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Ah me,

As false as dicers' oaths: 0, such a deed
As from the body of contraction plucks

very soul; and sweet religion makes
A rhapsody of words: Heaven's face doth glow;
Yea, this solidity and compound mass,
With tristful visage, as against the doom,
Is thought-sick at the act *.

what act, That roars so loud, and thunders in the index 5?

Ham. Look here upon this picture, and on this; The counterfeit presentment of two brothers. See, what a grace was seated on this brow: Hyperion's curls; the front of Jove himself; An eye

like Mars, to threaten and command; A station 6 like the herald Mercury, New-lighted on a heaven-kissing hill; A combination, and a form, indeed, and Malone take this figurative expression in a literal sense, that they were unused to the language of poetry, especially to the adventurous metaphors of Shakspeare. Mr. Boswell's note is short and to the purpose. · Rose is put generally for the ornament, the grace of an innocent love. Ophelia describes Hamlet as

* The expectancy and rose of the fair state.' 4 The quarto of 1604 gives this passage thus :

Heaven's face does glow
O’er this solidity and compound mass
With heated visage, as against the doom,

Is thought-sick at the act.' The index, or table of contents, was formerly placed at the beginning of books. In Othello, Act ii. Sc. 7, we have—an index and obscure prologue to the history of foul and lustful thoughts.

6 It is evident from this passage that whole length pictures of the two kings were formerly introduced. Station does not mean the spot where any one is placed, but the act of standing, the attitude. So in Antony and Cleopatra, Act iii. Sc. 3:

• Her motion and her station are as one.' Without this explanation it might be conceived that the compliment designed for the attitude of the King was bestowed on the place where Mercury is represented as standing.

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Where every god did seem to set his seal,
To give the world assurance of a man :
This was your husband.—Look you now, what fol-

lows: Here is

your husband; like a mildew'd ear, Blasting his wholesome brother 7. Have you eyes? Could you on this fair mountain leave to feed, And batten on this moor? Ha! have

you eyes ? You cannot call it, love: for, at your age, The hey-day in the blood is tame, it's humble, And waits upon the judgment; And what judgment Would step from this to this ? [Senseo, sure you have, Else could you not have motion : But, sure, that sense Is apoplex'd: for madness would not err; Nor sense to ecstasy was ne'er so thrallid, But it reserv'd some quantity of choice, To serve in such a difference. What devil wast That thus hath cozen’d you at hoodman-blind 10? [Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight, Ears without hands or eyes, smelling sans all, Or but a sickly part of one true sense Could not so mope 11.] O shame! where is thy blush? Rebellious hell,

7 Here the allusion is to Pharaoh's dream. Genesis, xli.

8 i. e. to feed rankly or grossly: it is usually applied to the fattening of animals. Marlowe has it for to grow fat.' Bat is the old word for increase; whence we have battle, batten, batful.

9 Sense here is not used for reason; but for sensation, feeling, or perception: as before in this scene:

• That it be proof and bulwark against sense.' Warburton, misunderstanding the passage, proposed to read notion instead of motion. The whole passage in brackets is omitted in the folio.

10 • The hoodwinke play, or hoodman blind, in some place, called blindmanbuf:'-Baret. It appears also to have been called blind hob. It is hob-man blind in the quarto of 1603. II i.e. could not be so dull and stupid.

my very soul;

If thou canst mutine 12 in a matron's bones,
To flaming youth let virtue be as wax,
And melt in her own fire 13; proclaim no shame,
When the compulsive ardour gives the charge;
Since frost itself as actively doth burn,
And reason panders will.

O Hamlet, speak no more :
Thou turn'st mine eyes into
And there I see such black and grained 14 spots
As will not leave their tinct.

Nay, but to live In the rank sweat of an enseamed 15 bed; Stew'd in corruption; honeying, and making love Over the nasty sty;Queen.

O, speak to me no more; These words, like daggers, enter in mine ears: No more, sweet Hamlet. Ham.

