Page images
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Drabbing :-You may go so far.

Rey. My lord, that would dishonour him.

Pol. 'Faith, no; as you may season it in the charge.
You must not put another scandal on him,
That he is open to incontinency;
That's not my meaning :) but breathe his faults so

That they may seem the taints of liberty:
The flash and out-break of a fiery mind;
A savageness in unreclaimed blood,
Of general assault.

But, my good lord,
Pol. Wherefore should you do this?

Ay, my lord,
I would know that.

Marry, sir, here's my drift;
And, I believe, it is a fetch of warrant:1
You laying these slight sullies on my son,
As 'twere a thing a little soil'd i' the working,

Mark you,

Your party in converse, him you would sound,
Having ever seen, in the prenominate crimes,
The youth you breathe of, guilty, be assurd,
He closes with you in this consequence;
Good sir, or so ;3 or friend, or gentleman,--

b'Faith, no; as you may season it &c.] The quarto reads-
Faith, as you may season it in the charge. Malone.

another scandal on him,] Thus the old editions. Mr. Theobald reads-an utter. Johnson.

another scandal - ) i.e. a very different and more scan. dalous failing, namely habitual incontinency. Mr. Theobald in his Shakspeare Restored proposed to read-an utter scandal on him ; but did not admit the emendation into his edition. Malone.

7 That's not my meaning :) That is not what I mean, when I permit you to accuse him of drabbing. M. Mason.

A savageness --] Savageness, for wildness. Warburton. s of general assault.] i. e. such as youth in general is liable to.

IVarburton. 1 And, I believe, it is a fetch of warrant :] So the folio. The quarto reads-a fetch of wit. Steevens. prenominate crimes,] i. e. crimes already named.

Steevens. 3 Good sir, or so ;] I suspect, (with Mr. Tyrwhitt) that the

According to the phrase, or the addition,
Of man, and country.

Very good, my lord.
Pol. And then, sir, does he this,--He does--
What was I about to say ?-By the mass, I was about to
say something :--Where did I leave?
Rey. At, closes in the consequence.

Pol. At, closes in the consequence, * --Ay, marry;
He closes with you thus:- I know the gentleman;
I saw him yesterday, or tother day,
Or then, or then; with such, or such; and, as you say,
There was he gaming; there o'ertook in his rouse;
There falling out at tennis : or, perchance,
I saw him enter such a house of sale,
(Videlicet, a brothel,) or so forth..
See you now;
Your bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth:
And thus do we of wisdom and of reach,
With windlaces, and with assays of bias,
By indirections find directions out;
So, by my former lecture and advice,
Shall you my son: You have me, have you not?

Rey. My lord, I have.

God be wi'

you well. Rey. Good my lord, Pol. Observe his inclination in yourself.5 Rey. I shall, my lord. Pol. And let him ply his musick. Rey.

Well, my lord.


you; fare

Poet wrote-Good sir, or sir, or friend, &c. In the last Act of this play, so is used for so forth : " - six French rapiers and poniards, with their assigns, as girdle, hanger, and so." Malone

4 At, closes in the consequence,] Thus the quarto. The folio adds -At friend, or so, or gentleman. Malone.

in yourself.] Sir T. Hanmer reads-e’en yourself, and is followed by Dr. Warburton; but perhaps in yourself, means, in your own person, not by spies. Johnson.

The meaning seems to be—The temptations you feel, suspect in him, and be watchful of them. So, in a subsequent scène :

“ For by the image of my cause, I see

“ The portraiture of his.” Again, in Timon:

I weigh my friend's affection with my own." G.

Pol. Farewel!-How now, Ophelia? what 's the mat.

Oph. O, my lord, my lord, I have been so affrighted!
Pol. With what, in the name of heaven?

Oph. My lord, as I was sewing in my closet,
Lord Hamlet,—with his doublet all unbrac'd;
No hat upon his head; his stockings foul'd,
Ungarter'd, and down-gyved to his ancle ;6
Pale as his shirt; his knees knocking each other;
And with a look so piteous in purport,
As if he had been loosed out of hell,
To speak of horrors,—he comes before me.

Pol. Mad for thy love?

My lord, I do not know;
But, truly, I do fear it.

