.
We, that are true lovers, run into frange capers ; but as all is mortal in nature, fo is all nature in love mortal in folly.
Again, in Troilus and Cressida, the latter expresses herself concern. ing grief, exactly as Laertes does here of nature,
The grief is fine, full, perfect, that I tafte;
Which causeth it. But Jago, in Othello, delivers himself much more dire&ly to the pure pose of the sentiment here before us.
Come hither, if thou bee'it valiant; as they say, base men, being in love, have then a nobility in their natures more than is native to theme
Laer. Hadit thou thy wits, and didst persuade revenge, It could not move thus.
Oph. You must fing, down a-down, and you call him a-down-a. O how the wheel becomes it! it is the false fteward that fole his master's daughter.
Laer. This nothing's more than matter.
Oph. There's rosemary, that's for remembrance; pray, love, remember; and there's panfies, that's for thoughts.
Laer. A document in madness, thoughts and remembrance fitted. Oph. There's fennel for you, and columbines; there's you, and here's some for me. We
call it herb of grace o' Sundays : you may wear your rue with a difference. There's a daisy; I would give you some violets, but they withered all when my father dy'd: they say, he made a good end;
For bony sweet Robin is all my joy.
And will be not come again?
Gramercy on his foul !
see this, you Gods ! King. Laertes, I must commune with your grief, Or you deny me right: go but a-part, Make choice of whom your wisest friends you will, And they shall hear and judge 'twixt you and
me ; If by direct or by collateral hand They find us touch'd, we will our Kingdom give, Our Crown, our life, and all that we call ours, To you in satisfaction. But if not, Be you content to lend your patience to us;