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Tears in his eyes, distraction in's aspect,
faculties of eyes and ears.
1 i. e. the hint or prompt word; the word or sign given by the prompter for a player to enter on his part.
2 John-a-dreams, or John-a-droynes, was a common term for any dreaming or droning simpleton.. Unpregnant is not quickened or properly im
3 Defeat here signifies destruction. It was frequently used in the sense of undo or take away by our old writers.
4 Kindless is unnatural.
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HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK.
That I, the son of a dear father murdered,
The spirit that I have seen, May be a devil ; and the devil hath power To assume a pleasing shape; yea, and, perhaps, Out of my weakness, and my melancholy, (As he is very potent with such spirits,) Abuses me to damn me. I'll have grounds More relative 6 than this. The play's the thing, Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king. (Exit.
1 The first folio reads thus :
65 Oh vengeance!
That I the sonne of the Deere murthered." The quarto of 1604 omits “Oh vengeance," and reads, “ a deere mur thered;" the quarto of 1603, “ that I the son of my dear father.”
2 - About my brains" is nothing more than " to work, my brains." Steevens quotes the following from Heywood's Iron Age:
“ My brain about again! for thou hast found
New projects now to work on." 3 A number of instances of the kind are collected by Thomas Heywood in his Apology for Actors.
4 To tent was to probe, to search a wound. 5 To blench is to shrink or start. Vide Winter's Tale, Act i. Sc. 2.
6 i. e. more near, more immediately connected. The first quarto reads “ I will have sounder proofs."
Enter King, Queen, POLONIUS, OPHELIA, ROSEN
CRANTZ, and GUILDENSTERN.
Ros. He does confess, he feels himself distracted; But from what cause he will by no means speak.
Guil. Nor do we find him forward to be sounded; But, with a crafty madness, keeps aloof, When we would bring him on to some confession Of his true state. Queen. Did he receive
Ros. Niggard of question ; but, of our demands,
Did you assay him
Ros. Madam, it so fell out, that certain players We o’er-raught on the way. Of these we told him; And there did seem in him a kind of joy To hear of it. They are about the court ; And, as I think, they have already order This night to play before him. Pol.
'Tis most true; And he beseeched me to entreat your majesties, To hear and see the matter.
King. With all my heart; and it doth much content
2 “Slow to begin conversation, but free enough in answering our demands."
3 i. e. reached, overtook.
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To hear him so inclined.
[Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN. King.
Sweet Gertrude, leave us too;
I shall obey you;
[Exit Queen. Pol. Ophelia, walk you here..Gracious, so please
you, We will bestow 3 ourselves. ---Read on this book ;
[T. OPHELIA. That show of such an exercise may color Your loneliness. We are oft to blame in this,'Tis too much proved,--that with devotion's visage, And pious action, we do sugar o'er The devil himself. King.
O'tis too true! how smart A lash that speech doth give my conscience ! The harlot's cheek, beautied with plastering art, Is not more ugly to the thing that helps it,
1 i. e. meet, encounter her.
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Than is my deed to my most painted word.
[ Aside. Pol. I hear him coming ; let's withdraw, my lord.
[Exeunt King and POLONIUS.
Ham. To be, or not to be, that is the question :
1 6 This mortal coil ;" that is, “ The tumult and bustle of this life.”
2 i. e. the consideration. This is Shakspeare's most usual sense of the word.
3 Time, for the time, is a very usual expression with our old writers. 4 Folio-- the
man's contumely." 5 The allusion is to the term quietus est, used in settling accounts at exchequer audits.
6 6 Bodkin was the ancient term for a small dagger.”
8 To grunt appears to have conveyed no vulgar or low image to the ear of our ancestors, as many quotations from the old translations of the classics would show.
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