What said he?
Oph. He took me by the wrist, and held me hard;

goes he to the length of all his arm;
And, with his other hand thus o'er his brow,
He falls to such perusal of my face,
As he would draw it. Long stay'd he so;
At last--a little shaking of mine arm,
And thrice his head thus waving up and down,--
He raised a sigh so piteous and profound,
As it did seem to shatter all his bulk,
And end his being: That done, he lets me go:
And, with his head over his shoulder turn'd,
He seem'd to find his way without his eyes;
For out o'doors he went without their helps,
And, to the last, bended their light on me.

Pol. Come, go with me; I will go seek the king.
This is the very ecstacy of love;

Ungarter'd, and down-gyved to his ancle;] Down-gyved means, hanging down like the loose cincture which confines the fetters round the ancles. Steevens.

Thus the quartos, 1604, and 1605, and the folio. In the quarto of 1611, the word gyved was changed to gyred. Malone.

all his bulk,] i. e. all his body. So, in The Rape of Lucrece:

her heart “ Beating her bulk, that his hand shakes with all.” See Vol. XI, p. 48, n. 6. Malone.


Whose violent property foredoes itself,
And leads the will to desperate undertakings,
As oft as any passion under heaven,
That does afflict our natures. I am sorry,
What, have you given him any hard words of late?

Oph. No, my good lord; but, as you did command,
I did repel his letters, and deny'd
His access to me.

That hath made him mad. I am sorry, that with better heed, and judgment, I had not quoted him: I fear’d, he did but trifle, And meant to wreck thee; but, beshrew my jealousy! It seems, it is as proper to our age To cast beyond ourselves in our opinions, As it is common for the younger sort To lack discretion. Come, go we to the king:


-foredoes itself,] To foredo is to destroy. So, in Othello :

“ That either makes me, or foredoes me quite.” Steevens. 9 I had not quoted him:] To quote is, I believe, to reckon, to take an account of, to take the quotient or result of a computation.

Johnson. I find a passage in The Isle of Gulls, a comedy, by John Day, 1606, which proves Dr. Johnson's sense of the word to be not far from the true one :

-'twill be a scene of mirth
“ For me to quote his passions, and his smiles.”
To quote on this occasion undoubtedly means to observe.
Again, in Drayton's Mooncalf:

“ This honest man the prophecy that noted,
“ And things therein most curiously had quoted,

“ Found all these signs,” &c. Again, in The Woman Hater, by Beaumont and Fletcher, the intelligencer says, "I'll quote him to a tittle,” i. e. I will mark or observe him.

To quote, as Mr. M. Mason observes, is invariably used by Shakspeare in this sense. Steevens.

it is as proper to our age
To cast beyond ourselves in our opinions,
As it is common for the younger sort

To lack discretion.] This is not the remark of a weak man. The vice of age is too much suspicion. Men long accustomed to the wiles of life cast commonly beyond themselves, let their cun. ning go farther than reason can attend it. This is always the fault of a little mind, made artful by long commerce with the world.

Fohnson. The quartos read-By heaven it is as proper &c. Steedens.



[ocr errors]

This must be known; which, being kept close, might


More grief to hide, than hate to utter love.



A Room in the Castle, Enter King, Queen, ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN,

and Attendants. King. Welome, dear Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern! Moreover that we much did long to see you, The need, we have to use you, did provoke Our hasty sending. Something have you heard Of Hamlet's transformation; so I call it, Since nor the exterior nor the inward man Resembles that it was: What it should be, More than his father's death, that thus hath put him So much from the understanding of himself, I cannot dream of: I entreat you both, That--being of so young days brought up with him: And, since, so neighbour'd to his youth and humour, 3-That you vouchsafe your rest here in our court Some little time: so by your companies To draw him on to pleasures; and to gather, So much as from occasion you may glean, Whether aught, to us unknown, afflicts him thus,

In Decker's Wonderful Yeare, 4to. 1603, we find an expression similar to that in the text: “ Now the thirstie citizen casts begrond the moone." Malone.

The same phrase occurs also in Titus Andronicus. Reed. 2 This must be known; which, being kept close, might move

More grief to hide, than hate to utter love.] i. e. this must be made known to the King, for (being kept secret) the hiding Hamlet's love might occasion more mischief to us from him and the Queen, than the uttering or revealing of it will occasion hate and resentment from Hamlet. The poet's ill and obscure expression seems to have been caused by his ffectation of concluding the scene with a couplet. Sir T. Hanmer reads:

More grief to hide hate, than to utter love. Johnson.

and humour,] Thus the folio. The quartos read-haviour. Steevens.

4 Whether aught, &c.] This line is omitted in the folio. Steevens.


« PreviousContinue »