« PreviousContinue »
HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK.
And thy best graces spend it at thy will.!
[ Aside, King. How is it that the clouds still hang on you? Ham. Not so, my lord, I am too much i’ the sun.
Queen. Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted color off,
Ham. Ay, madam, it is common.
If it be
Ham. Seems, madam! nay, it is; I know not seems. 'Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother, Nor customary suits of solemn black, Nor windy suspiration of forced breath, No, nor the fruitful river in the eye, Nor the dejected havior of the visage, Together with all forms, modes, shows of grief, That can denote me truly. These, indeed, seem, For they are actions that a man might play ; But I have that within which passeth show; These but the trappings and the suits of woe. King. 'Tis sweet and commendable in your nature,
1 In the first quarto this passage stands thus:
6 King. With all our heart, Laertes, fare thee well.
[Erit." The king's speech may be thus explained:- Take an auspicious hour, Laertes; be your time your own, and thy best virtues guide thee in spending of it at thy will” Johnson thought that we should read, “ And iny hest graces."
? A little more than kin has been rightly said to allude to the double relationship of the king to Hamlet, as uncle and step-father ; his kindred by blood and kindred by marriage. By less than kind, Hamlet means degenerate and base. Dr. Johnson says that kind is the Teutonic word for child; that Hamlet means that he was something more than cousin, and less than son.
3 i. e. with eyes cast down.
To give these mourning duties to your father.
you must know, your father lost a father;
pray you, throw to earth
Ham. I shall in all my best obey you, madam.
1 The first quarto reads, " That father dead, lost his." 2 Obsequious is used with an allusion to obsequies, or funeral rites. 3 Condolement for grief.
4 Unprevailing was used in the sense of unavailing, as late as Dryden' time.
5 This was a common form of figurative expression. 6 i. e. dispense, bestow.
HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK.
Be as ourself in Denmark.-Madam, corne ;
[Exeunt King, Queen, Lords, &.c., Polo
NIUS, and LAERTES. Ham. O that this too, too solid flesh would melt, Thaw, and resolve ? itself into a dew! Or that the Everlasting had not fixed His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! O God! O God! How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable Seem to me all the uses of this world ! Fie on't! O fie! 'tis an unweeded garden That grows to seed; things rank, and gross in nature, Possess it merely. That it should come to this ! But two months dead -nay, not so much, not two: So excellent a king ; that was, to this, Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother, That he might not beteem the winds of heaven Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth! Must I remember? why, she would hang on him, As if increase of appetite had grown By what it fed on. And yet, within a month,Let me not think on't ;--Frailty, thy name is woman!
1 The quarto of 1603 reads :
“ The rouse the king shall drink unto the prince." A rouse appears to have been a deep draught to the health of any one, it may be only an abridgment of carouse.
2 To resolve had anciently the same meaning as to dissolve.
3 The old copy reads, cannon; but this was the old spelling of canon, a law or decree.
4 i. e, solely, wholly:
6 i. e. deign to allow. Steevens had the merit of pointing out the passage in Golding's Ovid, which settles the meaning of the word :
Yet could he not beteeme
nulla tamen alite verti
A little month; or ere those shoes were old,
Enter HORATIO, BERNARDO, and MARCELLUS.
I am glad to see you well; Horatio,--or I do forget myself.
Hor. The same, my lord, and your poor servant ever. Ham. Sir, my good friend; I'll change that name
And what make you ’ from Wittenberg, Horatio ?-
Mar. My good lord,
Ham. I am very glad to see you; good even, sir. But what, in faith, make you from Wittenberg ?
Hor. A truant disposition, good my lord.
Ham. I would not hear your enemy say so; Nor shall you do mine ear that violence,
1 « Discourse of reason” was the phraseology of Shakspeare's time; and, indeed, the Poet again uses the sarne language in Troilus and Cressida, Act ii. Sc. 2:
is your blood
can qualify the same ?” In the language of the schools, " Discourse is that rational act of the mind by which we deduce or infer one thing from another.” Discourse of reason, therefore, may mean ratiocination. Brutes have not this reasoning faculty, though they have what has been called instinct and memory. The first quarto reads, 's a beast devoid of reason." 2 i. e. what do you?
metaARleannyit R-NEAMURAI IR Remaz AVEN
To make it truster of your own report
Hor. My lord, I came to see your father's funeral.
thee, do not mock me, fellow-student; I think it was to see my mother's wedding.
Hor. Indeed, my lord, it followed hard upon.
Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.
Ham. In my mind's eye, Horatio.
Ham. He was a man, take him for all in all,
Hor. My lord, I think I saw him yesternight.
The king, my father?
For God's love, let me hear.
1 This is the reading of the quarto of 1604. The first quarto and the
« In the dead vast and middle of the night."