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last swallow'd : When he needs what you have glean'd, it is but squeezing you, and, spunge, you Thall be dry again. Rof. I understand you not, my lord.
Ham. I am glad of it: A knavilh speech sleeps in a foolish ear.
Ref. My lord, you must tell us where the body is, and go with us to the king:
Ham. The body is with the king?, but the king is not with the body. The king is a thing
Guil. A thing, my lord?
Ham. Of nothing 8 : bring me to him. Hide fox, and all after
SCENE "s And lie, and kiss my hand unto my mistress,
“ As often as an afe dees for an apple.". I cannot approve of Dr. Farmer's reading. Had our poet meant to introduce both the ape and the apple, he would, I think, have written not like, but “ as an ape an apple."
The two instances above quoted Thew that any emendation is unnecessary. The reading of the quarto is, however, defensible.
MALONE. 6 A knavish speecb seeps in a foolish ear.] This, if I mistake not, is a proverbial sentence. 'MALONE.
7 The body is wirb the king,-) This answer I do not comprehend. Perhaps it should be, Tbe body is not wirb obe king, for obe king is not wirb ibe body. JOHNSON.
Perhaps it may mean this. The body is in the king's house, (i. e. the present king's,) yet the king (i. e. he who should bave been king) is not with the body. Intimating that the usurper is here, the true king in a better place. Or it may mean,-tbe guilt of tbe murder lies with the king, but the king is not wbere obe body lies. The affected obfcurity of Hamlet must excuse so many attempts to procure fomething like a meaning. STEEVENS.
Of notbing :-) So, in The Spanish Tragedy :
“ In troth, my lord, it is a thing of notbing." And, in one of Harvey's letters, “ a hilly bug-beare, a forry puffe of winde, a thing of norbing.” FARMER. So, in Decker's Match me in London, 16311
" At what dost thou laugh?
“ At a thing of nothing ; at thee." Again, in Ben Jonson's Magnetic Lady:
“ A toy, a ibing of norbing." STEEVENS. Mr. Steevens has given here many parallelisms; but the origin of all is to be look'd for, I believe, in the 144th Pfalm, ver. 5 : “ Man is like
Enter King, attended.
Rof. Where the dead body is bestow'd, my lord,
King. But where is he?
Enter HAMLET, and GUILDERSTERN, King. Now, Hamlet, where's Polonius ? Ham. At supper. King. At supper? Where? Ham. Not where he eats, but where he is eaten: a
a thing of nought." The book of Common Prayer, and the transation of the bible into Englith, furnished our old writers with many forms of expreslion, some of which are still in use. WHALLEY.
9 Hide fox, &c.] There is a play among children called, Hide foxy and all after. HANMER.
The same sport is alluded to in Decker's Satiromastix : “ — our unhandsome-faced poet does play at bo-peep with your grace, and cries -All bid, as boys do."
This passage is not in the quarto. ST LEVENS,
certain convocation of politick worms are e'en at him. Your worm is your only emperor for diet: we fat all creatures else, to fat us; and we fat ourselves for mag. gots: Your fat king, and your lean beggar, is but variable service; two dishes, but to one table; that's the end.
King. Alas, alas"!
Ham. A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king; and eat of the fish that hath fed of that worm.
King. What doit thou mean by this?
Ham. Nothing, but to thew you how a king may go a progress through the guts of a beggar,
King. Where is Polonius ?
Ham. In heaven; send thither to see: if your mesa senger find him not there, seck him i' the other place yourself. But, indeed, if you find him not within this month, you shall nose him as you go up the stairs into the lobby.
King. Go seek him there. [to fome Attendants. Ham. He will stay till you come. (Exeunt Attendants,
King. Hamlet, this deed, for thine especial safety,-
Ham. For England?
Ham. I see a cherub, that sees them.-But, come; for England -Farewel, dear mother.
King. Thy loving father, Hamlet.
