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Ham. He poisons him i' the garden for his estate. His name's Gonzago: the story is extant, and written in very choice Italian : You shall see anon, how the murderer gets the love of Gonzago's wife.
Oph. The king rises.
[Exeunt all but HAMLET, and HORATIO, Ham. Why, let the strucken deer go weep,
The hart ungalled play:
Thus runs the world away:--
“ I fear he will persuade me to mistake him." STEEVINS. I believe the meaning is—you do amiss for yourselves to take hus. bands for the worfe. You should lake them only for the better.
TOLLET. 3 What! frighted wirb false fire!] This speech is omitted in the quartos. STIEVENS.
4 Pol. Ligbes, &c.) Thus the quarto. In the folio All is prefixed to this speech. MALONE.
5 Would not obis, fir, and a forest of feathers, &c.] It appears from Decker's Guls Hornebooke, that feathers were much worn on the itage in Shakspeare's time. MALONE.
6 - turn Turk with me,] This expreffion has occurred already in Mucb Ads about Norbing, and I have met with it in several old comedies. So, in Greene's Tu Quoque, 1999 : “ This it is to turn Turk, from an absolute and most compleat gentleman, to a most absurd, ridiculous, and fond lover.” It means, believe, no more than to change condition fantastically. Again, in Decker's Honeft Wbore, 3635:
'tis damnation, “ If you turn Turk again." Perhaps the phrase had its rise from some popular story like that of Ward and Danfiker, the two famous pirates; an account of whose overthrow was published by A. Barker 1609; and, in 1612, a play was written on the same subject called A Cbriftian turn'd Turk.
cial roses? on my razed shoes 8, get me a fellowship in a
Hor. Half a share.
This realm dismantled was
A very, very--peacock 3.
Ham. ? - with two Provencial roses,-) The old copies have provincial, which as Mr. Warton has observed, was undoubtedly a mispelling for Provencial, or Provençal, i. e. roses of Provence, “ a beautiful species of rose formerly much cultivated." Here, roles of sibbands must be understood. MALONE.
When shoe-strings were worn, they were covered where they met in the middle by a ribband, gathered in the form of a rose. So, in an old song:
" Gilderoy was a bonny boy,
on my razed foes,] The quartos has roz'd; the folioraid. It is the same word differently spelt. Razed fooes are shoes freaked. See Min theu's Dict. in v. To rase. “ To these their nether-stockes, (says Stubbes in his Anatomie of Abuses, 1583,) they (the people of Èngland) have corked fhooes, pinsnets, and pantofiles, which beare them up a finger or two from the ground; whereof some be of white leather, some of blacke, and some of red; some of black velvet, some of white, some of red, some of greene,-araced, carved, cut, and stiched all over with filte, and laied on with gold, filver, and such like." MALONE.
9-acry of players-) A troop or company of players. So, in Coriolanus :
- You have made good work, 6 You, and your cry." Again, in Á strange Horje-race, by Thomas Decker, 1613: “ The last race they ran, (for you must know they had many,) was from a cry of serjeants." MALONE. " Hor. Half a share. Haml. Å wbole one, I.] It should be, I think,
A whole one ;-ay;-
For &c. The actors in our authour's time had not annual salaries as at present: The whole receipts of each theatre were divided into shares, of which the proprietors of the theatre, or bouse-keepers, as they were called, had fome; and each actor had one or more thares, or part of a share, according to bis merit. See The Account of ibe Ancient Tbeatres, Vol. I. Part II.
MALONE. 2 - 0 Damon dear,] Hamlet calls Horatio by this name, in allufon to the celebrated friend hip between Damon and Pyobias. A play
Han. O good Horatio, I'll take the ghoft's word for a thousand pound. Didit perceive ?
Hor. Very well, my lord.
well note him. on this subject was written by Rich. Edwards, and published in 1582.
STEEVENS. The friendship of Damon and Pythias is also enlarged upon in a book that was probably very popular in Shakspeare's youth, Sir Thomas Elliot's Governour, 1553. MALONE.
