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Enter HORATIO and MARCELLUS. FRAN. I think, I hear them.-Stand, ho! Who
is there *! Hor. Friends to this ground. MAR.
And liegemen to the Dane. Fran. Give you good night. MAR.
O, farewell, honest soldier: Who hath reliev'd you ? FRAN.
Bernardo hath my place. Give you good night.
[Exit FRANCISCO. Mar.
Holla! Bernardo !
A piece of him .
cellus. Hor. What?, has this thing appear'd again to
night? Ber. I have seen nothing. Mar. Horatio says, 'tis but our fantasy ;
* First folio, Stand! Who's there. but Hamlet's fellow-student at Wittenberg: but as he accompanied Marcellus and Bernardo on the watch from a motive of curiosity, our poet considers him very properly as an associate with them. Horatio himself says to Hamlet in a subsequent scene
“ This to me
Malone. 6 Hor. A piece of him,] But why a piece ? He says this as he gives his hand. Which direction should be marked.
WARBURTON. “A piece of him," is, I believe, no more than a cant expression. It is used, however, on a serious occasion in Pericles : “ Take in your arms this piece of your dead queen."
STEEVENS. 7 Hor. What, &c.] Thus the quarto 1604. STEEVENS. These words are in the folio given to Marcellus. Malone.
And will not let belief take hold of him,
HOR. Tush ! tush! 'twill not appear.
Sit down awhile ;
. Well, sit we down, And let us hear Bernardo speak of this.
Ber. Last night of all, When yon same star, that's westward from the
pole, Had made his course to illume that part of heaven Where now it burns, Marcellus, and myself, The bell then beating one,
8 — the minutes of this night :) This seems to have been an expression common in Shakspeare's time. I found it in one of Ford's plays, The Fancies Chaste and Noble, Act V.:
“ I promise ere the minutes of the night.” STEEVENS. 9 -- APPROve our eyes,] Add a new testimony to that of oui eyes. Johnson. So, in King Lear:
“ this approves her letter,
“ That she would soon be here," Steevens. " He may approve our eyes," He may make good the testimony of our eyes ; be assured by his own experience of the truth of that which we have related, in consequence of having been eye. witnesses to it. To approve in Shakspeare's age, signified to make good, or establish, and is so defined in Cawdrey's Alphabetical Table of Hard English Words, 8vo. 1604. So, in King Lear :
“ Good king that must approve the common saw:
“ To the warm sun." MALONE. " What we two nights have seen. This line is by Sir Thomas Hanmer given to Marcellus, but without necessity. Johnson.
MAR, Peace, break thee off; look, where it
Enter Ghost. Ber. In the same figure, like the king that's
dead. Mar. Thou art a scholar; speak to it, Horatio?. Ber. Looks it not like the king ? mark it, Ho
ratio. Hor. Most like:-it harrows me with fear, and
wonder. BER. It would be spoke to. MAR.
Speak to it, Horatio. Hor. What art thou, that usurp'st this time of
night, Together with that fair and warlike form In which the majesty of buried Denmark Did sometimes march? by heaven I charge thee,
speak. Mar. It is offended.
Thou art a scholar ; speak to it, Horatio.] It has always. been a vulgar notion that spirits and supernatural beings can only be spoken to with propriety or effect by persons of learning. Thus, Toby, in The Night-walker, by Beaumont and Fletcher, says:
“ It grows still longer,
“ And that will daunt the devil." In like manner the honest Butler in Mr. Addison's Drummer, recommends the Steward to speak Latin to the Ghost in that play,
Reed. Because the church service was in Latin. Boswell.
3- it HARROWS me, &c.] To harrow is to conquer, to subdue. The word is of Saxon origin. So, in the old black letter romance of Syr Eglamoure of Artoys:
“He swore by him that harrowed hell." Milton has adopted this phrase in his Comus : “ Amaz'd I stood, harrow'd with grief and fear."
See! it stalks away. Hor. Stay : speak : speak I charge thee, speak. Mar. 'Tis gone, and will not answer. Ber. How now, Horatio ? you tremble, and look
pale: Is not this something more than fantasy ? What think you of it ?
Hor. Before my God, I might not this believe,
Hor. As thou art to thyself:
an angry PARLE,] This is one of the affected words introduced by Lyly. So, in The Two Wise Men and all the Rest Fools, 1619 : (by Chapman :)
"- that you told me at our last parle." STEEVENS. Mr. Steevens has stated no reason for thinking that parle was an affected word introduced by Lyly. It occurs in the Mirror for Magistrates. See Todd's Johnson's Dictionary. It is probably as old as the word parlement, which was formerly not confined to that exclusive sense which now belongs to it. The best instance I have met with it employed in its general meaning is in Hobbes's Translation of the fourth book of the Odyssey, which was intended to be serious :
“ And now my child at sea is in a tub,
“ And has no skill in fight or parlament.” Boswell. 5 sledded —] A sled, or sledge, is a carriage without wheels, made use of in the cold countries. So, in Tamburlaine, or the Scythian Shepherd, 1590 : “
upon an ivory sled
VENS. 6 He smote the sledded POLACKS on the ice.] Pole-ax in the common editions. He speaks of a Prince of Poland whom he slew in battle. He uses the word Polack again, Act II. Sc. IV.
Pope. Polack was, in that age, the term for an inhabitant of Poland:
Mar. Thus, twice before, and jump at this dead hour?,
Polaque, French. As in F. Davison's translation of Passeratius's epitaph on Henry III. of France, published by Camden :
“ Whether thy chance or choice thee hither brings,
“Go, passenger, and wail the hap of kings.” Johnson. Again, in The White Devil, or Vittoria Corombona, &c. 1612:
“--I scorn him
“Like a shav'd Polack-" Steevens. All the old copies have Polaz. Mr. Pope and the subsequent editors read - Polack; but the corrupted word shows, I think, that Shakspeare wrote-Polacks. Malone.
With Põlack for Polander, the transcriber, or printer, might have no acquaintance ; he therefore substituted pole-ax as the only word of like sound that was familiar to his ear. Unluckily, however, it happened that the singular of the latter has the same sound as the plural of the former. Hence it has been supposed that Shakspeare meant to write Polacks. We cannot well suppose that in a parley the King belaboured many, as it is not likely that provocation was given by more than one, or that on such an occasion he would have condescended to strike a meaner person than a prince. Steevens.
After all it is just possible that the old reading may be right. Poleax may, by a not uncommon figure, be put for the person who carried the pole-axe, a mark of rank among the Muscovites; as “the wry-necked fife,” is used for fifer; or, as we should talk at this day, of the gold slick in waiting. “After that the same day he sent a great and glorious Duke, one of then that held the golden pole-ar, with his retinue, and sundry sorts of meath to drink merrily with the Ambassador.” Milton's Brief Hist. of Moscovia. Boswell.
7- JUMP at this dead hour,] So the 4to. 1604. The folio -just. STEEVENS.
The correction was probably made by the author. Johnson.
In the folio we sometimes find a familiar word substituted for one more ancient. Malone.
Jump and just were synonymous in the time of Shakspeare. Ben Jonson speaks of verses made on jump names, i. e. names that suit exactly. Nash says—" and jumpe imitating a verse in As in præsenti.” So, in Chapman's May Day, 1611 :
“Your appointment was jumpe at three, with me." VOL. VII.