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Enter Polonius, ROSENCRANtz and GUILDENSTERN. How now, my lord ? will the king hear this piece of work?
Pol. And the queen too, and that presently.
Ham. Bid the players make haste.- [Exit POLONIUS. Will you two help to hasten them? Both. Ay, my lord.
[Exeunt RosenCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN. Ham. What, ho; Horatio!
Ham. Horatio, thou art e’en as just a man
Hor. O, my dear lord,-
Nay, do not think I flatter:
the pregnant hinges of the knee,] I believe the sense of pregnant in this - place, is, quick, ready, prompt.-Johnson.
-> Whose blood and judgment—] According to the doctrine of the four humours, desire and confidence were seated in the blood, and judgment in the phlegm, and the due mixture of the humours made a perfect character.-Johnson.
Which I have told thee of my father's death.
Well, my lord :
Ham. They are coming to the play; I must be idle :
LONIUS, Ophelia, ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN, and others. King. How fares our cousin Hamlet?
Ham. Excellent, i'faith; of the camelion's dish: I eat the air, promise-crammed : You cannot feed capons so.
King. I have nothing with this answer, Hamlet; these words are not mine.
Ham. No, nor mine now. My lord,—you played once in the university, you say
[To POLONIUS. Pol. That did I, my lord; and was accounted a good actor.
Ham. And what did you enact?
Pol. I did enact Julius Cæsar: I was killed i'the Capitol; Brutus killed me.
Ham. It was a brute part of him, to kill so capital a calf there.—Be the players ready?
Ros. Ay, my lord; they stay upon your patience.
stithy.] The shop containing the stith or anvil, now called smitny.. NARES.
nor mine now.) A man's words, says the proverb, are his own no longer than he keeps them unspoken.-Johnson.
Pol. O ho! do you mark that? [To the King.
[Lying down at Ophelia's Feet.
Ham. O! your only jig-maker. What should a man do, but be merry ? for, look you, how cheerfully my mother looks, and my father died within these two hours.
Oph. Nay, 'tis twice two months, my lord.
Ham. So long? Nay, then let the devil wear black, for I'll have a suit of sables. O heavens! die two months ago, and not forgotten yet? Then there's hope, a great man's memory may outlive his life half a year: but, by'rlady, he must build churches then: or else shall he suffer not thinking on, with the hobby-horse :d whose epitaph is, For, 0, for, 0, the hobby-horse is forgot.
Trumpets sound. The dumb Showe follows. Enter a King and Queen, very lovingly; the Queen embracing
him, and he her. She kneels, and makes show of protestation unto him. Ile takes her up, and declines his head upon her neck: lays him down upon a bank of flowers ;
-jig-maker.) i. e. Ballad-maker. A jig was a low, ludicrous dialogue in - a suit of sables.] The richest dress that could be worn in Denmark. STEEVENS.
– suffer not thinking on, with the hobby-horse:) Amongst the country May-games, there was a hobby-horse, which, when the puritanical humour of those times opposed and discredited these games, was brought by the poets and ballad-makers as an instance of the ridiculous zeal of the sectaries; from these ballads Hamlet quotes a line or two.—WARBURTON.
e The dumb-shun--] This was in the old plays a very common part of the performance ; "they gradually,” says Nares. • fell into disrepute, by the improvement of taste; so that in Shakspeare's time they seem to have been in favour only with the lower classes of spectators."
she, seeing him asleep, leaves him. Anon comes in a fellow, takes off his crown, kisses it, and pours poison in the King's ears, and exit. The Queen returns; finds the King dead, and makes passionate action. The poisoner, with some two or three Mutes, comes in again, seeming to lament with her. The dead body is carried away. The poisoner wooes the Queen with gifts; she seems loath and unwilling awhile, but, in the end, accepts his love.
[Exeunt. Oph. What means this, my lord ?
Ham. Marry, this is miching mallecho; it means mischief.
Oph. Belike, this show imports the argument of the play.
Enter Prologue. Ham. We shall know by this fellow: the players cannot keep counsel; they'll tell all.
Oph. Will he tell us what this show meant?
Ham. Ay, or any show that you'll show him: Be not you ashamed to show, he'll not shame to tell you what it means.
Oph. You are naught, you are naught; I'll mark the play. Pro. For us, and for our tragedy.
Here stooping to your clemency,
We beg your hearing patiently.
Enter a King and a Queen.
i-miching mallecho;] i. e. A skulking mischief, from to mich to lie hid, or skulk in a corner, and malheco, Spanish, an evil action.—MALONE.
Be not you ashamed to show, &c.] The conversation of Hamlet with Ophelia, which cannot fail to disgust every modern reader, is probably such as was peculiar to the young and fashionable of the age of Shakspeare, which was, by no means, the age of delicacy.-STEEVENS.
cart-] A chariot was anciently so called.-STEEVENS.
Since love our hearts, and Hymen did our hands,
P. Queen. So many journeys may the sun and moon
O, confound the rest!
Ham. That's wormwood.
P. Queen. The instances," that second marriage move, Are base respects of thrift, but none of love; A second time I kill my husband dead, When second husband kisses me in bed.
P. King. I do believe, you think what now you speak; But, what we do determine, oft we break. Purpose is but the slave to memory; Of violent birth, but poor validity: Which now, like fruit unripe, sticks on the tree; But fall, unshaken, when they mellow be.
For women fear too much, even as they love ;) This line is omitted in the folio, —which gives the next line thus :
“For women's fear and love hold qnanuity."STEEVENS. operant-] i. e. Active. • The instances,] i. e. The motives.