Page images


A Norman, was't? King. A Norman. LAER. Upon my life, Lamound. . King.

The very same. LAER. I know him well : he is the brooch, in

deed, And gem of all the nation.

King. He made confession of you;
And gave you such a masterly report,
For art and exercise in your defence,
And for your rapier most especial,
That he cried out, 'twould be a sight indeed,
If one could match you: (the scrimers' of their

He swore, had neither motion, guard, nor cye,
If you oppos'd them :] Sir, this report (59) of his
Did Hamlet so `envenom with his envy,
That he could nothing do, but wish and beg
Your sudden coming o'er, to play with you.
Now, out of this,

What out of this, my lord?
King. Laertes, was your father dear to you?
Or are you like the painting of a sorrow,
A face without a heart?

Why ask you this? King. Not that I think, you did not love your

father; But that I know, love is begun by time; And that I see, in passages of proof,

brooch] Bosom jewel.
o made confession of] Acknowledged.

e in your defence] Used for “ in your art and science of dea fence.”

dscrimers] From escrimeur, Fr. a fencer. « Hence scrimish, says Mr. Pegge, by transposition of letters made skirmish, became the encounter.” Anecd. of Engl. Language, 8vo. 1803, p. 68.

Time qualifies the spark and fire of it.(60)
[There lives within the very flame of love
A kind of wick, or snuff, that will abate it;
And nothing is at a like goodness still; :
For goodness, growing to'a plurisy, (61)
Dies in his own too-much: That we would do,
We should do when we would ;a for this would

And hath abatements and delays as many,
As there are tongues, are hands, are accidents;
And then this should is like a spendthrift sigh,
That hurts by easing. I But, to the quick o'the

ulcer:] Hamlet comes back; What would you undertake, To show yourself in deed your father's son More than in words? LAER.

To cut his throat i'the church. King. No place, indeed, should murder sanc

tuarize ; Revenge should have no bounds.(63) But, good

Laertes, Will you do this? keep close within your chamber! Hamlet, return'd, shall know you are come

We'll put on those shall praise your excellence,
And set a double varnish on the fame
The Frenchman gave you; bring you, in fine, to-

And wager o'er your heads : he, being remiss,
Most generous, and free from all contriving,
Will not peruse the foils;d so that, with ease,


We should do when we would] i. e. at the heat, at the time of the resolution taken.

for this would changes] Inclination is fluctuating and uncertain. SEYMOUR. che being remiss] Inattentive, as unsuspicious.

peruse the foils] Closely inspect.

Or with a little shuffling, you may choose
A sword unbated,(64) and, in a pass of practice,
Requite him for your father.

I will do't:
And, for the purpose, I'll anoint my sword.
I bought an unction of a mountebank,
So mortal, that but dip a knife in it,
Where it draws blood no cataplasm so rare,
Collected from all simples that have virtue
Under the moon, can save the thing from death,
That is but scratch'd withal: I'll touch my point
With this contagion ; that, if I gall him slightly,
It may be death.

Let's further think on this;
Weigh, what convenience, both of time and

means, May fit us to our shape :b if this should fail, And that our drift look through our bad perform

ance, 'Twere better not assay’d; therefore this project Should have a back, or second, that might hold, If this should blast in proof. Soft; let me

see: We'll make a solemn wager on your cunnings,*

. So 4tos. I ha't:

1623, 32.


a and in a pass of practice] A favourite pass; in which experience assured him of success : but fraud or artifice, a sense in which it occurs throughout our author, can hardly be supposed here to be excluded : for such was the use of an unfair weapon. Upon the origin of the use of this word in this sense we are indebted to Mr. Todd for new information. Præc, Sax. is cunning, sliness: and thence Prat in Gaw. Douglas, is a trick of fraud. Latter times, forgetting the original of words, applied to practise the sense of prat.Dict.

bfit us to our shape] An image taken from the tailor's board : may suit us.

* If this should blast in proof] Burst in the explosion or proof. Blast is a term in mining.

* S. 4tos.

When in your motiona you are hot and dry, the, 1623, (As make your bouts more violent to that * end, 32. And that he calls for drink, I'll have prepard* * preferr'd, Stos.

A chalice for the nonce; (65) whereon but sipping,
If he by chance escape your venom'd stuck,
Our purpose may hold there. But stay, what

noise ?

* There with. * make, 4tos.

Enter Queen.
How now, sweet queen?
QUEEN. One woe doth tread upon another's

So fast they follow : Your sister's drown'd, Laertes.

LAER. Drown'd! O, where ?
QUEEN. There is a willow grows ascaunt the

That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream;
There, with * fantastick garlands, did she come*
Of crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and long pur-

ples, (6)
That liberal shepherds (6) give a grosser name,
But our cold maids do dead men's fingers call them:
There on the pendent boughs her coronet weeds
Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke;
When down her weedy trophies, and herself,
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread

And, mermaid-like, a while they bore her up:
Which time, she chanted snatches of old tunes;

. in your motion] Exercise, rapid evolutions, as just before :

“ Had neither motion, guard, nor eye. Doenom'd stuck] Thrust. See Tw. N. III. 4. Sir Tob, and M. W. of W. II. 1. Shall.

* snatches] Scraps. See “ spatches, i. e. catches, of his voice.” Cymb. IV. 2. Belar. and M. for M. IV. 2. Clown,

As one incapable of her own distress,(68)
Or like a creature native and indu'd
Unto that element :(69) but long it could not be,
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pull’d the poor wretch from her melodious lay* • Sottos.

buy, 1623. To muddy death.a

by, 1632 LAER.

Alas, then, she is drown'd?
QUEEN. Drown'd, drown’d.
LAER. Too much of water hast thou, poor

And therefore I forbid my tears: But yet
It is our trick, nature ber custom holds,
Let shame say what it will : when these are gone,
The woman will be out. Adieu, my lord !
I have a speech of fire, that fain would blaze,
But that this folly doubts it.{70)

Let's follow, Gertrude :
How much I had to do to calm his rage!
Now fear I, this will give it start again;
Therefore, let's follow.


[ocr errors]

muddy death] Mudded is a term, which, when speaking of this species of death, he repeats in the Tempest, III. 3. Alon. and V. 1. Alon.

bour trick] Our course, or babit; a property that clings to, or makes a part of, us.

- when these are gune,

The woman will be out] When these tears are shed, this womanish passion will be over.

« PreviousContinue »