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in connection with the passages referred to by Mr. Steevens, in The Winter's Tale and The Merry Wives, ,--plainly figure forth the image under which the king apprehended danger from Hamlet :--viz, that of a bull, which, in his frenzy, might not only gore, but push him from his throne. The hazard that hourly grows out of his BROWS" (according to the quartos) corresponds to “the SHOOTS from the ROUGH PASH,” [that is, the TUFTED PROTUBERANCE on the head of a bull, from whence his horns spring] alluded to in The Winter's Tale; whilst the imputation of impending danger to “ his LUNES” (according to the other reading) answers as obviously to the jealous fury of the husband that thinks he has detected the infidelity of his wife. Thus, in The Merry Wives of Windsor.

“ Why, woman, your husband is in his old luneshe so takes on yonder with my husband; so rails against all married mankind; so curses all Eye's daughters, and so buffets himself on the forehead, crying, peer out! peer out! that any madness, I ever yet beheld, seem'd but tameness, civility, and patience, to this distemper he is now in."

HENLEY. 619. That spirit, upon whose weal-) So the quarto. The folio gives,

That spirit, upon whose spirit STERVENS. 638. Since nature makes them partial, &c.]

-Matres omnes filiis “ In pecato adjutrices, auxilii in paterna injuria 66 Solent esse."

Ter. Heaut. act v. sc. 2.


639. of vantage.] By some opportunity of secret observation.

JOHNSON. 646. Though inclination be as sharp as will;] Will is command, direktion. Thus, Ecclus. xliii. 16. “and at his will the south wind bloweth." The king says, his mind is in too great confusion to pray, even thouglı his inclination were as strong as the command which requires that duty.

STEEVENS. To will is used by Marlowe in the sense of to come mand, in Dido, Queen of Carthage, a tragedy, 1591:

“ And will my guards with Mauritanian darts, “ To wait upon him as their sovereign lord."

MALONE. 663. May one be pardon'd, and retain the offence] He that does not amend what can be amended, retains his offence. The king kept the crown from the right heir.

JOHNSON, 673. Yet what can it, when one cannot repent?] What can repentance do for a man that cannot be penitent, for a man who has only part of penitence, distress of conscience, without the other part, resolution of amendment ?

JOHNSON. 675. O limed soul!-] This alludes to bird-lime. Shakspere uses the same word again, Henry VI. P. II. Madan), myself have lim'd a bush for her.”

STEEVENS. 680. -pat, now he is praying ;] Thus the folio. The quartos read—but now, &c. STEEVENS.

682. - That would be scann'd:] i. e. that should be considered, estimated.


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684. 1, his sole son, do this same villain send] The folio reads, foule son, a reading apparently corrupted from the quarto. The meaning is plain. I, his only son, who am bound to punish his murderer.

JOHNSON. 686. -hire and salary.-] Thus the folio. The quartos read-base and silly.

STEEVENS. 695. Up, sword; and know thou a more horrid hent ;] In the common editions, Up, sword, and know thou a more horrid time.

THEOBALD. To hent is used by Shakspere for, to seize, to catch, to lay hold on. Hent is, therefore, hold, or seizure. Lay hold on him, sword, at a more horrid time.

JOHNSON 696. When he is drunk, asleep, or in his rage ;

Or in the incestuous pleasures of his bed;] So in Marston's Insatiate Countess, 1603 :

" Didst thou not kill him drunk ?
6. Thou shouldst, or in th' embraces of his lust."

STEEVENS. 700. that his heels may kick at heaven;] So in Heywood's Silver Age, 1613 : " Whose heels tript up, kick'd 'gainst the firma, ment.

STEEVENS. 702. As hell, whereto it goes.-) This speech, in which Hamlet, represented as a virtuous character, is not content with taking blood for blood, but contrives damnation for the man that he would punish, is too horrible to be read or to be uttered. Johnson.

The same fiend-like disposition is shewn by Loda. wick, in Webster's Vittoria Corombona, 1612 :

to have poison'd “ The handle of his racket. O, that, that! “ That while he had been bandying at tennis, ” He might have sworn himself to hell, and

struck « His soul into the hazard!” Again, in the third of Beaumont and Fletcher's Four Plays in one : “ No, take him dead drunk now without repentance."

STEEVENS. 706. Pol. He will come straight, &c.] The con. cealment of Polonius in the queen's chamber, during the conversation between Hamlet and his mother, and the manner of his death, were suggested by the fola lowing passage in The History of Hamblet, bl. let. sig. D. “ The counsellor entered secretly into the queene's chamber, and there hid himselfe behind the arras, and long before the queene and Hamlet came thither; who being craftie and pollitique; as soone as hee was within the chainber, doubting some treason, and fearing if he should speake severely and wisely to his mother, touching his secret practises, hee should be understood, and by that meanes intercepted, used his ordinary manner of dissimulation, and began to come [r. crow] like a cocke, beating with his arms (in such manner as cockes use to strike with their wings) upon the hangings of the chamber; whereby



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feeling something stirring under them, he cried a rat, a rat, and presently drawing his sworde, thrust it into the hangings; which done, pulled the counsellour (half-deade) out by the heeles, made an end of killing him, and being slaine, cut his body in pieces, which he caused to be boyled, and then cast it into an open vault or privie."

MALONE. 709.

-I'll silence me e'en here :

Pray you, be round with him.] Sir T. Hanmer, who is followed by Dr. Warburton, reads,

I'll sconce me here. Retire to a place of security. They forget that the contrivance of Polonius to overhear the conference, was no more told to the queen than to Hamlet.-PUL silence me even here, is, I'll use no more words.

JOHNSON 724. And—'would it were not so!-] The folio reads, But would you were not so.

HENDERSON. 732. How now, a rat?] This (as Dr. Farmer has observed) is an expression borrowed from The History of Hamblet, a translation from the French of Belleforest.

STE EVENS. 740. It has been doubted whether Shakspere intended to represent the queen as accessary to the murder of her husband. The surprise she here ex. presses at the charge, seems to tend to her exculpa. tion. Where the variation is not particularly marked out, we may presume, I think, that the poet intended


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