Alas, alas ! ] This speech, and the following, are omitted in the folio. STEEVENS. ? Wirb firy quickness:] These words are not in the quartos.
STEEVENS. - the wind ar help,] I suppose it should be read, Tbe bark is ready, and the wind at helm. JOBINSON.
man and wife is one Aesh ; and fo, my mother. Come, for England.
[Exit. King. Follow him at foot; tempt him with speed aboard; Delay it not, I'll have him hence to.night: Away ;' for every thing is feal'd and done That else leans on the affair : Pray you, make haste.
[ Exeunt Rof. and Guil, And, England, if my love thou hold'st at aught, (As my great power thereof may give thee fente; Since yet thy cicatrice looks raw and red After the Danish sword, and thy free awe Pays homage to us,) thou may't not coldly set Our sovereign process 4 ; which imports at full, By letters cónjuring to that effects,
The .tbou mayA not coldly set
Our sovereign process;] Mr. Steevens says, he adheres to this reading, which is found both in the folio and quarto, because-to set is an expression used at the gaming-table. To set a sum of money at hazard, is to ftake it, or to offer it as a wager ; but I do not fee how that throws any light on the present pallage.
To set at nougbe is a phrase yet in use, and occurs in one of our poet's plays :
« To have a son set your decrees at nought.” To set the king's process coldly, may therefore perhaps mean, to value or rate it low; to set it at nought. MALONE. s By letters cónjuring-) Thus the folio. The quarto reads,
“ By terrers congruing. STEEVENS. The reading of the folio may derive some support from the fol. lowing passage in The Hyftory of Hamblet, bl. let." making the king of England minister of his maslacring resolution; to whom he purposed to send him, (Hamlet,] and by letters defire him to put him to death.” So also, by a subsequent line :
« Ham. Wilt thou know the effe&t of what I wrote ?
“ Ham. An earnest conjuration from the king," &c. The circumstances mentioned as inducing the king to send the prince to England, rather than elsewhere, are likewise found in Tbe Hystory of Hambler.
Effe Et was formerly used for at or deed, fimply, and is so used in the line before us. So, in Leo's Historie of Africa, translated by Pory, folio, 1600, p. 253: “ Three daies after this effe&t, there came to us a Zuum, that is, a captaine,” &c. See also supra, p. 340, n. 9.,
The verb to conjure (in the sense of to supplicate,) was formerly accented on the first syllable. So, in Macbetb :
“ I conjure you, by that which you profefs,
“ Howe'er you come to know it, answer me ;** Vol. IX.
The present death of Hamlet. Do it, England;
A Plain in Denmark.
Cap. I will do't, my lord.
For. Go softly on. [Exeunt FORTINBRAS and Forces. Enter HAMLET, ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN,&c. Ham. Good fir", whose
powers are these? Cap. They are of Norway, fir.
Again, in King Jobn:
“ I conjure thee but Nowly; run more fast." Again, in Romeo and Juliet :
“ I conjure thee, by Rosaline's bright eyes”ym, Again, in Measure for Measure:
“ O Prince, I conjure thee, as thou believ'ft," &c. MALONE: like the beatick, in my blood be rages,] So, in Love's Labour's Loft: « I would forget her, but a fever, the,
“ Reigns in my blood." MALONE. 7 Howe'er my baps, my joys will ne'er begin.] i. e. (as Dr. John. fon observes,) « till I know 'tis done, I thall be miserable, whatever befall me."
This is the reading of the quarto. The folio, for the sake of rhyme, reads :
“ Howe'er my haps, my joys were ne'er begun." But this, I think, the poet could not have written. The king is speaking of the future time. To say, till I shall be informed that a certain act bas been done, whatever may befall me, my joys never bad a beginning, is surely nonsense. MALONE.
8 Craves] Thus the quartos. The folioclaims. STEEVENS.
9 Good fir, &c.] The remaining part of this scene is omitted in the folios. STEEVENS.