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Dr. Johnson remarks, that kind is the Teutonic word for child; “Hamlet therefore,” says he, “ answers with propriety to the titles of cousin and son, which the king had given him, that he was somewhat more than cousin, and less than son.” The explanation is plausible; but does not, I think, come up to the full meaning of the text, frittering away all the smartness and sting of the reply.
I have always supposed, with Sir Thomas Hanmer, that " this was a proverbial expression, of very ancient date; and have lately been confirmed in this opinion by the following passage in Gorboduc, a tragedy, written by Lord Buckhurst, and first printed about two years after Shakespeare was born, 1565. Videna, Gorboduc's Queen, Act iv. Sc. 1. thus expresses her resentment against her younger son Porrex, the murderer of Ferrex, her elder son:
Thou, Porrex, thou this damned deed hast wrought,
To thine own flesh, and traitor to thyself.
Peace shall go sleep with Turks and infidels,
Shall kin with kin, and kind with kind confoundserves to prove the truth of Hanmer's observation, that this was indeed “a proverbial expression;" though I cannot agree with him, when he adds,“ known in former times for a relation so confused and blended, that it was hard to define it.” For nothing can be more certain, than that the word kind, which occasions all the difficulty, in the passages above produced, uniformly signifies nature, as may still farther appear, by comparing them with the quotations* below, from the same authors, where that word will evidently admit of no other sense. Hence we easily discover Hamlet's meaning to be, that the relation which he bore to the King, his uncle, was something more than that of cousin, or nephew-[a little more than kin)-the King having now married his mother; but though he was become his son by this marriage, yet was his new relationship still inferior to that of nature, still an unnatural one,- and less than kind] the marriage being founded in two unnatural crimes, murder and incest; hereby sarcastically glancing at the enormity of the king's villainy, who, by such a complication of vice, was against nature, entitled to call him his son, as well as his nephew, or cousin.
frequently occurs in Shakespeare in tbat order. This may have led the learned Bishop into a mistake, and induced him to believe, that the epithe: kind might be used with the same freedom,“ kind my son;" whereas, though we do frequently meet with that epithet in our author (Henry V. Act iv. Sc. 3. Henry VI. Ist. Part, Act iii. Sc. 1, and elsewhere), yet it is always in the proper and regular form of construction; nor can there be a single instanc: pro. duced, in all his works, where it is placed before the pronoun possessive.
A father? 20 :
Gorbuduc, Act i. Sc. l.
In time to take my place in princely seat, VOL. II.
The other passage is in Act i. Sc. 8, where the Ghost, describing the unprepared state in which he was hurried by his brother to the grave, uses the term unanneald. The line, in Mr. Capell's edition, runs thus:
May not be thought for their unworthy life,
Ibid. Sc. 2.
Only I mean to shew by certain rules,
Ferrex, my Lord, your elder son, perhaps,
My father, thus, without all my desert,
Ibid. Act ii. Sc. 1.
But if you would consider the true cause
Jul. Cæsar, Act i. Sc. 3.
The forest walks are wide and spacious;
Tit. Andronic. Act i. Sc. 1.
You must think this, look you, that the worm will do his kind.
Ant. Cleop. Act v. Sc. 2.
Unhousel'd, unanointed*, unanneald. This word has been variously written, and variously interpreted:-unahel'd-importing, according to Pope, “, no knell rung" "unknelld,” as it were, or “unknolld:" unaneald-signifying, in Theobald's opinion, “ unanointed, not having the extreme unction; from the Teutonic preposition an, and ole, i. e. oil :-and unanneal'd, “that is (says Hanmer) unprepared ;" because to anneal metals is to prepare them in manufacture:-Perhaps, after all, the proper reading may be ununnuld, from annulus !a ring], the obvious signification of which is, without a ring on the finger. Dr. Ducarel, in a curious work published a few years ago, entitled Anglo-Norman Antiquities considered," &c. shews it to have been the general practice to bury our ancient kings with rings upon their fingers; and mentions particularly the will of Richard II. who directs that he would be buried in this manner, according to royal custom. This custom might, probably, prevail in Denmark, as it did in this kingdom; and, if so, will serve to explain this passage, which has been given up by Dr. Johnson, with some others of the critics, and has proved a puzzle to all. Caerhaes, Cornwall, Oct. 18.
MR. URBAN, YOU will much oblige some of your northern readers by inserting in your collection the following remarks on a difficult passage in Shakespeare's Hamlet, Scene III. Act I. Folio Edit. Hemings and Condell. 1685.
“ Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin,'
“ Unhouzzled, disappointed, unaneld.” The word unaneld has perplexed all the commentators: Pope explains it “ having no knell rung."--Hanmer supposes it to signify unprepared, because to anneal metals is to prepare them in manufacture. Theobald, indeed, guessed at the true meaning, but his explication has been invalidated by the learned Dr. Johnson, who, after having given the notes of his predecessors, observes, on his own authority, “ that it is a difficult passage, and that he had not by his inquiry been able to satisfy himself.” The subsequent extract from a very scarce and curious copy of Fabian's Chronicle, printed by Pynsen, 1516, seems to remove every possibility of doubt concerning the true signification of the words unhouseld and unaneld. The historian, speaking of Pope Innocent's having laid the whole kingdom of England under an interdict, has these words; “Of the maner of this Enterdiccion of this Lande have I seen dyverse opynyons, as some ther be that saye that the Lande was enterdyted thorowly and the Churchis and Housys of Relygyon closyd, that no where was used Masse, nor dyvyne servyce, by whiche reason none of the VII. Sacramentis all this terme shulde be mynystred or occupyed, nor Chylde crystened, nor Man confessyd, nor marryed; but it was not so strayght. For there were dyverse placys in Englond, whiche were occupyed with dyvyne Servyce all that season by Lycence purchaсed than or before, also Chyldren were crystenyd thoroughe all
* Dr. Johnson reads disappointed, in the sense of unprepared; but it is not probable that the poet should use so general a term, when he is specifying the particular kinds of preparation the King wanted when sent to the grave, viz. the hoste," unhousl’d”-confession and absolution--" no reckoning made," & -The idea of his general unpreparedness bad been fully expressed in the line preceding, “ Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin."
the Lande and Men houselyd and anelyd." Fol. 14. Septima Pars Johannis.
The Anglo-Saxon noun-substantives husel (the eucharist) and ele (oil) are plainly the roots of these last quoted compound adjectives. For the meaning of the affix an to the last, I quote Spelman's Gloss. in loco. “Quin et dictionibus (an) adjungitur, siquidem vel majoris notationis gratia, vel ad singulare aliquid, vel unicum demonstrandum.” Hence an-elyd should seem to signify oiled or anointed by way of eminence, i.e. having received extreme unction. For the confirmation of the sense given here there is the strongest internal evidence in the passage. The historian is speaking of the VII. Sacraments, and he expressly names five of them, viz. baptism, marriage, auricular confession, the eucharist, and extreme unction.
The publishing a discovery made by accident cannot justly subject me to the imputation of vanity, yet I cannot help thinking it rather a lucky hit to have stumbled upon a passage that leads to the certain investigation of that which has perplexed the most eminent commentators on the text of Shakespeare. The antiquary is desired to consult the edition of Fabian, printed by Pynsen, 1516, because there are
others, and I remember to have seen one in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, with a continuation to the end of Queen Mary, London, 1559, in which the language is much modernised.-If I mistake not, our poet has been very conversant in this Chronicle-It is an old Gothic pile out of the ruins of which he seems to have picked many of his foundation-stones. Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
J. B. 1776, March.
MR. URBAN, ABOUT twelve months ago I communicated to the public, by your means, my thoughts on that passage in Hamlet,
“ Unhousel'd, unanointed, unaneled;" in which “unanointed" seemed to me a gloss or explanation of “unaneled," and therefore could hardly be allowed to stand, and accordingly I proposed substituting " unappointed,” not fitted at all points by prayers, confession, and absolution. I ventured to suppose that “unaneled” was right, as it came near the original word casov; but did not then know, that it was the reading of all the old editions, See Supplement to Mr. Steevens's edition. Nor should I have troubled you again on the same subject, had I not said there, that I remember to have read much the same words employed in recording the exit of some of our sovereigns:
I should have said, noblemen.
The passage that I had in my mind occurs in a magnificent folio, containing an account of the several families that have possessed Drayton, &c. in Northamptonshire, now the estate of Lord George Germaine, by Halsted. As the book is extremely scarce* I shall transcribe a curious pas
sage from it.
P. 218. Deposition of Thomas Merbury, Esq. about the
Earl of Mordaunt's death. “ Which will the said Mordaunte (a serjent at law) then
* It is sometimes said, that only five copies of it were taken off; which cannot be true; as there are two copies at Drayton, one in the Duke of Devonshire's possession, one in the Harleian Library, one not long ago in a circulating library in London, and one among Bishop Moore's books in the Royal Library, Cambridge, marked R. 1. 4. and most probably more that I have not heard of,