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My tables, meet it is, I set it down,
Hor. [within.] My lord, my lord, —
Heaven secure him!
So be it! Mar. [within.] Illo, ho, ho, my lord ! Ham. Hillo, ho, ho, boy ! come, bird, come.”
Enter HORATIO and MARCELLUS.
Mar. How is't, my noble lord?
What news, my lord ?
Good my lord, tell it.
Hor. Not I, my lord, by heaven.
Nor I, my lord.
think it?— But you'll be secret, Hor. Mar.
Ay, by heaven, my lord. Ham. There's ne'er a villain, dwelling in all Denmark, But he's an arrant knave.
Hor. There needs no ghost, my lord, come from the To tell us this.
[grave, Ham. Why, right; you are in the right; And so, without more circumstance at all,
+ My tables,–] Table-books in the time of our author appear to have been used by all ranks of people. In the church they were filled with short notes of the sermon, and at the theatre with the sparkling sentences of the play.-MALONE.
Now to my word;] Hamlet alludes to the watch-word given every day in military service, which at this time he says is, Adieu, adieu ! remember me. Steevens.
I-cone, bird, come.] This is the call which falconers use to their hawk in the air, when they would have him come down to them.-HANMER.
I hold it fit, that we shake hands, and part:
Hor. These are but wild and whirling words, my lord.
Ham. I am sorry they offend you, heartily; yes,
There's no offence, my lord.
What is't, my lord ?
Ham. Never make known what you have seen to-night.
Nay, but swear't.
Nor I, my lord, in faith.
We have sworn, my lord, already.
lord. ageanton Never to speak of this that you have seen, zle of g'arxir by my
sword. Ghost. [beneath.] Swear. Ham. Hic et ubique ? then we'll shift our ground:» Upon my sword.] It was common to swear upon the cross which the old swords always had upon the hilt.-Johnson.
Come hither, gentlemen,
Ghost. [beneath.] Swear by his sword.
Hor. O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!
Ham. And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.” There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
Here, as before, never, so help you mercy!
cor, If we list to speak :-or, There be, an if they might; Or such ambiguous giving out, to note That
you know aught of me :- This do you swear, So grace and mercy at your most need help you!
Ghost. [beneath.] Swear.
2 And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.) i. e. Seem not to know it-to be unacquainted with it.- M. Mason.
a Rest, rest, perturbed spirit !] The skill displayed in Shakspeare's management of his ghost, is too considerable to be overlooked. He has rivetted our attention to it by a succession of forcible circumstances :-by the previous report of the terrified centinels, by the solemnity of the hour at which ar; tom walks,--by its martial stride and discriminating armour, visible the glimpses of the moon,- by its long taciturnity,-by its preparation i when interrupted by the morning cock,-by its mysterious reserve thr its first scene with Hamlet, -by his resolute departure with it, and the are by quent anxiety of his attendants,—by its conducting him to a solitary aloft no the platform,-by its voice from beneath the earth,--and by its unexaricted burst on us in the closet.
Hamlet's late interview with the spectre, must in particular be regarded as a stroke of dramatick artifice. The phantom might have told his story in the presence of the officers and Horatio, and yet have rendered itself as inaudible to them, as afterwards to the queen. But suspense was our poet's object ; and
With all my love I do commend me to you:
SCENE I.-- A Room in Polonius' House.
Enter POLONJUS and REYNALDO.
Pol. Give him this money, and these notes, Reynaldo. Rey. I will, my lord.
Pol. You shall do marvellous wisely, good Reynaldo, Before you visit him, to make inquiry Of his behaviour. Rey.
My lord, I did intend it. Pol. Marry, well said : very well said. Look you, sir, Inquire me first what Danskers are in Paris ; And how, and who, what means, and where they keep, What company, at what expence; and finding, By this encompassment and drift of question, That they do know my son, come you more nearer Than your particular demands will touch it :
never was it more effectually created, than in the present instance. Six times has the royal semblance appeared, but till now has been withheld from speaking. For this event we have waited with impatient curiosity, unaccompanied by lassitude, or remitted attention.
The ghost in this tragedy, is allowed to be the genuine product of Shakspeare's strong imagination. When he afterwards avails himself of traditional phantoms, as in Julius Cæsar and King Richard III., they are but inefficacious pageants ; nay, the apparition of Banquo is a mute exhibitor. Perhaps our poet despaired to equal the vigour of his early conceptions on the subject of preternatural beings, and therefore allotted them no further eminence in his dramas; or was unwilling to diminish the power of his principal shade, by an injudicious repetition of cong images.-STEEVENS.
Ereunt.] Gildon asserts, but without stating his authority, that this scene was written by Shakspeare in the churchyard bordering his house at Stratford.—REED's Shakspeare, vol. v. p. 4.
Danskers-] Danske is the ancient name of Denmark.-STEEVENS.
Take you, as 'twere, some distant knowledge of him;
Rey. Ay, very well, my lord.
Pol. And, in part, him;—but, you may say, not well:
As gaming, my lord.
Rey. My lord, that would dishonour him.
Pol. 'Faith, no; as you may season it in the charge.
But, my good lord, —
Ay, my lord,
Marry, sir, here's my drift;
Your party in converse, him you would sound,
another scandal-] i. e. A very different and more scandalous failing, namely, habitual incontinency.—Malone.
e That's not my meaning :) That is not what I mean when I permit you to accuse him of drabbing.-M. Mason.
savageness—] i. e. Wildness. & Of general assault.j i. e. Such as youth in general is liable to.-War