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Francisco on bis poft. Enter to bim BERNARDO.
BER. Who's there?
Nay, answer me: * stand, and unfold
BER. Long live the king !3
Ber. Have you had quiet guard?
Not a mouse stirring.
-me:) i. e. me who am already on the watch, and have a right to demand the watch-word. Steevens.
} Long live the king!] This sentence appears to have been the watch-word. Malone.
4 'Tis now struck twelve;] I strongly suspect that the true reading is now ftruck &c. So, in Romeo and Juliet, Act I. sc. i: " But new ftruck nine." STEEVENS,
Ber. Well, good night.
4 The rivals of my watch,] Rivals for partners.
WARBURTON. So, in Heywood's Rape of Lucrece, 1636 :
“ Tullia. Aruns, associate him.
“ Aruns. A rival with my brother,” &c. Again, in The Tragedy of Hoffman, 1637:
• And make thee rival in those governments.” Again, in Antony and Cleopatra, Act III. sc. v:
-having made use of himn in the wars against Pompe presently deny'd him rivality." STEEVENS,
By rivals the speaker certainly means partners (according to Dr. Warburton's explanation,) or those whom he expected to watch with him. Marcellus had watched with him before ; whether as a centinel, a volunteer, or from mere curiosity, we do not learn: but, which ever it was, it seems evident that his station was on the same spot with Bernardo, and that there is no other centinel by them relieved. Possibly Marcellus was an officer, whose business it was to visit each watch, and perhaps to continue with it some time. Horatio, as it appears, watches out of curiosity. But in Act II. sc. i. to Hamlet's question,-" Hold you the watch to-night?” Horatio, Marcellus, and Bernardo, all answer," We do, my honour'd lord.” The folio indeed, readaboth, which one may with greater propriety refer to Marcellus and Bernardo. If we did not find the latter gentleman in such good company, we might have taken him to have been like Francisco whom he relieves, an honeft but common foldier. The strange indiscriminate use of Italian and Roman names in this and other plays, makes it obvious that the author was very little conversant in even the rudiments of either language. Ritson.
Rival is constantly used by Shakspeare for a partner or associate,
If you do meet Horatio, and Marcellus
Enter Horatio and Marcellus.
Fran. I think, I hear them.-Stand, ho! Who
And liegemen to the Dane.
O, farewell, honest soldier:
Bernardo hạth my place.
A piece of him.
because Horatio is a gentleman of no profession, and because, as
This to me
MALONE. s Hor. A piece of bim.] But why a piece? He says this as he gives his hand. Which direction should be marked.
WARBURTON, A piece of him, is, I believe, no more than a cant expression. It is used, however, on a serious occasion in Pericles: “ Take in your arms this piece of your dead
Ber. Welcome, Horatio ; welcome, good Mar
cellus. Hor. What,has this thing appear'd again to
MAR. Horatio says, 'tis but our fantasy;
Hor. Tush! tush! 'twill not appear.
Sit down awhile;
6 Hor. What, &c.] Thus the quarto, 1604. STEEVENS. These words are in the folio given to Marcellus. MALONE.
7 - the minutes of this night;} This seems to have been an expression common in Shakspeare's time. I find it in one of Ford's plays, The Fancies chaste and noble, Act V:
“ I promise ere the minutes of the night.” Steevens.
approve our eyes,] Add a new testimony to that of our eyes. JOHNSON. So, in King Lear:
this approves her letter, “ That she would soon be here." See Vol. XII. p. 413, n. 7. STEVENS.
He may approve our eyes,] He may make good the testimony of our eyes; be assured by his own experience of the truth of that which we have related, in consequence of having been eye-witnesses to it. To approve in Shakspeare's age, signified to make good, or establish, and is so defined in Cawdrey's Alphabetical Table of bard Engliß words, 8vo, 1604. So, in King Lear:
“ Good king, that must approve the common faw!
What we two nights have seen.
Well, sit we down, And let us hear Bernardo speak of this.
Ber. Last night of all, When yon same star, that's westward from the
pole, Had made his course to illume that part of heaven Where now it burns, Marcellus, and myself, The bell then beating one, — Mar. Peace, break thee off; look, where it
Ber. In the same figure, like the king that's
dead. Mar. Thou are a scholar, speak to it, Horatio.” Ber. Looks it not like the king? mark it, Ho
ratio. Hor. Most like:—it harrows me with fear, and
9 What we two nights have seen.] This line is by Sir T. Hanmer given to Marcellus, but without necessity. JOHNSON.
2 Thou art a scholar, Speak to it, Horatio.] It has always been a vul. gar notion that fpirits and supernatural beings can only be spoken to with propriety or effect by persons of learning. Thus, Toby in The Night-walker, by Beaumont and Fletcher, says:
- It grows still longer,
“ And that will daunt the devil." In like manner the honest butler in Mr. Addison's Drummer, recommends the fteward to speak Latin to the ghost in that play.
Reed. it harrows me &c.] To harrow is to conquer, to subdue.