With a bare bodkin a ? who would b fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life;
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will ;
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of ?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all ;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought;
And enterprises of great pith and moment,
With this regard, their currents turn awryd,
And lose the name of action.-Soft you, now!
The fair Ophelia :—Nymph, in thy orisons

Be all my sins remember'd.

Good my lord, How does your honour for this many a day? Han. I humbly thank you; well, well, well e Oph. My lord, I have remembrances of yours,

That I have longed long to re-deliver;

I pray you, now receive them.
Ham. No, no. I never gave you aught.
OPH. My honour'd lord, I know right well you

And, with them, words of so sweet breath compos'd
As made the things more rich: their perfume lost,
Take thèse, again; for to the noble mind,
Rich gifts wax poor, when givers prove unkind.

There, my lord.
Ham. Ha, ha! are you honest?
Oph. My lord ?
Ham. Are


fair? OPH. What means your lordship? Ham. That if you be honest, and fair, your honesty' should admit no discourse

to your beauty. Oph. Could beauty, my lord, have better commerce than with honesty 8 ? Ham. Ay, truly; for the power of beauty will sooner transform honesty from · Bodkin, a small sword. Cæsar is spoken of, by old writers, as slain by bodkins.

These fardels, in folio; but not in quartos. Grunt. So the originals. The players, in their squeamishness, always give us groan. Grunt is used for loud lament by Turberville, Stonyhurst, and other writers before Shakspere. We have the word direct from the Anglo-Saxon grunan.

Avry, in quartos; away, in folio. • This repetition “ well, well, well,” is not in the quartos.

Your honesty, in the folio; in the quartos, you. 8 With honesty. This is the reading of the quartos. The folio has “your honesty.” It appears to lessen the idea we have formed of Ophelia to imagine that she would put her beauty so directly in " commerce" with Hamlets honesty.


[ocr errors]

what it is to a bawd, than the force of honesty can translate beauty into his likeness: this was some time a paradox, but now the time gives it proof. I

did love you once. Opp. Indeed, my lord, you made me believe so. Ham. You should not have believed me: for virtue cannot so inoculate our old

stock, but we shall relish of it: I lov'd you not. OPH. I was the more deceived. Ham. Get thee to a nunnery; Why wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners? I

am myself indifferent honest; but yet I could accuse me of such things, that it were better my mother had not borne me; I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious ; with more offences at my beck, than I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them shape, or time to act them in : What should such fellows as I do crawling between heaven and earth a ! We are arrant knaves, all ; believe none of us : Go thy ways to a nunnery. Where's


father? OPH. At home, my lord. Ham. Let the doors be shut upon him, that he may play the fool no where b

but in 's own house. Farewell. OPA. O, help him, you sweet heavens ! Ham. If thou dost marry, I'll give thee this plague for thy dowry: Be thou

as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a nunnery, go; farewell : Or, if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool; for wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them. To a

nuunery, go; and quickly too. Farewell. OPH. O heavenly powers, restore him ! Ham. I have heard of your paintings too, well enough. God hath given you

one face, and you make yourselves another; you jig, you amble, and you lisp, and nick-name God's creatures', and make your wantonness your ignorance: Go to, I 'll no more on 't; it hath made me mad. I say, we will have no more marriages : those that are married already, all but one, shall live; the rest shall keep as they are. To a nunnery, go.

[Exit HAMLET. OPH. O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown !

The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's, eye, tongue, sword :
The expectancy and rose of the fair state,
The glass of fashion, and the mould of form,
The observ'd of all observers ! quite, quite, down!

* Heaven and earth, in the folio; in the quartos, earth and heaven.

No where, in quartos; in folio, no way. • The reading of the folio is, “ I have heard of your prattlings too, well enough. God hath given you one pace,&c. The context in some degree justifies the change of the folio. “ You jig and you amble"-you go trippingly and mincingly in your gait-(as the daughters of Sion are said, in Isaiah, to “come in tripping so nicely with their feet")—may refer to pace; as,

you lisp and you nick-name God's creatures," may to prattlings. Nevertheless, we think, with Johnson, that Shakspere wrote both-paintings and face, first-prattlings and pace, latest. As a question of taste, we prefer to retain the first reading; although, somewhat too strictly following the folio, we have previously printed the passage as there given.

[ocr errors]

And I, of ladies most deject and wretched,
That suck'd the honey of his music vows,
Now see that noble and most sovereign reason,
Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh ;
That unmatch'd form and feature of blown youth,
Blasted with ecstacy: 0, woe is me!
To have seen what I have seen, see what I see!

