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A Hall in the Castle.


Ham. So much for this, sir : now shall you see

the other;
You do remember all the circumstance?

HOR. Remember it, my lord!
Ham. Sir, in my heart there was a kind of fight-

That would not let me sleep; (36

) methought, I lay Worse than the mutines in the bilboes.(57) Rasbly, And praise be rashness for it, -Let us know,

Our indiscretion sometimes serves us well, • deep, 4to. When our dear plots do pall :(39) and that should

There's a divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them how we will.(39)
· Hor.

That is most certain.
HAM. Up from my cabin,
My sea-gown scarf’å about me, in the dark
Grop'd I to find out them : had my desire;
Finger'd their packet; and, in fine, withdrew
To mine own room again : making so bold,
My fears forgetting manners, to unseal
Their grand commission ; where I found, Horatio,
A royal knavery; an exact command,

teach us,

. And praise be rashness for it] Praise be to rashness! So the folios. The quartos read prais'd.

Let us know] Be it understood.
* an eract command] Distinct, direct.

Larded with many several sorts of reason,
Importing Denmark's health, and England's too,
With, ho! such bugs and goblins in my life,
That, on the supervise,“ no leisure bated, (40)
No, not to stay the grinding of the axe,
My head should be struck off.

Is't possible?
HAM. Here's the commission; read it at more

But wilt thou hear now how I did proceed ?

Hor. Ay, beseech you.

Ham. Being thus benetted round with villanies, Or I could make a prologue to my brains," They had begun the play : I sat me down; Devis'd a new commission ; wrote it fair : I once did hold it, as our statists do, A baseness to write fair, (41) and labour'd much How to forget that learning; but, sir, now It did me yeoman's service. Wilt thou know The effect of what I wrote ? Hor.

Ay, good my

lord. HAM. An earnest conjuration from the king, As England was his faithful tributary;

Larded with many several sorts of reason] Garnished. IV. 5. Ophel. For reason the quartos read reasons.

such bugs and goblins in my life] Such multiplied causes of alarm, such bugbears, if I were suffered to live. the supervise] At sight, on the mere inspection.

Or I could make a prologue to my brains,

They had begun the play] Ere I could well conceive what they were about, what could be their object in this mission; before I had time to give my first thoughts to their process, they were carrying their projects into act.

It did me yeoman's service] As good service as a yeoman performed for his feudal lord ; in the sense in which we yet use knight's service.

conjuration] Requisition. See" conjuring," IV. 3. King.




As love between them like the palm might flou

rish; As peace should still her wheaten garland wear, And stand a comma 'tween their amities;

And many such like as's of great charge, * knowing. That, on the view and know of these contents,

Without debatement further, more, or less,
He should the bearers put to sudden death,
Not shriving-time allowed. (42)

How was this seal'd ?
HAM. Why, even in that was heaven ordinant;
I had my father's signet in my purse,
Which was the model of that Danish seal :
Folded the writ up in form of the other;
Subscrib'd it; gave't the impression ; plac'd it

The changeling never known :d Now, the next

day Sotos, Was our sea-fight; and what to this was sequent 1623, 3a. Thou know'st already.

like the palın might flourish] This comparison is scriptural : “ The righteous shall flourish like a palm-tree.”

Psalm xcii. 11. Steevens. b stand a comma 'tween their amities] Continue the passage or intercourse of amity between them, and prevent the interposition of a period to it: we have the idea, but used in a contrary sense, in an author of the next age. “ As for the field, we will cast lots for the place, &c. but I feare the point of the sword will make a comma to your cunning." Nich. Breton's Packet of Letters, 4to. 1637, p. 23.

In the Scornful Lady we have something like this mode of expression:

“ No denial-must stand between your person and the business." A. III.

e as's of great charge] Items of high import and weight.

& The changeling never known] A changeling is a child which the fairies are supposed to leave in the room of that which they steal. JOHNSON.

go to't.

HOR. So Guildenstern and Rosencrantz
HAM. Why, man, they did make love to this

employment; They are not near my conscience; their defeat Does by their own insinuation grow: 'Tis dangerous, when the baser nature comes Between the pass and fell incensed points Of mighty opposites. Hor.

Why, what a king is this ! HAM. Does it not, think thee, stand me now

upon ? "

He that hath kill'd my king, and whor'd my mo

ther; Popp'd in between the election and my hopes; Thrown out his angle for my proper life, (43) And with such cozenage ; is't not perfect con

science, To quita him with this arm ? and is't not to be

To let this canker of our nature come
In further evil ?e
Hor. It must be shortly known to him from

What is the issue of the business there.

Ham. It will be short: the interim is mine;

their defeat Does by their own insinuation] Their overthrow or ruin (see

“ damn'd defeat,” II. 2. Haml.) was the consequence of their own voluntary intrusion. For defeat, the reading of the quartos, the folios give debate.

When the baser nature, &c.] For inferiors to intermeddle in the strife between great and powerful antagonists.

SEYMOUR. stand me upon] Become a most imperative duty upon me. a quit] Requite. See M. for M. V. 1. Duke.

* come in further evill Grow to a greater head, and work further iBjury.

And a man's life no more than to say, one.
But I am very sorry, good Horatio,
That to Laertes I forgot myself;
For by the image of my cause," I see
The portraiture of his: I'll count his favours: 6
But, sure, the bravery of his grief did put me
Into a towering passion.

Peace; who comes here?

Enter Osric,

Osr. Your lordship is right welcome back to Denmark.

Ham. I humbly thank you, sir.—Dost know this water-fly?'

Hor. No, my good lord,

HAM. Thy state is the more gracious; for 'tis a vice to know him : He hath much land and fertile: let a beast be lord of beasts, and his crib shall stand at the king's mess : 'Tis a chough ; but, as I say, spacious in the possession of dirt.(44)

Osr. Sweet lord, if your lordship were at lei. sure, I should impart a thing to you from his majesty.

HAM. I will receive it, sir, with all diligence of


* image of my cause) Representation, character, colour. See se image of a murder," III. 2. Haml.

count his favours) Note, make a due estimate or reckoning of. The modern editors substitute court; which certainly gives a more obvious and satisfactory sense: and it may have been a misprint.

Dost know this water-fly] A water-fly skips up and down upon the surface of the water, without any apparent purpose or reason, and is thence the proper emblem of a busy trifer.


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