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The natural gates and alleys of the body;
And with a sudden vigour, it doth posset
And curd, like eager 10 droppings into milk,
The thin and wholesome blood: so did it mine;
And a most instant tetter bark'd about,
Most lazar-like, with vile and loathsome crust,
All my smooth body.
Thus was I, sleeping; by a brother's hand,
Of life, of crown, of queen, at once despatch'd 11;
Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin,
Unhousel'd", disappointed", unaneld" ;
No reckoning made, but sent to my account
With all my imperfections on my head:
0, horrible! 0, horrible! most horrible!
If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not ;
Let not the royal bed of Denmark be
A couch for luxury and damned incest.
But, howsoever thou pursu'st this act,

10 In Sc. iv. we have eager air for sharp biting air. Eger (says Baret), sower, sharp, acidus, aigre.'

1 Quarto 1603, deprived. I have elsewhere remarked that to dispatch and to rid were synonymous in Shakspeare's time.

12 Unhouseľd is without having received the sacrament. Thus in Hormanni Vulgaria, 1519:– He is departed without shryfte and housyll. And in Speculum Vitæ, MS. it is a sin

To receive nat once in the yeare

Howsel and schrifte with conscience clere.' 13 Disappointed is the same as unappointed, and may be explained unprepared. A man well furnished for an enterprise is said to be well appointed. In Measure for Measure, Isabella addresses her brother, who is condemned to die, thus :

• Therefore your best appointment make with speed.' 14 Unaneld is without extreme unction. Thus in Cavendish's Life of Wolsey, edit. 1824, p. 324 : Then we began to put him in mind of Christ's passion; and sent for the abbot of the place to anneal him.' • The fyfth sacrament is anoynting of seke men, the whiche oyle is halowed of the bysshop, and mynystred by preestes that ben of lawfull age, in grete peryll of dethe: in lyghtnes and abatynge of theyr sikenes, yf God wyll that they lyve; and in forgyveynge of their venyal synnes and releasynge of theyr payne, yf they shal deye.'— The Festyval, fol. 171.

17

Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive
Against thy mother aught; leave her to heaven,
And to those thorns that in her bosom lodge,
To prick and sting her. Fare thee well at once!
The glowworm shows the matin to be near,
And 'gins to pale his uneffectual fire 5:
Adieu, adieu, adieu ! remember me. [Exit.
Ham. O all you host of heaven! O earth! What

else? And shall I couple hell ?-0 fye!-Hold, hold, my

heart; And you, my sinews, grow not instant old, But bear me stiffly up!-Remember thee? Ay, thou poor ghost, while memory holds a seat In this distracted globe 16. Remember thee? Yea, from the tables of my memory I'll wipe away all trivial fond records, All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past, That youth and observation copied there; And thy commandment all alone shall live Within the book and volume of my brain, Unmix'd with baser matter : yes, by heaven. O most pernicious woman! O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain ! My tables,-meet it is, I set it down, That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain ; At least, I am sure, it may be so in Denmark:

[Writing. 15 Uneffectual, i. e. shining without heat. The use of to pale as a verb is rather unusual, but not peculiar to Shakspeare. It is to be found in Chaucer and our elder writers.

16 i. e. in this head confused with thought. 17 Thus in the Second Part of King Henry IV. Activ. Sc.1:

• And therefore will he wipe his tables clean,

And keep no tell-tale in his memory.' Tables or books, or registers for memorie of things,' were then used by all ranks, and contained prepared leaves from which what was written wit a silver style could easily be effaced. VOL. X.

T

19

So, uncle, there you are. Now to

my

word 18;
It is, Adieu, adieu! remember me.
I have sworn't.

Hor. [Within.] My lord, my lord,
Mar. [Within.] Lord Hamlet,
Hor. [Within.] Heaven secure him!
Ham.

So be it!
Mar. [Within.] Illo, ho, ho, my lord!
Ham. Hillo, ho, ho, boy! come, bird, come

Enter Horatio and MARCELLUS.
Mar. How is't,

my

noble lord ! Hor.

