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of the players. The book is now the companion of our lonely walks;-its recollections hang about our most cherished thoughts. We think less of the dramatic movement of the play, than of the glimpses which it affords of the high and solemn things that belong to our being. We see Hamlet habitually subjected to the spiritual part of his nature, communing with thoughts that are not of this world,-abstracted from the business of life,—but yet exhibiting a most vigorous intellect, and an exquisite taste. But there is that about him which we cannot understand. Is he essentially "in madness," or mad "only in craft?" Where is the line to be drawn between his artificial and his real character? There is something altogether indefinable and mysterious in the poet's delineation of this character;-something wild and irregular in the circumstances with which the character is associated,-we see that Hamlet is propelled, rather than propelling. But why is this turn given to the delineation? We cannot exactly tell. Perhaps some of the very charm of the play to the adult mind is its mysteriousness. It awakes not only thoughts of the grand and the beautiful, but of the incomprehensible. Its obscurity constitutes a portion of its sublimity. This is the stage in which most minds are content to rest, and, perhaps, advantageously so, with regard to the comprehension of 'Hamlet.'
The final appreciation of the 'Hamlet' of Shakspere belongs to the development of the critical faculty,-to the cultivation of it by reading and reflection. Without much acquaintance with the thoughts of others, many
men, we have no doubt, being earnest and diligent students of Shakspere, have arrived at a tolerably ade quate comprehension of his idea in this wonderful play. In passing through the stage of admiration they have utterly rejected the trash which the commentators have heaped upon it, under the name of criticism, the solemn commonplaces of Johnson, the flippant and insolent attacks of Steevens. When the one says, "the apparition left the regions of the dead to little purpose," --and the other talks of the "absurdities" which deform the piece, and "the immoral character of Hamlet.”— the lover of Shakspere tells them, that remarks such as these belong to the same class of prejudices as Voltaire's "monstruosités et fossoyeurs." But after they have rejected all that belongs to criticism without love, the very depth of the reverence of another school of critics may tend to perplex them. The quantity alone that has been written in illustration of 'Hamlet' is embarrassing. We have only one word here to say to the anxious student of 'Hamlet: "Read, and again, and again." These are the words which the Editors of the folio of 1623 addressed "to the great variety of read. ers as to Shakspere generally: "Read him, therefore; and again, and again: and if then you do not like him, surely you are in some manifest danger not to understand him."
CLAUDIUS, King of Denmark.
Appears, Act I. sc. 2. Act II. sc. 2. Act III. sc. 1; sc. 2; sc. 3. Act IV. sc. 1; sc. 3; sc. 5; sc. 6. Act V. sc. 1; sc. 2.
HAMLET, Son to the former, and nephew to the present
Appears, Act I. sc. 2; se. 2; sc. 3; sc. 4. sc. 2.
sc. 4; sc. 5. Act II. sc. 2. Act III. sc. 1; Act IV. sc. 2; sc. 3; sc. 4. Act V. sc. 1;
POLONIUS, Lord Chamberlain.
Appears, Act I. sc. 2; sc. 3. Act II. sc. 1; sc. 2. Act III. sc. 1; sc. 2; sc. 3; sc. 4.
HORATIO, friend to Hamlet.
Appeurs, Act I. sc. 1; sc. 2; sc. 4; sc. 5. Act III. sc. 2. Act IV. sc. 5; sc. 6. Act V. sc. 1; sc. 2.
LAERTES, Son to Polonius.
Appears, Act I. sc. 2; sc. 3. Act IV. sc. 5; sc. 6. Act V. sc. 1;
VOLTIMAND, a courtier.
CORNELIUS, a courtier.
Act III. sc. 1; sc. 2; sc. 3.
Appears, Act II. sc. 2.
Appears, Act II. sc. 2.
GUILDENSTERN, a courtier.
Act III. sc. 1; sc. 2; sc. 3. Act IV. sc. 1; sc. 2; sc. 3; sc. 4.
OSRIC, a courtier.
Appears, Act V. sc. 2.
Appeurs, Act IV. sc. 5.
Appears, Act V. sc. 1.
MARCELLUS, an officer.
Appears, Act I. sc. 1; sc. 2; sc. 4; sc. 5.
BERNARDO, an officer.
Appears, Act I. sc. 1; sc. 2.
REYNALDO, servant to Polonius.
Ghost of Hamlet's Father.
Appears, Act I. sc. 1; sc. 4; sc. 5. Act III. sc. 4.
FORTINBRAS, Prince of Norway.
GERTRUDE, Queen of Denmark, and mother of
Appears, Act I. sc. 2.
Act II. sc. 2.
Act IV. sc. 1;
sc. 5; sc. 6.
Act III. sc. 1; sc. 2; sc. 4.
OPHELIA, daughter of Polonius.
Appears, Act I. sc. 3. Act II. sc. 1. Act III. sc. 1; sc. 2. Act IV. sc. 5.
Lords, Ladies, Officers, Soldiers, Players, Gravediggers, Sailors, Messengers, and other Attendants.
PRINCE OF DENMARK.
SCENE I.-Elsinore. A Platform before the Castle. FRANCISCO on his post. Enter to him BERNARDO.
Ber. Who's there?
Nay, answer me: a stand, and unfold
Ber. Long live the king!
Fran. You come most carefully upon your hour. Ber. "T is now struck twelve; get thee to bed, Fran
Fran. For this relief, much thanks: 't is bitter cold, And I am sick at heart.
Ber. Have you had quiet guard?
Ber. Well, good night.
Not a mouse stirring.
If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus,
The rivals of my watch, bid them make haste.
Enter HORATIO and MARCELLUS.
Fran. I think I hear them.-Stand! who is there?
a Answer me. I, the sentinel, challenge you. Bernardo then gives the answer to the challenge, or watch-word-" Long live the king !"
b Rivals-partners, companions.