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Laer. This nothing's more than matter.

Oph. There's rosemary, that's for remembrance; 'pray you, love, remember; and there is pansies, that's for thoughts 34.

a rote, from its wheel, was also termed vielle, quasi wheel. It must surely have been out of a mere spirit of controversy that Malone affected to think that the spinning-wheel was alluded to by Ophelia.

34 Our ancestors gave to almost every flower and plant its emblematic meaning, and like the ladies of the east, made them almost as expressive as written language, in their hieroglyphical sense. Perdita, in The Winter's Tale, distributes her flowers in the same manner as Ophelia, and some of them with the same meaning. In The Handfull of Pleasant Delites, 1584, recently reprinted in Mr. Park's Heliconia, we have a ballad called ' A Nosegaie alwaies sweet for Lovers to send for Tokens,' where we find :

· Rosemarie is for remembrance

Betweene us day and night;
Wishing that I might alwaies have

You present in my sight.' Rosemarie had this attribute because it was said to strengthen the memory, and was therefore used as a token of remembrance and affection between lovers, and was distributed as an emblem both at weddings and funerals. Why pansies (pepsées) are emblems of thoughts is obvious. Fennel was emblematic of flattery, and · Dare finocchio, to give fennel,' was in other words

to flatter, to dissemble, according to Florio. Thus in the ballad above cited :

· Fennel is for flatterers,

An evil thing 'tis sure.' Browne, in his Britannia's Pastorals, says :

• The columbine, in tawny often taken,

Is then ascribed to such as are forsaken.' Rue was for ruth or repentance. It was also commonly called herbgrace, probably from being accounted ' a present remedy against all poison, and a potent auxiliary in exorcisms, all evil things fleeing from it. By wearing it with a difference (an heraldic term for a mark of distinction) Ophelia may mean that the queen should wear it as a mark of repentance; herself as a token of grief. The daisy was emblematic of a dissembler :• Next them grew the dissembling daisy, to warne such light of love wenches not to trust every fair promise that such amorous batchelors make.”—Green's Quip for an Upstart Courtier. The violet is for faithfulness, and is thus characterised in The Lover's



Laer. A document in madness; thoughts and remembrance fitted.

Oph. There's fennel for you, and columbines :there's rue for you; and here's some for me:-we may call it, herb of grace o Sundays :you may wear your rue with a difference.— There's a daisy :

I would give you some violets; but they withered all, when my father died :— They say, he made a good end, For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy,

[Sings. Laer. Thought 35 and affliction, passion, hell it

self, She turns to favour, and to prettiness. Oph. And will he not come again? [Sings.

And will he not come again?

No, no, he is dead,

Go to thy death-bed,
He never will come again.
His beard was as white as snow,
All flaxen was his poll:
He is

And we cast away moan;

God’a mercy on his soul 36 !
Nosegaie. In Bion's beautiful elegy on the death of Adonis,
Mr. Todd has pointed out:-

πάντα συν αυτω Ως τηνος τέθνακε, και ανθεα πάντ' έμαράνθη. 35 Thought, among our ancestors, was used for grief, care, pensiveness. Curarum volvere in pectore. He will die for sorrow and thought.'— Baret. Thus in Antony and Cleopatra:

"Cleo. What shall we do, Enobarbus ? • Eno.

Think and die.' See note on that passage, vol. vii. p.468, note 1.

36 Poor Ophelia in her madness remembers the ends of many old popular ballads. • Bonny Robin' appears to have been a favourite, for there were many others written to that tune. The editors have not traced the present one. It is introduced in 37 The folio reads common, which is only a varied orthography of the same word. • We will devise and common of these matters.'- Baret. 38 Thus in the quarto 1603 :

he is gone,

wi' you!

And of all christian souls ! I pray God. God be

[Exit OPHELIA. Laer. Do you see this, O God?

King. Laertes, I must commune37 with your grief,
Or you deny me right. Go but apart,
Make choice of whom

wisest friends


will, And they shall hear and judge 'twixt you

and me:
If by direct or by collateral hand
They find us touch'd, we will our kingdom give,
Our crown, our life, and all that we call ours,
To you in satisfaction; but, if not,

you content to lend your patience to us,
And we shall jointly labour with your soul
To give it due content 38.

Let this be so ;
His means of death, his obscure funeral 39,
No trophy, sword, nor hatchment, o'er his bones,

Eastward Hoe, written by Jonson, Chapman, and Marston, where some parts of this play are apparently burlesqued. Hamlet is the name given to a foolish footman in the same scene. I know not why it should be considered an attack on Shakspeare; it was the usual licence of comedy to sport with every thing serious and even sacred. Hamlet Travestie may as well be called an invidious attack on Sbakspeare.

King. Content you, good Leartes, for a time,
Although I know your grief is as a flood,
Brim full of sorrow, but forbear a while,
And think already the revenge is done
On him that makes you such a hapless son.

Lear. You have prevail'd, my lord, a while I'll strive,
To bury grief within a tomb of wrath,
Which once unhearsed, then the world shall hear
Leartes had a father he held dear.

· King. No more of that, ere many days be done
You shall hear that you do not dream upon.'
39 Folio--burial.


No noble rite, nor formal ostentation 40,-
Cry to be heard, as 'twere from heaven to earth,
That I must call’t in question.

So you shall;
And where the offence is, let the great axe fall.
I pray you, go with me.


SCENE VI. Another Room in the same.

Enter HORAtio and a Servant. Hor. What are they that would speak with me? Serv.

Sailors', sir ; They say, they have letters for

you. Hor.

Let them come in.

[Exit Servant. I do not know from what part of the world I should be greeted, if not from Lord Hamlet.

Enter Sailors. 1 Sail. God bless


sir. Hor. Let him bless thee too.

1 Sail. He shall, sir, an't please him. There's a letter for you, sir : it comes ? from the ambassador that was bound for England; if your name be Horatio, as I am let to know it is.

Hor. [Reads.) Horatio, when thou shalt have overlooked this, give these fellows some means to the king ; they have letters for him. Ere we were two days old at sea, a pirate of very warlike appointment gave us chase: Finding ourselves too slow of sail,

40 The funerals of knights and persons of rank were made with great ceremony and ostentation formerly. Sir John Hawkins (himself of the order) observes that the sword, the helmet, the gauntlet, spurs, and tabard are still hung over the grave of every knight 1 Quarto-sea-faring men.

2 Folio-it came. VOL. X.


we put on a compelled valour ; and in the grapple I boarded them: on the instant, they got clear of our ship; so I alone became their prisoner. They have dealt with me like thieves of mercy; but they knew what they did; I am to do a good turn for them. Let the king have the letters I have sent; and repair thou to me with as much haste as thou would'st fly death. I have words to speak in thine 3 ear, will make thee dumb; yet are they much too light for the bore of the matter. These good fellows will bring thee where I am. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern hold their course for England: of them I have much to tell thee. Farewell.

He that thou knowest thine, Hamlet. Come, I will give you way for these your letters; And do't the speedier, that you may direct me To him from whom you brought them. [Exeunt.

SCENE VII. Another Room in the same.

Enter King and LAERTES. King. Now must your conscience my acquittance

you must put me


heart for friend;
Sith you have heard, and with a knowing ear,
That he, which hath your noble father slain,
Pursu'd my life.
It well appears :

-But tell

me, Why you proceeded not against these feats, So crimefull and so capital in nature, As by your safety, greatness, wisdom, all things else, You mainly were stirr'd ир.

3 Folio--your.

4 The bore is the caliber of a gun. The matter (says Hamlet) would carry heavier words.

I Quarto-- Criminal. Greatness is omitted in the folio.

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