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rue for you ;—and here's some for me :--we may call it, herb of grace o'fundays ) :—you may wear your rue with a difference. There's a daily 2 :- I would give you
some Gerard, however, and other herbalifts, impute few, if any, virtues to them; and they may therefore be stiled ibankless, because they appeas to make no grateful return for their creation. Again, in the 15th Song of Drayton's Polyelbion :
“ The columbine amongft, they sparingly do set." From the Caliba Poetarum, 1599, it should seem as if this flower was the emblem of cuckoldom :
the blew cornuted columbine, “ Like to the crooked horns of Acheloy." STEEVENS. Columbine was an emblem of cuckoldom on account of the horns of its nectaria, which are remarkable in this plant. See Aquilegia in Einnæus's Genera, 684. S. W.
Ophelia gives her fennel and columbines to the king. In the col. ection of Sonnets quoted above, the former is thus mentioned :
" Fennel is for flatterers,
“ An evil thing 'tis sure;
" With constant heart most pure." See also Florio's Italian Dictionary, 1598: “ Dare finocchio, to give fennel,--to flatter, to diffemble." MALONE.
9 There's rue for you ;-and bere's some for me :-we may call it herb of grace o' sundays:] I believe there is a quibble meant in this partage ; rue anciently fignifying the same as quib, i. e. sorrow. Ophelia gives the queen some, and keeps a proportion of it for herself. There is the same kind of play with the same word in King Ricbard obe Second,
Herb of grace is one of the titles which Tucca gives to William Rufus, in Decker's Satiromastix. I suppose the first syllable of the surname Rufus introduced the quibble. STEEVENS.
! You may wear your rue with a difference.] This seems to refer to the rules of heraldry, where the younger brothers of a family bear the same arms with a difference, or mark of distinction. So, in Holinihed's Reign of King Richard II. p. 443: “ – because he was the youngest of the Spenters, he bare a border gules for a difference."
There may, however, be somewhat more implied here, than is expretled. Yox, madam, (rays Ophelia to the Queen,) may call your RUE by its Sunday name, HERB OF GRACE, and so wear it witba difference to diftinguish it from mine, which can never be any thing but merely RUE, i. e. forrow. STEEVENS. • Herb of grace was not the Sunday name, but the every day name of
In the common dictionaries of Shakspeare's time it is called berb of grace. See Florio's Italian Dictionary, 1598, in v. ruta, and Cotgrave's French Dictionary, 1611, in v. rue. There is no ground therefore for supposing, with Dr. Warburton, that we was called herb
some violets; but they wither'd all, when my father died 3 :- They say, he made a good end,For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy *,
[sings. Laer. Thought and amiction", paffion, hell itself, She turns to favour, and to prettiness. Oph. And will be not come again?
[lings. And will be not come again?
No, no, he is dead,
Go 10 thy death-bed,
He never will come again. of grace, from its being used in exorcisms performed in churches on sundays.
Ophelia only means, I think, that the queen may with peculiar propriety on Sundays, when the solicits pardon for that crime which she has so much occasion to rue and repent of, call her rue, berb of grace. So, in King Richard II.
“ Here did the drop a tear; here in this place
“ In the remembrance of a weeping queen." Ophelia, after having given the queen rue, to remind her of the forrow and contrition the ought to feel for her incestuous marriage, tells her, she may wear it with a difference, to distinguish it from tbat worn by Ophelia herself; because her tears flowed from the loss of a father, those of the queen ought to flow for her guilt. MALONE.
2 There's a daisy: Greene in his Quip for an upstart Courrier, has explained the fignificance of this flower: “ - Next them grew the DISSEMBLING DAISIE, to warne such light-of-love wenches not to trust every faire promise that such amorous bachelors make them."
