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Hamlet comes back; What would you undertake,
To fhew yourself in deed your father's son
More than in words?

Laer. To cut his throat i' the church.

King. No place, indeed, should murder fan&uarize; Revenge should have no bounds. But, good Laertes, Will you do this, keep close within your chamber : Hamlet, return’d, shall know you are come home : We'll put on those shall praise your excellence, And set a double varnish on the fame The Frenchman gave you ; bring you, in fine, together, And wager o'er your heads : he, being remiss 3, Most generous, and free from all contriving, Will not peruse the foils ; so that, with eale, Or with a little shufiling, you may choose A sword unbated 4, and, in a pass of practices,


date quarto, (which however is of no authority,) printed in 1611. That a figh, if it consumes the blood, burts us by ealing, or is prejudicial to us on the whole, though it affords a temporary relief, is fufficiently clear: but the former part of the line, and then tbis fpould, may require a little explanation. I suppose the king means to say, that if we do not promptly execute what we are convinced we bould or ought to do, we thall afterwards in vain repent our not having seized the fortunate moment for action : and this opportunity which we have let go by us, and the reflection that we should have done that, wbich, from fupervening accidents, it is no longer in our power to do, is as prejudicial and painful to us as a blood-consuming ligh, that at once hurts and eases us.

I apprehend the poet meant to compare such a conduct, and the consequent reflection, only to the pernicious quality which he supposed to be annexed to fighing, and not to the temporary ease which it affords. His similes, as I have frequently had occafion to observe, feldom run on tour feet. MALONE.

· be being remis,] He being not vigilant or cautious. JOHNSON. 4. A sword unbated, - ) Not blunted, as foils are by a button fixed to the end. So in Love's Labour's Loft: " That honour, which shall bare his fcythe's keen edge."

MALONE. In Sir Thomas North's Tranflation of Plutarch, it is said of one of the Metelli, that “ he shewed the people the cruel fight of fencers at xurebared (words." STEEVENS.

5 - a pass of praktice,] Practice is often by Shakspeare, and other writers, taken for an infidious fratagem, or privy treason, a sense not


Requite him for your father.

Laer. I will do't:
And, for the purpose, I'll anoint my sword.
I bought an unction of a mountebank,
So mortal, that, but dip a knife in it,
Where it draws blood, no cataplasm so rare,
Collected from all fimples that have virtue
Under the moon, can lave the thing from death,
That is but scratch'd withall : I'll touch my point
With this contagion ; that, if I gall him flightly,
It may be death

King. Let's further think of this;
Weigh, what convenience, both of time and means,
May fit us to our shape : if this should fail,
And that our drift look through our bad performance,
'Twere better not assay'd ; therefore, this project
Should have a back, or second, that might hold,
If this should blast in proof?. Soft ;-let me see:-
We'll make a solemn wager on your cunnings,
I ha't:
When in your motion you are hot and dry,
(As make your bouts more violent to that end,)
And that he calls for drink, I'll have preferr'd him
A chalice for the nonce; whereon but sipping,

incongruous to this passage, where yet I rather believe, that nothing more is meant than a abruft for exercise. JOHNSON. So, in Look about you, 1600 :

“ I pray God there be no praktice in this change." Again, more appofitely in our author's Twelfth Nigbe, A& V. Sc, ult.

“ This practise hath moft fhrewdly pass'd upon thee." STEEV. 6 May fit us to our pape :-) May enable us to asume proper cbara&ters, and to act our part. JOHNSON.

? - blasť in proof.] This, I believe, is a metaphor taken from a mine, which, in the proof or execution, sometimes breaks out with an ineffectual blaft. JOHNSON.

The word proof thews the metaphor to be taken from the trying or proving fire-arms or cannon, which often blaft or burfit in the proof.

STEEVENS. 8 - I'll bave preferr'd bim-] i, e. presented to him. Thus the quarto, 1604. The word indeed is mispelt, prefard. The folio reada -l'll have prepard him. MALONE.

How now,

Stuck 35 3

If he by chance escape your venom'd stuck,
Our purpose may hold there. But ftay, what noise ?

Enter Queen.

Queen. One woe doth tread upon another's heel,
So fast they follow :-Your sister's drown'd, Laertes.

Laer. Drown'd! O, where?

Queen. There is a willow grows ascaunt the brook ?, That Mews his hoar leaves in the glassy stream ; Therewith fantastick garlands did the make Of crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples 4,

That 9 - your venom'd stuck,] Your venom'd thrust. term of the fencing-school. So, in Twelfıb Nigbt :and he gives me the fuck with such a mortal motion,-," Again, in Tbe Returns from Parnalus, 1606: Here is a fellow, Judicio, that carried the deadly stocke in his pen."-See Florio's Italian Dictionary, 1993: “ Stoccara, a foyne, a thrust, a foccado given in fence." MALONE. - Bue ftay, wbat noise ? ] I have recovered this from the quartos,

STEEVENS. * How now sweet queen?] These words are not in the quarto. The

which appears to have been omitted by the careletiness of the transcriber or compositor, was supplied by the editor of the second folio. MALONE.