A murderer, and a villain; A slave, that is not twentieth part the tithe

12 Mutine for mutiny. 'This is the old form of the verb. Shakspeare calls mutineers mutines in a subsequent scene; but this is, I believe, peculiar to him: they were called mutiners anciently. 13 Thus in the quarto of 1603 :

• Why appetite with you is in the wane,
Your blood runs backward now from whence it came:
Who'll chide hot blood within a virgin's heart

When lust shall dwell within a matron's breast.' 14 • Grained spots ;' that is, dyed in grain, deeply imbued.

15 i. e. greasy, rank, gross. It is a term borrowed from falconry. It is well known that the seam of any animal was the fat or tallow; and a hawk was said to be enseumed when she was too fat or gross for flight. By some confusion of terms, how

to enseam a hawk' was used for ' to purge ber of glut and grease;' by analogy it should have been unseam. Beaumont and Fletcher, in The False One, use inseamed in the same man



• His lechery inseamed upon him.' It should be remarked, that the quarto of 1603 reads incestuous; as does that of 1611.

Of your precedent lord :a vice 16 of kings:
A cutpurse of the empire and the rule;
That from a shelf the precious diadem stole,
And put it in his pocket!


No more.

Enter Ghost 17. Ham.

A king Of shreds and patches : Save me, and hover o'er me with your wings, You heavenly guards !-- What would your gracious

figure ? Queen. Alas, he's mad.

Ham. Do you not come your tardy son to chide,
That, laps’d in time and passion 18, lets go by
The important acting of your dread command ?
0, say!

Ghost. Do not forget: This visitation
Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose.
But, look! amazement on thy mother sits :
0, step between her and her fighting soul;
Conceit 19 in weakest bodies strongest works;
Speak to her, Hamlet.

How is it with you, lady?
Queen. Alas, how is't with you?

16 i. e. 'the low mimic, the counterfeit, a dizard, or common vice and jester, counterfeiting the gestures of any man.'—Fleming. Shakspeare afterwards calls him a king of shreds and patches, allading to the party-coloured habit of the vice or fool in a play.

17 The first quarto adds, ' in his night-gown.'

18 · Laps'd in time and passion.' Johnson explains this* That having suffered time to slip and passion to cool, let's go by,' &c. This explanation is confirmed by the quarto of 1603 :

• Do you not come your tardy son to chide,

That I thus long have let revenge slip by.' 19 Conceit for conception, imagination. This was the force of the word among our ancestors. Thus in The Rape of Lucrece:

• And the conceited painter was so nice.'



do bend

your eye on vacany,
And with the incorporal air do hold discourse?
Forth at your eyes your spirits wildly peep;
And, as the sleeping soldiers in the alarm,
Your bedded hair, like life in excrements


and stands on end. O gentle son, Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper Sprinkle cool patience. Whereon do you look? Ham. On him! on him!-Look you, how pale

he glares ! His form and cause conjoin'd, preaching to stones, Would make them capable?1.-Do not look upon me; Lest, with this piteous action, you convert My stern affects 22 : then what I have to do Will want true colour; tears, perchance, for blood.

Queen. To whom do you speak this ?


20 • The hair is excrementitious; that is, without life or sensation; yet those very hairs, as if they had life, start up,' &c. So Macbeth :

my fell of hair
Would at a dismal treatise rouse and stir

As life were in't.' 21 Capable for susceptible, intelligent, i.e, would excite in them capacity to understand. Thus in King Richard III.:

O’tis a parlous boy, Bold, quick, ingenious, forward, capable.' 22 • My stern affects.' All former editions read— My stern effects.' Effects, for actions, deeds, effected,' says Malone! We should certainly read affects, i. e. dispositions, affections of the mind: as in that disputed passage of Othello :— the young affects in me defunct.'

It is remarkable that we have the same error in Measure for Measure, Act iii. Sc. 1, p. 49:

Thou art pot certain,
For thy complexion shifts to strange effects

After the moon.' Dr. Johnson saw the error in that play, and proposed to read affects. But the present passage has escaped observation. The . piteous action of the ghost could not alter things already. effected, but might move Hamlet to a less stern mood of mind.

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