Re-enter King and POLONIUS.
King. Love ! his affections do not that way tend;

Nor what he spake, though it lack'd form a little,
Was not like madriess. There's something in his soul,
O'er which his melancholy sits on brood;
And, I do doubt, the hatch, and the disclose,
Will be some danger : Which to prevent,
I have, in quick determination,
Thus set it down : He shall with speed to England,
For the demand of our neglected tribute :
Haply, the seas, and countries different,
With variable objects, shall expel
This something-settled matter in his heart;
Whereon his brains still beating, puts him thus

From fashion of himself. What think you on 't ?
Pol. It shall do well; but yet do I believe,

The origin and commencement of this grief
Sprung from neglected love.-How now, Ophelia,
You need not tell us what lord Hamlet said ;
We heard it all.-My lord, do as you please ;
But, if you hold it fit, after the play,
Let his queen mother all alone entreat him
To show his griefs ; let her be round with him ;
And I 'll be plac'd, so please you, in the ear
Of all their conference : If she find him nota,
To England send him: or confine him, where

Your wisdom best shall think.

It shall be so: Madness in great ones must not unwatch'd go.


* Find him not out.

SCENE II.-A Hall in the same.

Enter Hamlet, and certain Players. Hax. Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on

the tongue: but if you mouth it, as many of your players do, I had as lief the town-crier had spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too muchyour hand thus : but use all gently : for in the very torrent, tempest, and (as I may say) thea whirlwind of passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance, that may give it smoothness. O, it offends me to the soul, to hear a robustious periwig pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings; who, for the most part, are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb shows and noise : I could have such a fellow

whipped for o'erdoing Termagant; it out-herods Herod : pray you, avoid it. 1 Play. I warrant your honour. HAM. Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be your tutor : suit

the action to the word, the word to the action; with this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature; for anything so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first, and now, was, and is, to hold, as 't were, the mirror up to nature; to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time, his form and pressure. Now this, overdone, or come tardy off, though it make the unskilful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve; the censure of the which one, must, in your allowance, o'er-weigh a whole theatre of others. O, there be players that I have seen play, and heard others praise, and that highly, not to speak it profanely, that, neither having the accent of christians, nor the gait of christian, pagan, nor man, have so strutted, and bellowed, that I have thought some of Nature's journeymen had made men, and not made

them well, they imitated humanity so abominably. 1 Play. I hope we have reformed that indifferently with us, sir. Ham. O, reform it altogether. And let those that play your clowns, speak no

more than is set down for them: for there be of them, that will themselves laugh, to set on some quantity of barren spectators to laugh too; though, in the mean time, some necessary question of the play be then to be considered : that 's villainous; and shows a most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it. Go, make you ready.

[Exeunt Players.

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 too help to hasten them?

* The, in folio; in quartos, your.

Dear, in folio; in quartos, see. Indifferently-tolerably well.

Both. We will, my lord.
Ham. What, ho; Horatio !



Hor. Here, sweet lord, at your service.
Ham. Horatio, thou art e'en as just a man

As e'er my conversation cop'd withal.
HOR. O, my dear lord, -
НАМ. .

Nay, do not think I flatter:
For what advancement may I hope from thee,
That no revenue hast but thy good spirits,
To feed and clothe thee? Why should the poor be flatter'd ?
No, let the candied tongue lick absurd pomp;
And crook the pregnant hinges of the knee,
Where thrift may follow fawning. Dost thou hear ?
Since my dear soul was mistress of my choice;
And could of men distinguish, her election
Hath seal'd thee for herself a: for thou hast been
As one, in suffering all, that suffers nothing;
A man, that fortune's buffets and rewards
Has ta'en with equal thanks : and bless'd are those,
Whose blood and judgment are so well comingled,
That they are not a pipe for fortune's finger
To sound what stop she please : Give me that man
That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him
In my heart's core, ay, in my heart of heart,
As I do thee.—Something too much of this.-
There is a play to-night before the king;
One scene of it comes near the circumstance
Which I have told thee of my father's death.
I prithee, when thou seest that act a-foot,
Even with the very comment of my soul
Observe mine uncle: if his occulted guilt
Do not itself unkennel in one speech,

It is a damned ghost that we have seen;
• The ordinary reading, which is that of the quartos, is,

“Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice,
And could of men distinguish her election,

She hath seal'd thee for herself.”
Surely the reading of the folio, that of our text, is far more elegant.
• The ordinary reading (that of the quartos) is

“ Even with the very comment of thy soul.” But Hamlet, having told Horatio the “circumstance” of his father's death, and imparted his sus. picions of his uncle, entreats his friend to observe his uncle “ with the very comment of my soul” -Hamlet's soul. We are not convinced, even by Mr. Dyce's acuteness and learning, that my is a misprint.

« VorigeDoorgaan »