« PreviousContinue »
King. Hamlet, this deed, for thine * especial
safety,— Which we do tender, as we dearly grieve For that which thou hast done,-must send thee
Ham. For England ?
Good. King. So is it, if thou knew'st our purposes.
Ham. I see a cherub, that sees them *.—But, come; for England !-Farewell, dear mother.
King. Thy loving father, Hamlet.
Ham. My mother : Father and mother is man and wife ; man and wife is one flesh; and so, 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 seal'd and done That else leans on the affair : Pray you, make haste.
[Ereunt Ros. and Guil. And, England, if my love thou hold'st at aught, (As my great power thereof may give thee sense;
* First folio, this deed of thine, for thine. + First folio, him.
3 With fiery quickness :) These words are not in the quartos. We meet with fiery expedition in King Richard III. Steevens.
the wind at help,] I suppose it should be read
“ The bark is ready, and the wind at helm.” Johnson. “- at help," i.e. at hand, ready, -ready to help or assist you.
Ritson. Similar phraseology occurs in Pericles, Prince of Tyre :
- I'll leave it
Since yet thy cicatrice looks raw and red
thou may'st not coldly set Our sovereign process ;] I adhere to the reading of the quarto and folio. Mr. M. Mason observes, that “one of the common acceptations of the verb set, is to value or estimate; as we say to set at nought; and in that sense it is used here.” Steevens.
Our poet has here, I think, as in many other places, used an elliptical expression : "thou may'st not coldly set by our sovereign process :” thou may'st not set little by it, or estimate it lightly. “ To set by," Cole renders in his Dict. 1679, by æstimo. “ To set little by," he interprets parvi-facio. See many other instances of similar ellipses, in Cymbeline, Act V. Sc. V. "Malone. • By letters cónsuring -] Thus the folio. The quarto reads :
By letters congruing—.” Steevens. The reading of the folio may derive some support from the following passage in The Hystory of Hamblet, bl. 1.: “— making the king of England minister of his massacring resolution; to whom he purposed to send him, [Hamlet,) and by letters desire him to put him to death.” So also, by a subsequent line:
“ Ham. Wilt thou know the effect 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 The Hystory of Hamblet.
Effect was formerly used for act or deed, simply, 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 effect, there came to us a Zuum, that is, a captaine," &c. See also supra, p. 399, n. 2.
The verb to conjure (in the sense of to supplicate,) was formerly accented on the first syllable. So, in Macbeth:
“ I conjure you, by that which you profess.
“ Howe'er you come to know it, answer me. Again, in King John:
“ I conjure thee but slowly; run more fast.” Again, in Romeo and Juliet :
“ I coxjure thee, by Rosaline's bright eyes —" Again, in Measure for Measure:
“O prince, I conjure thee, as thou believ'st," &c. MALONE, VOL. VII.
For like the hectick in my blood he rages",
A Plain in Denmark.
Enter FORTINBRAS, and Forces, marching. For. Go, captain, from me greet the Danish
king; Tell him, that, by his licence, Fortinbras Craves o the conveyance of a promis'd march
7 - like the hectick in my blood he rages,] So, in Love's Labour's Lost:
“I would forget her, but a fever, she
Reigns in my blood.” ŠALONE. Scaliger has a parallel sentiment:-“Febris hectica uxor, et non nisi morte avellenda." Steevens.
8 Howe'er my haps, my joys will ne'er BEGIN.] This being the termination of a scene, should, according to our author's custom, be rhymed. Perhaps he wrote:
• Howe'er my hopes, my joys are not begun.' If haps be retained, the meaning will be, 'till ☺ know 'tis done, I shall be miserable, whatever befal me. Johnson. The folio reads, in support of Dr. Johnson's remark :
“ Howe'er my haps, my joys were ne'er begun." Mr. Heath would read : “Howe'er 't may hap, my joys will ne'er begin."
STEEVENS. By his haps, he means his successes. His fortune was begun, but his joys were not. M. Mason.
“ Howe'er my haps, my joys will ne'er begin.” 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 has been done, whatever may befal me, my joys never had a beginning, is surely nonsense. MALONE. 9 Craves -] Thus the quartos. The folio- Claims.
STEEVENS. Claims agrees better with promise. Boswell.
Over his kingdom, You know the rendezvous.
I will do't, my lord.
[Exeunt FORTINBRAS and Forces. Enter HAMLET, ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN, &c.
Нам. Good sir, whose powers are these ? ?
How purpos'd, sir, I pray you?
CAP. Against some part of Poland.
Who Commands them, sir?
CAP, The nephew to old Norway, Fortinbras.
Ham. Goes it against the main of Poland, sir, Or for some frontier ?
CAP. Truly to speak, sir, and with no addition, We go to gain a little patch of ground, That hath in it no profit but the name. To pay five ducats, five, I would not farm it; Nor will it yield to Norway, or the Pole, A ranker rate, should it be sold in fee.
* First folio, safely.
· We shall express our duty IN HIS EYE,] So, in Antony and Cleopatra :
tended her i the eyes.” In his eye, means, “in his presence. The phrase appears to have been formularly. See The Establishment of the Household of Prince Henry, A. D. 1610 : “ Also the gentleman-usher shall be careful to see and informe all such as doe service in the Prince's eye, that they perform their dutyes,” &c. Again, in The Regulations for the Government of the Queen's Household, 1627 :
all such as doe service in the Quecn's eye." STEEVENS. 2 Good sir, &c.] The remaining part of this scene is omitted in the folio. Steevens.
Ham. Why, then the Polack never will defend it.
Cap. God be wi'you, sir. [Erit Captain. Ros.
Will't please you go, my lord ? Ham. I will be with you straight. Go a little before.
[Exeunt Ros. and Guil. How all occasions do inform against me, And spur my dull revenge! What is a man, If his chief good, and market of his time Be but to sleep, and feed ? a beast, no more. Sure, he, that made us with such large discourse *, Looking before, and after, gave us not That capability and godlike reason To fust in us unus'd. Now, whether it be Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruples Of thinking too precisely on the event,A thought, which, quarter'd, hath but one part
wisdom, And, ever, three parts coward,—I do not know Why yet I live to say, This thing's to do; Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and means,
3 — chief good, and market of his time, &c.] If his highest good, and that for which he sells his time, be to sleep and feed.
Johnson. Market, I think, here means profit. Malone.
4 – large DISCOURSE,] Such latitude of comprehension, such power of reviewing the past, and anticipating the future.
JOHNSON. some Craven scruple-] Some cowardly scruple. A craven is a mean spirited cock. So, in The Taming of a Shrew:
“ No cock of mine, you crow too like a craven." Malone. So, in King Henry VI. Part I. :
“Or durst not, for his craven heart, say this." Steevens.