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(though it satisfies Caldecott and Mr. Knight) gives a most violent shock to the metre: it would still have a harshness with the transposition, "list, 0, list, Hamlet !" nor would it be unobjectionable if altered to “. list, Hamlet, list,” for in this solemn adjuration the "O" is hardly to be omitted.
P. 124. (40)
" in the blossoms of my sin,
Unhousell’d, disappointed, unaneld;" Qy. “in the blossom of my sin" ?—In the second line, for “disappointed" Pope substituted “unanointed," which was adopted by Hanmer and Capell, none of them being aware that they were introducing a strange pleonasm, since “ unaneld," which they did not understand, means unanointed (and Mr. Francis Prendergast, though acquainted with the meaning of “ aneld,” has lately defended Pope's emendation “ unanointed” in two ingenious letters addressed to the Editor of The Dublin Evening Mail).-Theobald altered “disappointed” to “unappointed” (and there is no doubt that in a passage of The Comedy of Errors the folio has the stark error “distain’d" for “ unstain'd:" see note 37 on that play, vol. ii. p. 59).
Let us consider the three words of the line one by one: 1. “Unhousell’d” is without having received the housel, the Eucharist, or
Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. 2. “ Disappointed,” if the right reading, must be equivalent to ill-appointed,
unappointed, -unprepared. 3. “ Unanel’d” is not aneled, aneiled, or anoyld, not oiled, not anointed,
without extreme unction,
P. 124. (41) “With all my imperfections on my head :
0, horrible! 0, horrible! most horrible !
If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not ;"
“With all my accompts and sinnes vpon my head,
Ham. O God!
P. 124. (42)
“ And shall I couple hell?—0, fie !-Hold, my heart;" So quarto 1611 and the folio.-The quartos, 1604, &c. have, still more un. metrically,
" And shall I coupple hell, ô fie, hold, hold my hart,"– Capell's reading,
“And shall I couple hell?— Hold, hold, my heart," is probably the right one; though Boswell, in opposition to Steevens, defends “ O. fie !” because elsewhere in the play we have “ Fie upon't” and “ Fie on't! O, fie !"
P. 125. (43)
“O villain, villain, smiling, damnèd villain !”' &c. See the Preface to the present edition, p. xii.
P. 125. (44) “Mar. [within] So be it !"
P. 126. (45)
" whirling" So all the quartos.—The folio has “hurling,” which Caldecott and Mr. Knight retain. (In the earliest quarto " whirling" is spelt " wherling ;" in the later quartos “ whurling,"—whence the error of the folio.)
P. 126. (46) “ Never to speak of this that you have seen,
Snear by my sword.” The inversion is anti-Shakesperian. Point, 'Never seen. Swear,' &c.” Walker's Crit, Exam. &c. vol. iii. p. 263,
P, 127. (47)
“in our philosophy." So the folio.—All the quartos have “ in your philosophie."
P. 127. (48)
6. There be, an if they might,'" So all the quartos; and rightly, Hamlet meaning, “ There be persons who, if they were at liberty to speak.”—The folio has and if there might" (the transcriber or printer having repeated “there" by mistake); and so Caldecott and Mr. Knight.
P. 130. (50)
Rey. Good my lord !” Reynaldo has previously said “Very good, my lord,” and he afterwards says "Well
, my lord;" but the present speech is not therefore to be pointed " Good, my lord.” Compare at p. 145,
you are welcome to Elsinore. Ros. Good my lord !"
P. 132. (51) “ I hold my duty, as I hold my soul,
Both to my God and to my gracious king :"
soueraigne" instead of " gracious"); and, as Capell observes, in spite of the “ bad expression,” the poet's “ meaning is plain enough.” Votes, vol. i. P.i. p. 129. It was, however, misunderstood; for in the folio we find “ Both to my God, one to my gracious King ;" which strange alteration is adopted not only by Caldecott and Mr. Knight, but even by Mr. Collier.
P. 133. (52) “ My news shall be the fruit to that great feast." So the quartos, 1604, &c.—The folio has “ My Veres shall be the Newes to that great Feast ;" which Caldecott adopts !-Mr. Knight is "inclined to think tható news' was repeated by a typographical error."
P. 133. (53) “Welcome, my good friends!"' So the quartos, 1604, &c.—The folio has“Welcome good Frends.”—“I think the occasion absolutely demands · Welcome home, good friends! And so in his next speech, on parting with them, “Most welcome home!'” Walker's Crit. Exam. &c. vol. ii. p. 255.
P. 135. (54)
“out of thy star;" The editor of the second folio substituted “out of thy Sphere.”—“. Out of thy star' is placed above thee by fortune. We have fortune's star before." BOSWELL.
P. 136. (55)
“ You know, sometimes he walks four hours together
Ilere in the lobby.” ” “ The old copies,” says Mr. Collier, in the second edition of his Shakespeare, " have 'four hours together,' but no doubt misprinted : it is not likely that Polonius would specify precisely how long Hamlet walked in the lobby, and the corr. fo. 1632 tells us to read. for hours together,' as in our text.” Again, in his “Supplemental Notes,” vol. i. p. 276, Mr. Collier adds; “ The same probable misprint of four for ‘for is contained in Webster's · Duchess of Malfi,' act iv. (edit. Dyce, i. 260), where Bosola is giving to Ferdinand a description of the demeanour of the heroine ;
‘She will muse four hours together,' &c. This ought most likely to be “ for hours;' but Mr. Dyce prints “four hours.
