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265. “When he needs what you have gleaned,
it is but squeezing you, and, sponge,
you shall be dry again.” An equivoke is designed here between “ to need,” require; and to knead, or mix the paste or dough for bread : when he has taken advantage of your gleanings and made the utmost of them, it is but, &c. Thomson has made use of this idea of the spungy favourite, in his poem on Liberty, Part V. 198:
“ Rich as unsqueez'd favourite.”
A designing speech will repose securely in the ear of a fool, who cannot understand it. “ The body is with the king, but the king is not
with the body." Rosencrantz had asked where the body was ? meaning Pollonius's body; but Hamlet, under cover of his assumed madness, takes occasion to vent his satire against the king, and replies, “the body is with the king, but the king is not with the body, inferring, that the king possessed only the gross exterior of royalty, while the nobler part, the soul of it, was wanting—this seems to be connected with what follows: Ham. “The king is a thing " Guil. “Of what, my lord?” Ham. “ Of nothing."
SCENE III. 269. “ If thou knew'st our purposes." Ham. “ I see a cherub, that sees them.”
This may stand; but perhaps it would be better to read, “I see a cherub that knows them.” 270."
Thy free awe “Pays homage to us." Voluntary homage, proposed by England, as the price of our friendship.
_ Letters conjuring to that effect, “ The present death of Hamlet.” Vide Homer's Iliad, Book VI. where Ballero. phon is sent to Lycia, in the same manner,
SCENE IV. 272. “ The conveyance of a promis'd
march.” “ Conveyance,” here, seems to mean, convoiance, protection during the march. 273. “To pay five ducats, five, I would not
farm it.” Five, even so small a sum as five.
“ A ranker rate.” A more exuberant încome. “ This is thè imposthume of much wealth and
peace.” A political plethora. In K. Henry IV. we have “ the cankers of a calm world and a long peace."
274.“ Market of his time.”
This, I believe, means, his prime of life, the time at which he ought to exert his faculties to the best advantage and profit.
Rightly to be great, “ Is, not to stir without great argument ;
“ But greatly to find quarrel in a straw." ¿. e. Magnanimously to find quarrel, &c. A kindred sentiment we find in the First Part of K. Henry IV. where Hotspur says, "
I'd give thrice so much land,
" I'll cavil on the ninth part of a hair.” 275.“ – Trick of fame.”
i. e. A fit of ambition.
SCENE V. 276. “ I will not speak with her.” To this, I suppose, Horatio added :
“ Beseech you, madam.” 178. “So full of artless jealousy is guilt,
“ It spills itself in fearing to be spilt.” So unskilfully suspicious is guilt that its plans of defence are generally the source of discomfiture to itself. 301. “ That I must callit in question.”
Insomuch that I must call’t, &c. The ellipsis has often been noted.
SCENE VII. 303. " As the star moves not but in his
sphere.” “Sphere,” as in other places, for orbit. 304. “ My arrows,
“Too slightly timber'd for so loud a wind.” · Here is a false epithet introduced into the folio
a strong wind may be loud, but loudness has no power to resist the force of the arrows; indeed, there is nothing in the preceding words to which “ wind,” or “so loud a wind” can at all apply. “Loved arm’d,” the reading of the first quarto, is certainly a strange expression; but, as the speaker is describing Hamlet as being fortified in the people's affection, perhaps “ loved-arm’d" is the true reading. 305.“ Stood challenger on mount of all the age
“ For her perfections." Might stand upon the summit of conscious excellence, and challenge the age or times to a com petition with her.
“ I lov'd your father, and we love ourself.”
The king, in the beginning of this speech, seems to have forgotten the pompous dignity of his plural distinction. 307. “ Uncharge the practice.”
“ Practice” is device, stratagem, as in other places; and “ uncharge the practice,” I believe, implies, unload it of suspicion, with reference to the charging and uncharging a gun; or, per
haps“ uncharge” means no more than “not charge” or “ accuse." 309. “ Love is begun by time.”
I believe we should read " betime," and that the king's meaning is, love begins at an early period of life, and takes unqualified possession of the mind; but, as our understandings ripen and expand, this affection suffers abatement, 310. " Goodness
“ Dies in his own too-much.” In his own superfluity or excess. 66
That we would do, “We should do when we would; for this
would changes.” . e. What we are desirous to do we should do at once, as inclination is fluctuating and uncertain. Perhaps the expression would be better by a slight change:
“ That we should do.” . . e. What we ought to do; we should do when we would, i. e. while inclination serves, for, &c. 314. “ Your cunnings.”
Your skill. 315.
Enter Queen. " How now, sweet queen ?” This hemistic is not in the quarto, and I take it to be interpolated.
“There is a willow." As the queen seems to give this description