2 One woe dotb tread upon anorber's beel,] A similar thought occurs in Pericles Prince of Tyre, 1609 :

“ One forrow never comes, but brings an heir,

“ That may succeed as his inheritor." STEEVENS. Again, in Drayton's Mortimeriados, 4to, 1596:

miseries, which seldom come alone, “ Thick on the neck one of another fell." Again, in Shakspeare's 131st sonnet:

“ A thousand groans, but thinking on thy fall,

« One on another's neck,--," MALONE. 3 mascaunt obe brook,] Thus the quarcos. The folio reads, ajlant. Ascaunce is interpreted in the Glossary to Chaucer-askew, afide, fides ways. STEEVENS.

4 - and long purples,] By long purple is meant a plant, the modern botanical name of which is orchis morio mas, anciently tefticulus morionis. The grosser name by which it países, is sufficiently known in many parts of England, and particularly in the county where Shak. speare lived. Thus far Mr. Warner. Mr. Collins adds, that in Suflex it is still called dead men's bands; and that in Lyte's Herbal, 1578, its various names, too gross for repetition, are preserved. STEEVENS.

One of the grosser names of this plant Gertrude had a particular Isafon to avoid ;-be rampant widowi Liberal is free-spoken, licen

word now,

That liberal shepherds give a grosser name,
But our cold maids do dead men's fingers call them:
There on the pendant boughs her coronet weeds
Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke;
When down her weedy trophies, and herself,
Fell in the weeping brook. Her cloaths spread wide

And, mermaid-like, a while they bore her up:
Which time, the chaunted snatches of old tuness;
As one incapable of her own distress',
Or like a creature native and indu'd
Unto that element?: but long it could not be,
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pull’d the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death

Laer. tious in language. So, in Othello : "Is he not a most profane and liberal countellor ? Again, in A Woman's a Weatbercock,by N. Field, 1612;

Next that, the fame
« Of your neglect, and liberal-talking tongue,

“ Which breeds my honour an eternal wrong." MALONE. 5 Which time, she cbaunted fnatches of old tunes;] Fletcher, in his Scornful Lady, very injudiciously ridicules this incident:

“ I will run mad first, and if that get not pity,

« l'll drown myself to a most dismal ditty," WARBURTON. The quartos read~" snatches of old lauds," i.e. bymns, STEEVENS.

6 As one incapable of her own distress,] As one having no underAtanding or knowledge of her danger. See p. 339, n. 8. MALONE.

like a creature native and indu'd Unto that element.] As we are indued with certain original dif. pofitions and propenfities at our birth, Shakspeare here uses indued with great licentiousness, for formed by nature ; clothed, endowed, or furnished, with properties suited to the element of water.

Our old writers used indued and endowed indiscriminately. “To indue,” says Minsheu in his Dictionary, “ sepissime refertur ad dotes animo infulas, quibus nimirum ingenium alicujus imbutum et initiatum eft, unde et G. inftruire eft, L. imbuere. Imbuere proprie est inchoare et initiari."

In Cotgrave's French Dictionary, 1611, inftruire is interpreted, “ to fashion, to furnish with.” MALONE.

To muddy dearb.] In the first scene of the next act we find Ophelia buried with such rites as betoken the foredid ber own life. Shakspeare, Mr. Malon has observed, “ seems to have forgotten himself in the speech before us, for there is not a single circumstance in this relation of her death, that induces us to think the had drowned herself intentionally.” But it should be remembered, that the account here giren, is that of a friend; and that the queen could not possibly know




Laer. Alas then, she is drown'd?
Queen. Drown’d, drown'd.
Laer. Too much of water hast thou, poor Ophelia,
And therefore I forbid my tears: But yet
It is our trick; nature her custom holds,
Let shame say what it will: when these are gone,
The woman will be out'.-Adieu, my lord!
I have a speech of fire ; that fain would blaze,
But that this folly drowns it'.

King. Let's follow, Gertrude :
How much I had to do to calm his rage!
Now fear I, this will give it start again;
Therefore, let's follow.



A Church-yard. Enter two Clowns, with Spades, &c. 1. Clown. Is she to be bury'd in christian burial, that wilfully seeks her own salvation ?

2. Clown. I tell thee, she is; therefore, make her grave straight?: the crowner hath set on her, and finds it christian burial.

1. Clown. what passed in the mind of Ophelia, when the placed herself in so perilous a situation. After the facts had been weighed and considered, the priest in the next act pronounces, that ber death was doubsful. MALONE 9 The woman will be out.] i. e. tears will flow. So, in K. Henry V.

« And all the woman came into my eyes.” MALONE. itbat fain would blaze,

But that tbis folly drowns it.] Thus the quarto, 1604. The folio reads. But that this folly doubis it, i. e, douts, or extinguishes it. See p. 221, n. 6. MALONE.

make ber grave straight :) Make her grave from east to west in a direct line parallel to the church; not from north to fouth, athwart the regular line. This, I think, is meant. JOHNSON.

I cannot think that this means any more than make ber mediately. She is to be buried in cbriftian burial, and consequently the grave is to be made as usual. My interpretation may be justified from the following passages in K. Henry V. and the play before us : " _We cannot lodge and board a dozen

or fourteen gentlewomen, who live by the prick of their needles, but it will be thought we keep a bawdy-house fraight.".


grave im.

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