Mr. Collier reasons very oddly. Since the old copies of Hamlet agree in having “four hours," and since the old copies of The Duchess of Malfi have “ four hours" also, surely the inference is, that “ four hours” is the right reading in both tragedies.
In his note on the present passage Malone observes; “I was formerly inclined to adopt Mr. Tyrwhitt's proposed emendation (in which Hanmer had anticipated him,- for hours together']; but have now no doubt that the text is right. The expression 'four hours together,' two hours together,' &c. appears to have been common. So, in King Lear, act i. [sc. 2];
* Edm. Spake you with him ?
Edg. Ay, two hours together.' Again, in The Winter's Tale [act v. sc. 2];
* Ay, and have been so any time these four hours.' Again, in Webster's Duchess of Malfi, 1623," &c.
P. 136. (56)
“ So he does, indeed." So the quartos, 1604, &c.—The folio has “ So he ha's indeed ;"—which is retained by Caldecott silently; and by Mr. Knight, with a note to say that "has” is equivalent to “has done."
P. 136. (57) “For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a god
kissing carrion," This passage is not in the quarto 1603.—The other old eds, have
-being a good kissing carrion.”—I give Warburton's emendation, which, if overpraised by Johnson (who called it a “noble" one), at least has the merit of conveying something like a meaning. That not even a tolerable sense can be tortured out of the original reading, we have proof positive in the various erplanations of it by Whiter, Coleridge, Caldecott, Mr. Knight, and Delius. (“ The carrion,” says Mr. Knight with the utmost gravity, “ the carrion is good at kissing - ready to return the kiss of the sun — Common kissing Titan,' and in the bitterness of his satire Hamlet associates the idea with the daughter of Polonius. Mr. Whiter, however, considers that good, the original reading, is correct; but that the poet uses the word as a substantive—the GOOD principle in the fecundity of the earth. In that case we should read “being a good, kissing carrion?.”—Equally outrageous in absurdity is the interpretation of Delius, which (translated for me by Mr. Robson) runs thus: “Hamlet calls the dog, in which the sun breeds maggots, a good, kissing carrion; alluding to the confiding, fawning manner of the dog towards his master. If the sun breeds maggots in the dead dog, which during its lifetime was so attached, --what, says Hamlet, in his bitter distrust [.Visstrauen], and to annoy Polonius, might not the sun breed in the equally tender Ophelia, who ought therefore not to expose herself to
P. 139. (58)
“ too dear a halfpenny." Until it can be shown that dear a halfpenny' is English, I should certainly prefer too dear at a halfpenny.?” Walker's Crit. Exam. &c. vol. ii. P. 259.—The old text, I believe, is right.
P. 139. (59) “ I will tell you why; so shall my anticipation prevent your
discovery, and your secrecy to the king and queen moult no feather.” So, the quartos, 1604, &c.—Mr. Knight deliberately prints, with the folio, " I will tell you why; so shall my anticipation preuent your discouery of your secricie to the King and Queenę : moult no feather.”
P. 139. (60) “this brave o’erhanging firmament,” Here the word " firmament” has dropt out of the folio; and Caldecott omits it too.—Though Mr. Knight now follows the quartos in this passage, he shows a lingering fondness for the error of the folio: he says, Using o'erhanging as a substantive, the sentence is perhaps less eloquent, but more coherent," &c.
P. 139. (61) “What a piece of work is man!" The quartos, 1604, &c. have “What peece of worke is a man," — the “a” having been shuffled out of its place.—The editor or editors of the folio, instead of making the proper transposition, inserted a second "a;” thus, “What a piece of worke is a man !"-The quarto of 1637 has “What a piece a worke is man!”
P. 140. (62)
“ berattle" So the second folio. — The first has “be-ratled.” — From “Do they grow rusty ?” to “ Hercules and his load too" is not in the quartos, 1604, &c.; but, as Mr. Collier observes, there are traces of this part of the scene in the quarto 1603.
P. 140. (63)
“ most like," The folio (see preceding note) has "like most.”
P. 142. (64)
" For the law of writ and the liberty, these are the only men.” "Writ' for writing, composition.” Johnson.—""[The] law of writ and the liberty' mean pieces written in rule, and pieces out of rule.” Capell's Notes, &c. vol. i. P. i. p. 133. —“The meaning probably is, that the players were good, whether at written productions, or at extemporal plays where liberty was allowed to the performers to invent the dialogue, in imitation of the Italian commedie al improviso. See · History of Engl. Dram. Poetry and the Stage,' Vol. iii. p. 393.” COLLIER. “Read with the modern editions' (Johnson's note in loc.) ' wit' [Rowe's alteration]. "Wriť for composition is not English. It is as if we should say, the laws of poem for the laws of poctry; or talk of so and so being contrary to the genius of ode, meaning the genius of lyrical composition. The passages quoted by the Var. commentators are utterly irrelevant. The same erratum occurs, Julius Cæsar, ii. 2, folio, p. 122, col. 2;
“For I haue neyther rrit nor words, nor worth,
Walker's Crit. Exam. &c. vol, iii. p. 265.
P. 142. (65)
66 What treasure" The old eds. have “What a treasure,”,