HENLEY. 3 I would give you some violets, but tbey witber'd all, wben my farber died:] The violet is thus characterized in the old collection of Sonnets above quoted, printed in 1584:
“ Violet is for faithfulnesse,
" Which in me thall abide;
“ You will not let it Nide.” MALONE. 4 For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy,–] This is part of an old song, mentioned likewise by Beaumont and Fletcher. Two Noble Kinsmen, A& IV. sc. i:
· I can fing the broom, " And Bonny Robin.” In the books of the Stationers' Company, 26 April, 1594, is entered “ A ballad, intituled, A doleful adewe to the lait Erle of Darbie, to the tune of Bonny feveet Robin." STEEVENS.
B b 2
His beard was as white as snow,
He is gone, be is gone,
And we cast away moan;
God’a mercy on his joul! And of all christian souls?! I pray God. God be wi'yon!
(Exit OPHELIAS Laer. Do you see this, o God?
King. Laertes, I must commune with your grief,
Laer. Let this be so;
5 Thought and offliction,–] Thought here, as in many other places; fignifies melancholy. See Vol. vii. p. 528, n. 2. MALONE.
His beard was as wbite as snow, &c.] This, and several circumstances in the character of Ophelia, seem to have been ridiculed in Eastward Hoe, a comedy written by Ben Jonson, Chapman, and Marston, printed 1605, A& III. :
« His bead as wbite as milk,
“ All faxen was bis hair ;
“ And never will come again.
« God be at your labour ! STEEVENS. 7 God 'a mercy on bis foul!
And of all cbriftian souls !) This is the common conclusion to many of the ancient monumental inscriptions. See Weever's Funeral Monuments, p. 657, 658. Barthelette, the publisher of Gower's Confeffio Amantis, 1554, speaking first of the funeral of Chaucer, and then of Gower, says, “ — he lieth buried in the monasterie of Seynt Peter's at Westminster, &c. on wbose foules and all obriften, jeu bave mercie," STEEVENS,
No trophy, sword, nor hatchment, o'er his bones,
King. So you shall;
[Exeunt. SCENE VI.
Another Room in the same.
Enter Horatio, and a Servant.
Serv. Sailors, fir;
nt. I do not know from what part of the world I should be greeted, if not from lord Hamlet.
Enter Sailors. 1. Sail. God bless you, fir. Hor. Let him bless thee too.
1. Sail. He shall, fir, an't please him. There's a letter for you, fir; it comes from the ambassador that was bound for England; if your name be Horatio, as I am let to know it is.
Hor. [reads.] Horatio, when thou malt have overlook'd this, give these fellows some means to the king ; they have letters for him. Ere we were two days old at sea, a pirate of very warlike appointment gave us chace: Finding ourselves 100 flow of jail, we put on a compellid valour ; and in the grapple I boarded them: on the instant, they got clear of our ship; so I alone became their prisoner. They
8 No trophy, sword, nor batchment, o'er bis bones,] It was the cuftom, in the times of our author, to hang a sword over the grave of a knight. JOHNSON.
This practice is uniformly kept up to this day. Not only the sword, but the helmet, gauntlet, spurs, and tabard, (i.e. a coat whereon the armorial enfigns were anciently depicted, from whence the term coat of ermour) are hung over the grave of every knight.
Sir J. HAWKINS.
have dealt with me, like thieves of mercy; but they knew what they did; I am to do a good turn for them. Let the king have the letters I have sent ; and repair thou to me with as much hafte as thou would's fly death. I have words to speak in thine ear, will make thee dumb; yet are they much too light for the bore of the matter. These good fellows will bring thee where I am. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern hold their course for England : of them I have much to tell thee. Farewel,
He that thou knoweft thine, Hamlet. Come, I will give you way for these your letters ; And do't the ipeedier, that you may direct me To him from whom you brought them. [Exeunt.
SCE N E VII.
Another Room in the same.
Enter King, and LAERTES.
Laer. It well appears :-But tell me,
King. O, for two special reasons ;
9- for ibe bore of the matter.] The bore is the caliber of a gun, or the capacity of the barrel. The matter (lays Hamlet) would carry beavier words. JOHNSON.