What news, my

lord? Ham. () wonderful! Hor.

Good my lord, tell it.
Ham.

No; You will reveal it.

Hor. Not I, my lord, by heaven.
Mar.

Nor I, my lord. Ham. How say you then ; would heart of man

once think it ? But you'll be secret, — Hor. Mar.

Ay, by heaven, my lord. Ham. There's ne'er a villain, dwelling in all Den

mark, But he's an arrant knave.

18 The quarto 1603 has— Now to the words.' By. Now to my word' Hamlet means now to my motto, my word of remembrance; or as it is expressed by King Richard III, word of courage. Steevens asserted that the allusion is to the military watchword. A word, mot, or motto, was any short sentence, such as is inscribed on a token, or under a device or coat of arms.

It was a common phrase. See Ben Jonson's Works, by Mr. Gifford, vol, ii. p. 102.

19 This is the call which falconers ase to their hawk in the air when they would have him come down to them. Thus in Tyro's Roaring Megge, 1598 :-

• Yet ere I journie, Ile go see the kyte,
Come, come, bird, come: pox on you, you can mate.'

Hor. There needs no ghost, my lord, come from

the grave,

I will go pray

To tell us this.

Ham. Why, right; you are in the right; And so, without more circumstance at all, I hold it fit, that we shake hands, and part: You, as your business, and desire, shall point you;For every man hath business, and desire, Such as it is,—and, for my own poor part, Look

you, Hor. These are but wild and whirling words, my

lord. Ham. I am sorry they offend you, heartily; yes, ’Faith, heartily. Hor.

There's no offence, my lord. Ham. Yes, by Saint Patrick”, but there is,Horatio, nd much offence too. Touching this vision here, It is an honest ghost, that let me tell you: For your

desire to know what is between us, O’ermaster it as you may. And now, good friends, As you are friends, scholars, and soldiers, Give me one poor request. Hor.

What is't, my lord? We will. Ham. Never make known what you have seen

to-night. Hor. Mar. My lord, we will not. Ham.

Nay, but swear't. Hor.

In faith, My lord, not I.

20 Warburton has ingeniously defended Shakspeare for making the Danish prince swear by St. Patrick, by observing that the whole northern world had their learning from Ireland. It is, however, more probable that the poet seized the first popular imprecation that came to his mind, without regarding whether it suited the country or character of the person to whom he

gave it.

Mar.

Nor I, my lord, in faith. Ham. Upon my sword. Mar. We have sworn, my lord, already. Ham. Indeed, upon my sword, indeed. Ghost. [Beneath.] Swear. Ham. Ha, ha, boy! say'st thou so? art thou

there, true-penny ? Come on, you hear this fellow in the cellarage, Consent to swear. Hor.

Propose the oath, my lord. Ham. Never to speak of this that you have seen, Swear by my sword 21.

Ghost. [Beneath.] Swear.

Ham. Hic & ubique ! then we'll shift our ground:-
Come hither, gentlemen,
And lay your hands again upon my sword:
Swear by my sword,
Never to speak of this that you have heard.

Ghost. [Beneath.] Swear by his sword.
Ham. Well said, old mole! canst work i'the

earth so fast? A worthy pioneer!—Once more remove,good friends.

Hor. O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!

Ham. And therefore as a stranger give it welcome. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,

21 The custom of swearing by the sword, or' rather by the cross at the upper end of it, is very ancient. In the Soliloquy of Roland, addressed to his sword, the cross which the gard and handle form is not forgotten :- Capulo eburneo candidissime, cruce aurea splendidissime,' &c.Turpini de Gestis Carol. Mag. cap. 22. The name of Jesus was not unfrequently inscribed on the handle. The allusions to this custom are very numerous in our old writers, and Warburton has noticed it in Bartholinus De Causis Contempt. Mort. apud Danos. Simon Maioli, in his very curious book Dierum Canicularium, mentions that the ancient Germans swore by the sword and death. Leonato, in The Winter's Tale, Act ii. Sc. 3, says:

Swear by this sword,
Thou wilt perform my bidding.'

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