« AnteriorContinuar »
That our devices still are overthrown;
Ham. If she should break it now, [ToOPH.
here a while;
[Sleeps. P. Queen.
Sleep rock thy brain; And never come mischance between us twain !
King. Have you heard the argument? Is there no offence in't?
Ham. No, no, they do but jest, poison in jest; no offence i’the world.
King. What do you call the play? Ham. The mouse-trap 31 Marry, how? Tropi30 Anchor's for anchoret's. Thus in Hall's second Satire, b. iv.:
Sit seven years pining in an anchor's cheyre,
To win some patched shreds of minivere. 31 [The mouse-trap,] i.e.
cally 32. This play is the image of a murder done in Vienna: Gonzago is the duke's name 33, his wife, Baptista: you shall see anon; 'tis a knavish piece of work: But what of that? your majesty, and we that have free souls, it touches us not: Let the galled jade wince, our withers are unwrung:
lord. Ham. I could interpret between you and your love, if I could see the puppets dallying.
Oph. You are keen, my lord, you are keen.
Ham. It would cost you a groaning, to take off my edge.
Oph. Still better, and worse.
32 First quarto-trapically. It is evident that a pun was intended.
33 [Gonzago is the duke's name, bis wife Baptista :] all the old copies read thus. Yet in the dumb show we have, ' Enter a King and Queen ;' and at the end of this speech, · Lucianus, nephew to the king. This seeming inconsistency, however, may be reconciled. Though the interlude is the image of the murder of the duke of Vienna, or in other words founded upon that story, the poet might make the principal person in his fable a king. Baptista is never used singly by the Italians, being uniformly compounded with Giam and Giovanni. It is needless to remark that it is always the name of a man.
34 The use to which Shakspeare put the chorus may be seen in King Henry V. Every motion or puppet-show was accompanied by an interpreter or showman. Thus in The Two Gentlemen of Verona :
O excellent motion : O exceeding puppet!
Now will he interpret for her.' 35 The first quarto— So you must take your husband.' Hamlet puns upon the word mistake : So you mis-take, or take your husbands amiss for better and worse.' The word was often thus misused for any thing done wrongfully, and even for privy stealing. In one of Bastard's Epigrams, 1598, cited by Steevens
-- none that seeth her face and making Will judge her stol'n but by mistaking.'
murderer;-leave thy damnable faces, and begin. Come;
The croaking raven Doth bellow for revenge. Luc. Thoughts black, hands apt, drugs fit, and
time agreeing; Confederate season, else no creature seeing; Thou mixture rank, of midnight weeds 36 collected, With Hecat's ban thrice blasted, thrice infected, Thy natural magick and dire property, On wholesome life usurp immediately.
[Pours the Poison into the Sleeper's Ears. 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 weeps,
The hart ungalled play: For some must watch, while some must sleep;
Thus runs the world away. Would not this, sir, and a forest of feathers (if the rest of my fortunes turn Turk 38 with me), with two
36 · Midnight weeds.' Thus in Macbeth :
• Root of hemlock, digg'd i' the dark.' 37 See note on As You Like It, Act ij. Sc. 1, p. 130.
38 To turn Turk was a familiar phrase for any violent change of condition or character.
provincial roses on my razed 39 shoes, get me a fellowship in a cry 10 of players, sir?
Hor. Half a share 41.
This realm dismantled was
A very, very-peacock 42.
Ham. O good Horatio, I'll take the ghost's word for a thousand pound. Didst perceive ? Hor. Very well, my lord.
. Ham. Upon the talk of the poisoning,
39 [Provincial roses) on my razed shoes. Provincial was erroneously changed to Provençal, at the suggestion of Warton. Mr. Douce rectified the error by showing that the Provincial roses took their name from Provins, in Lower Brie, and not from Pro
Razed shoes are most probably embroidered shoes. The quarto reads, rac'd. To race, or rase, was to stripe.
[A cry of players.] It was usual to call a pack of hounds a cry; from the French meute de chiens : it is here humorously applied to a troop or company of players. It is used again in Coriolanos: Menenius says to the citizens, 'You have made good work, you and your cry. In the very curious catalogue of The Companyes of Bestys, given in The Boke of St. Albans, many equally singular terms may be found, which seem to have exercised the wit and ingenuity of our ancestors; as a thrave of throshers, a scull or shoal of monks, &c.
41 The players were paid not by salaries, but by shares or portions of the profit, according to merit. See Malone's Account of the Ancient Theatres, passim.
42 [A very, very-peacock.] The old copies read paiock, and paiocke. The peacock was as proverbially used for a proud fool as the lapwing for a silly one. * Pavoneggiare, to court it, to brave it, to peacockise it, to wantonise it, to get up and down fondly, gazing upon himself as a peacocke does.'- Florio, ital. Dict. 1598. Theobald proposed to read paddock ; and in the last scene Hamlet bestows this opprobrious name upon the king. Mr. Blakeway has suggested that we might read puttock, wbich means a base degenerate hawk, a kite; which Shakspeare does indeed contrast with the eagle in Cymbeline, Act i. Sc. 2:
'I chose an eagle, and did avoid a puttock.'
Hor. I did very well note him.
Ham. Ah, ha!--Come, some musick; come, the recorders 43
For if the king like not the comedy,
Why then, belike,-he likes it not, perdy 44. Enter ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN. Come, some musick.
Guil. Good my lord, vouchsafe me a word with you.
Ham. Sir, a whole history.
Guil. Is, in his retirement, marvellous distempered.
Ham. With drink, sir?
Ham. Your wisdom should show itself more richer, to signify 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, sir:
:-pronounce. Guil. The queen, your mother, in most great affliction 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 wholesome answer,
I will do
43 [The recorders.] See note on a Midsummer Night's Dream, Act i. Sc. 1. It is difficult to settle exactly the form of this instrument: old writers in general make no distinction between a flute, a pipe, and a recorder; but Hawkins has shown clearly, from a passage in Lord Bacon's Natural History, that the flute and the recorder were distinct instruments. 44 Perdy is a corruption of the French par Dieu.