3 A very, very-peacock.] This alludes to a fable of the birds choofing a king; instead of the eagle, a peacock. POPE,
The old copies have it paiock, paicocke, and pajocke. I substitute paddock, as nearest to the traces of the corrupted reading. I have, as Mr. Pope says, been willing to substitute any thing in the place of his peacock. He thinks a fable alluded to, of the birds choosing a king; inttead of the eagle, a peacock. I suppose, he must mean the fable of Barlandus, in which it is said, the birds, being weary of their state of anarchy, moved for the setting up of a king; and the peacock was elected on account of his gay feathers. But, with submission, in this passage of our Shakspeare, there is not the least mention made of the eagle in antithefis to the peacock; and it must be by a very uncommon figure, that Jove himself stands in the place of his bird. I think, Hamlet is setting his father's and uncle's characters in contrast to each other : and meaos to say, that by his father's death the Itate was stripp'd of a godlike monarch, and that now in his stead reign’d the moit despicable poisonous animal that could be; a mere paddock, or toad. P AD, bufo, rubeta major; a toad. This word, I take to be of Hamlet's own iubftituting. The verses, repeated, seem to be from some old ballad ; in which, rhyme being necessary, I doubt not but the last verse ran thus:
A very, very-ass. THEOBALD. A peacock seems proverbial for a fool. Thus Gascoigne in his Weeds :
“ A thefe, a cowarde, and a peacocke foole.” FARMER. In the last scene of this act, Hamlet, speaking of the king, uses the Expression which Theobald would introduce:
« Would from a paddock, from a bat, a gib,
“ Such dear concernments hide ?” The reading, peacock, which I believe to be the true one, was first introduced by Mr. Pope.
Mr. Theobald is unfaithful in his account of the old copies. No copy of authority reads—paicocke. The quarto, 1604, has paiock; the folio, 1623, paiocke.
Shakspeare, I suppose, means, that the king struts about with a false pomp, to which he has no right. See Florio's Italian Dictionary, 1598 : * Pavonnegiare. To jet up and down, fondly gazing upon himself, as a peacock doth," MALONI.
Ham. Ah, ha !Come, some mufick; come, the rea corders.
For if the king like not the comedy,
Enter RoS ENCRANTZ, and GUILDENSTERN.
Guil. Good my lord, vouchsafe me a word with you,
Ham. Your wisdom should shew itself more richer, to fignify this to the doctor ; for, for me to put him to his purgation, would, perhaps, plunge him into more choler.
Guil. Good my lord, put your discourse into some frame, and start not so wildly from my affair.
Ham. I am tame, fir :-pronounce. Guil. The queen, your mother, in most great affli&ion of spirit, hath sent me to you.
Ham. You are welcome.
Guil. Nay, good my lord, this courtesy is not of the right breed. If it shall please you to make me a whol. fome answer, I will do your mother's commandment: if not, your pardon, and my return, shall be the end of my business. Ham. Sir, I cannot. Guil, What, my lord ?
Ham. Make you a wholsome answer; my wit's diseased : But, fir, such answer as I can make, you shall
4 Why then, belike,-) Hamlet was going on to draw the consequence, wher, the courtiers entered. JOHNSO
$ - be likes it noi, perdy.] Perdy is a corruption of par Dicu, and is not uncommon in the old plays. So, in The Play of tbe Four P's, 1569:
“ In that, you Palmer, as deputie,
“ May cleerly discharge him pardie." STEEVENS. 6 Witb drink, for ] Hamlet takes particular care that his uncle's love of drink thall not be forgotten. JOHNSON,
you go to bed.
command; or, rather, as you say, my mother: therefore no more, but to the matter : My mother, you say,
Ros, Then thus she says ; Your behaviour hath struck her into amazement and admiration.
Ham. O wonderful son, that can so astonish a mother ! - But is there no sequel at the heels of this mother's admiration? impart.
Rof. She desires to speak with you in her closet, ere
Ham. We shall obey, where she ten times our mother. Have you any further trade ? with us?
Rof. My lord, you once did love me.
Roj. Good my lord, what is your cause of distemper? you do, surely, bar the door upon your own liberty, if you deny your griefs to your friend.
Ham. Sir, I lack advancement.
Rof. How can that be, when you have the voice of the king himself for your succession in Denmark)?
Ham. Ay, fir, but, While the grass grows,--the proverb is something musty',
Enter the Players, with Recorders?. O, the recorders :- let me see one. - To withdraw with
7 - further trade) Further business; further dealing. JOHNSON.
- by these pickers, &c.] By these hands. JOHNSON. Alluding to the Cburcb Catechism:-" to keep my hands from picking and stealing,” &c. MALONE. - wben
bave the voice of tbe king bimself for your fucceffion in Denmark.] See p. 201, n. 9. MALONE.
Ay, fir, but, While the grass grows, the proverb is something musly.] The remainder of this old proverb is preserved in Whetstone's Promos and Coflandra, 1578:
“ Whylst grass doth growe, oft serves ebe seely ficede." Again, in The Paradise of Daintie Devises, 1578:
" To whom of old this proverbe well it serves,
“ Wbile grass dorb growe, the filly borse be fierves." Hamlet means to intimate, that whilst he is waiting for the fucceflion to the throne of Denmark, he may himseif be taken off by death. MALONE.
Recorders.] i. e. a kind of large flute.