Page images

Let her come in.

[Exit HORATIO. To my sick soul, as sin's true nature is, Each toy seems prologue to some great amiss :* So full of artless jealousy is guilt, It spills itself in fearing to be spilt.

Re-enter Horatio, with OPHELIA.

OPH. Where is the beauteous majesty of Den

QUEEN. How now, Ophelia ?
Oph. How should I your true love know

From another one?
By his cockle hat and staff, (23)

And his sandal shoon. [Singing.

QUEEN. Alas, sweet lady, what imports this

song? Oph. Say you? nay, pray you, mark.


He is dead and gone, lady,

He is dead and gone ;
At his head a grass-green turf,

At his heels a stone.

O, ho!

QUEEN. Nay, but Ophelia,-

Pray you, 'mark.

a Each toy seems prologue to some great amiss] Toy is trifle : and amiss, in common use at that time for offence or abuse, here imports “ evil impending or catastrophe."

b It spills itself in fearing to be spilt] Exposes and ruins itself by its over anxiety to stifle suspicion.

e sandal shoon] « Socculus, a manner of shone," Ortus Vocabulor, 1514.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

QUEEN. Alas, look here, my lord.
Oph. Larded all with sweet flowers;
: Which bewept to the grave did not go

With true-love showers. (24)

King. How do you, pretty lady?

Oph. Well, God’ield you. They say, the owl was a baker's daughter. (25) Lord, we know what we are, but know not what we may be. God be at your table !

King. Conceit upon her father.

Oph. Pray, let us have no words of this; but when they ask you, what it means, say you this :

To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day, (26)

All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,

To be your Valentine:

Then up he rose, and don'd his clothes,

And dupp'do the chamber door;
Let in the maid, that out a maid

Never departed more.

King. Pretty Ophelia !

God'ield you] Requite; yield you recompence. See As you, &c. III. 3. Touchst.

• Conceit upon her father] Fancies respecting. See III. 4. Ghost. “ Conceit in weakest minds."

e don'd and dupp'd] Do on and do up.

Oph. Indeed, without an oath, I'll make an

end on't:

By Gis,(%) and by Saint Charity, (28)

Alack, and fye for shame!
Young men will do't, if they come to't;

By cock,(29) they are to blame.

Quoth she, before you tumbled me,
You promis'd me to wed :

[He answers.]
So would I ha' done, by yonder sun,

An thou hadst not come to my bed.

King. How long hath she been thus ?

Oph. I hope, all will be well. We must be patient: but I cannot choose but weep, to think, they should lay him i'the cold ground : My brother shall know of it, and so I thank you for your good counsel. Come, my coach! Good night, ladies ; good night, sweet ladies : good night, good night.

[Exit. King. Follow her close ; give her good watch, I pray you.

[Exit HORATIO. O! this is the poison of deep grief; it springs All from her father's death : And now behold, O, Gertrude, Gertrude, When sorrows come, they come not single spies, But in battalions! First, her father slain; Next, your son gone; and he most violent author Of his own just remove: The people muddied, Thick and unwholesome in their thoughts and

whispers, For good Polonius' death; and we have done but

greenly, (30) In hugger-mugger to inter him :(31) Poor Ophelia Divided from herself, and her fair judgment; Without the which we are pictures, or mere beasts. Last, and as much containing as all these,

Her brother is in secret come from France :
Feeds * on his wonder, (32) keeps himself in clouds, keeps,
And wants not buzzers to infect his ear

1623,32. With pestilent speeches of his father's death; Wherein* necessity, of matter beggar'd,

• Where in Will nothing stick our person to arraign

necessitie of,

1623, 32. In ear and ear. O my dear Gertrude, this, Like to a murdering piece, (33) in many places Gives me superfluous death! [Å Noise within. QUEEN.

Alack! what noise is this?

Enter a Gentleman.

King. Attend.
Where are my Switzers ? (34) Let them guard the

door : What is the matter? GENT.

Save yourself, my lord;
The ocean, overpeering of his list,
Eats not the flats with more impitious haste, (35)
Than young Laertes, in a riotous head,
O’erbears your officers! The rabble call him, lord ;
And, as the world were now but to begin,
Antiquity forgot, custom not known,
The ratifiers and props of every word,

keeps himself in clouds] At lofty distance and seclusion.

necessity, of matter beggar'd, will nothing stick] The necessities of one who has put himself in such a predicament (i. e., as Dr. Johnson says, the obligation of an accuser to support his charge) will, in want of grave or rational proof, have no reserve or scruple busily every where to accuse ourselves.

The ocean, overpeering of his list] Swelling over his utmost line or boundary. See “ list of my voyage.” Tw. N. III. 1. Viola.

d in a riotous head] The tide, strongly flowing, is said to pour in with a great head.

Antiquity forgot, custom not known,

The ratifiers and props of every word] Word is term, and means appellation or title; as lord used before, and king

They cry, Choose we; Laertes shall be king!
Caps, hands, and tongues, applaud it to the clouds,
Laertes shall be king, Laertes king!
Queen. How cheerfully on the false trail they

O, this is counter, you false Danish dogs.(36)

King. The doors are broke. [Noise within.


Enter LAERTES, armed; Danes following.
LAER. Where is this king ?-Sirs, stand you all

Dan. No, let's come in.

I pray you, give me leave.
Dan. We will, we will.

[They retire without the door. LAER. I thank you :-keep the door.-0 thou

vile king, Give me my father. QUEEN.

Calmly, good Laertes. LAER. That drop of blood that's calm pro

claims me bastard : Cries, cuckold, to my father ; brands the harlot Even here, between the chaste unsmirched brow Of my true mother.“ King.

What is the cause, Laertes, That thy rebellion looks so giant-like?

afterwards : and in its more extended sense, must import “ every human establishment."

· The sense of the passage is,-“ As far as antiquity ratifies, and custom makes every term, denomination, or title known, they run counter to them, by talking, when they mention kings, of their right of chusing and of saying who shall be king or sovereign.”

a the chaste unsmirched brow of my true mother] Unsmirched is unstained. See I. 3. Laert.

« PreviousContinue »