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crown by means which he suspects to be unjustifiable.
Dr. Farmer, however, observes, that kin is still
used for cousin in the midland counties. St E eve Ns.
Hamlet does not, I think, mean to say, that his uncle is a little more than kin, &c. The king had called the prince—“My cousin Hamlet, and my son.” His reply therefore is—“I am a little more than thy kinsman [for I am thy step-son;] and somewhat less than kind to thee [for I hate thee, as being the per
son who has entered into an incestuous marriage with my mother.]” Or, if we understand kind in its ancient sense, then the meaning will be—I am more than thy kinsman, for I am step-son ; being such, I am less near to thee than thy natural offspring, and therefore not entitled to the appellation of son, which you have now given me. MA Lone. 258. —too much i' the sun.] . He perhaps alludes to the proverb, Out of heaven's blessing into the warm sun. Johnson. —too much i' the sun.] Meaning probably his being sent for from his studies to be exposed at his uncle's marriage as his chiefest courtier, &c. STE Ev ENs. I question whether a quibble between sun and son be not here intended. FARMER. 261. —vailed lids, J With lowering eyes, cast down eyes. Johnson. 274. —shews of grief, Thus the folio. The first quarto reads—chapes—I suppose for shapes. STE EVENS. 281. —your father lost a father ; That father lost, lost his ; | The meaning of the passage is no more than this: Tour father lost a jather, i.e. your grandfather, which lost grandfather,
also lost his father. STE Ev ENs. 284. —obsequious sorrow:—l Obsequious is here from obsequies or funeral ceremonies. Johnson.
So in Titus Andronicus:
“To shed obsequious tears upon his trunk.”
STE Ev ENs. 285. In obstinate condolement,-] Condolement, for sorrow. WAR Bu RT on. 287. —a will most incorreót—] Incorrett, for untutor'd. WARBURT ON .
295. To reason most absurd, J Reason is here used in its common sense, for the faculty by which we
form conclusions from arguments. Johnso N. 302. And, with no less nobility of love] Nobility, for magnitude. - WARBU R To N. Nobility is rather generosity. Johnson. 304. Do I impart toward you?—] Impart for proJess. WARBURTo N. I believe impart is, impart myself, communicate whatever I can bestow. . Johnso N.
Do I impart toward you?—] The crown of Denmark was elective. So in Sir Clyomon, Knight of the Golden Shield, &c. 1599: “And me possess for spoused wife, who in election am “To have the crown of Denmark here, as heir unto the same.” The king means, that as Hamlet stands the fairest chance to be next elected, he will strive with as much love to ensure the crown to him, as a father would shew in the continuance of heirdom to a son. STE Eve Ns. I agree with Mr. Steevens, that the crown of Denmark (as in most of the Gothick kingdoms) was elective, and not hereditary; though it might be customary, in elections, to pay some attention to the royal blood, which by degrees produced hereditary succession. Why then do the rest of the commentators so often treat Claudius as an usurper, who had deprived young Hamlet of his right by heirship to his father's crown Hamlet calls him drunkard, murderer, and villain; one who had carried the election by low and mean pračtices; had “Popt in between the election and my hopes—" had “From a shelf the precious diadem stole, “And put it in his pocket:” * but never hints at his being an usurper. His discontent arose from his uncle's being preferred before him, not from any legal right which he pretended to set up to the crown. Some regard was probably had to the recommendation of the preceding prince, in electing the successor. And therefore young Hamlet had “ the voice of the king himself for his succession in Denmark;” and he at his own death prophesies, that “ the election would light on Fortinbras, who had his dying voice,” conceiving that by the death of his uncle, he himself had been king for an instant, and had therefore a right to recommend. When in the fourth act the rabble wished to choose Laertes king, I understood that antiquity was forgot, and custom violated, by electing a new king in the life-time of the old one, and perhaps also by the calling in a stranger to the royal blood, BLACKSTON E. 307. --bend you to remain] i.e. subdue your inclination to go from hence, and remain, &c. a. * STEE v ENs. 317. No jocund health, J. The king's intemperance is very strongly impressed ; everything that happens to him gives him occasion to drink. “ * . it. Johnson. 322. —resolve itself into a dew Ij Resolve means the same as dissolve. Ben Jonson uses the word in his Volpone, and in the same sense: - to #2 *, *. “Forth the resolved corners of his eyes.”. , o, Again, in the Country Girl, 1647: - . “—my swoln grief resolved in these tears,” - - . . .” . . . . . . STEEvens. 323. Or that the Everlasting had not fix'di ogo. His canon 'gainst self-slaughter 1++] The generality of the editions read thus, as if the poet's thoughts were, Or that the Almighty had not planted his artillery, or arms of vengeance, against self-murder. But the word which I restored (and which was espoused by the accurate Mr. Hughes, who gave an edition of this play) is the true reading, i.e. that he had not restrained suicide by his express law and peremptory prohibition. • * * THEob Ald. There are yet those who suppose the old reading to be the true one, as they say the word fixed seems to decide very strongly in its favour. I would advise