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Well ratified by law and heraldry,
Did forfeit, with his life, all those his lands,
Which he stood feis'd of, to the conqueror ;
Against the which, a moiety competent
Was gaged by our king; which had return'd
To the inheritance of Fortinbras,
Had he been vanquilher ; 6 as, by that covenant,
7 And carriage of the articles design’d,
His fell to Hamlet. Now, Sir, young Fortinbras,
8 Of unimproved mettle hot and full,
Hath in the skirts of Norway, here and there,
9 Shark’d up a list of landless resolutes,
For food and diet, to fome enterprize

That hath a stomach in't; which is no other
(As it doth well appear unto our state)
But to recover of us, by strong hand,

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Mr. Upton says, that Shakespeare sometimes expreffes one thing by two substantives, and that law and heraldry means, by the herald law. So Ant. and Cleop. Ad 4.

Where rather I expect victorious life,
Than death and honour, i. e. honourable death.”

-025, by That cov'NANT,
And carriage of the articles design'd,] The old quarto roads,

-as by the same COMART; and this is right. Comart signifies a bargain, and carriage of the articles the covenants entered into to confirm that bargain. Hence we see the common reading makes a tautology. WARD. I can find no such word as comart in any dictionary

ST E EVENS. ? And carriage of the articles design’d,] Carriage, is import : defign’d, is formed, 'drawn up between them. JOHNSON. Of unimproved mettle] Unimproved, for unrefined.

WARBURTON. Full of unimproved mettle, is full of spirit not regulated or guided by knowledge or experience. JOHNSON.

9 Shark'd up a lift, &c.] I believe to Mark up means to pick up without distinction, as the snark-fith collects his prey.

STEEVENS. That hath a ftomach in't ;-) Stomach, in the time of our author, was used for constancy, resolution. JOHNSON.

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2 And terms compulsatory, those foresaid lands
So by his father lost: and this, I take it,
Is the main motive of our preparations ;
The source of this our watch, and the chief head
Of this post-haste and romage 3 in the land.

Ber. [* I think, it be no other, but even so:
Well may it fort 4, that this portentous figure
Comes armed through our watch; so like the king
That was, and is the question of these wars.

Hor. A mote it is, to trouble the mind's eye.
In the most high and 5 palmy state of Rome,
A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,

graves stood tenantless, and the sheeted dead
Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets ;
Stars Thone with trains of fire ; dews of blood fell ;
6 Disasters veil'd the sun, and the moist star,
Upon whose influence Neptune's empire stands,
Was fick almost to dooms-day with eclipse.
And 7 even the like 8 precurse of fierce events,
As harbingers preceding still the fates,

? And terms compulsative — ] The old quarto, better, compulsatory. WARBURTON.

--romage-] Tumultuous hurry. JOHNSON. * There, and all other lines confin'd within crotchets throughout this play, are omitted in the folio edition of 1623. The omissions leave the play sometimes better and sometimes worse, and seem made only for the sake of abbreviation.

JOHNSON. A Well may it fort, .] The cause and the erect are proportionate and suitable. JOHNSON.

-- palmy fate of Rome,] Palmy, for victorious ; in the other editions, flourijning. Pope.

• Difafers veil'd the fin;-] Disasters is here finely used in its original fignification of evil conjunction of stars. WARB. The quanto reads,

Disaiters in the fun; Steevens. ? And even_] Not only such prodigies have been seen in Rome, but the elements have hewn our countrymen like forerunners and foretokens of violent events. JOHNSON.

precurje of fierce events,] Fierce, for terrible. WARB.




· And prologue to the omen’d coming on,
Have heaven and earth together demonstrated
Unto our climatures and countrymen.]

Enter Ghost again.
But soft ; behold! lo, where it comes again !
I'll cross it, though it blast me.-Stay, illusion!

[Spreading bis arms.
* If thou hast any found, or use of voice,
Speak to me.
If there be any good thing to be done,
That may to thee do ease, and grace to me,
Speak to me.
If thou art privy to thy country's fate,
Which, happily, foreknowing may avoid,
Oh speak! -
Or, if thou hast uphoarded in thy life
Extorted treasure in the womb of earth,
For which, they say, you spirics oft walk in death,

[Cock crows. Speak of it. Stay, and speak-Stop it, Marcellus.--

Mar. Shall I strike at it with my partizan ?
Hor. Do, if it will not stand.
Ber. 'Tis here!
Hor. 'Tis here !-
Mar. 'Tis gone!

[Exit Ghoft.
We do it wrong, being so majestical,
To offer it the Thew of violence;

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. And prologue to the omen coming on,] But prologue and omen are merely fynonimous here. The poet means, that these ftrange phenomena are prologues and forerunners of the events prefag'd: and such sense the Night alteration, which I have ventured to make, by changing omen to omen'd, very aptly gives. THEOBALD,

Omen, for fate. WARBURTON.
Hanmer follows Theobald.

If thou hast any found,–] The speech of Horatio to the spectre is very elegant and noble, and congruous to the common traditions of the causes of apparitions. JOHNSON.


For it is, as the air, invulnerable,
And our vain blows, malicicus mockery.

Ber. It was about to speak, when the cock crew,

Hor. And then it started like a guilty thing
Upon a fearful summons. I have heard,
The cock, that is the trumpet to the morn,
Doth with his lofty and shrill-founding throat
Awake the God of day; and, at his warning,
? Whether in fea or fire, in earth or air,
3 The extravagant and erring spirit hies
To his confine: and of the truth herein
This present object made probation.

Mar. It faded on the crowing of the cock.
Some say, that ever 'gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning fingeth all night long:
And then, they say, no fpirit 4 can walk abroad;
The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,
5 No fairy takes, no witch hath power to charm,
So hallow'd and so gracious is the time.

Hor. So have I heard, and do in part believe it. But look, the morn, in russet mantle clád,

2 Whether in fea, &c.] According to the pneumatology of that time, every element was inhabited by its peculiar order of fpirits, who had difpofitions different, according to their various places of abode. The meaning thercfore is, that all spirits extravagunt, wandering out of their element, whether aerial {pirits visiting earth, or earthly spirits ranging the air; return to their station, to their proper limits in which they are confined. We might read,

-And at his warning
“ 'Th' extravagant and erring spirit hies
“ To his confine, whether in sea or air,

« Or earth, or fire. And of,” &c. But this change, tho' it would smooth the construction, is not necessary, and being unneceffary, thould not be made againt authority. JOHNSON.

3 T} extravagonta-] i.e. got out of its bounds. WARB. + Dares fir abroad. Quarto.

S No fairy takes, -] No fairy ftrikes, with lameness or difcafes. This sense of take is frequent in this author. Johns.


Walks o'er the dew of yon 6 high eastern hill,
Break we our watch up; and, by my advice, ,
Let us impart what we have seen to-night
Unto young Hamlet; for, upon my life,
This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to himn :
Do you consent we shall acquaint him with it,
As needful in our loves, fitting our duty ?
Mar. Let's do't, I pray. And I this morning

know Where we shall find him most conveniently. [Exeunt.


A room of Nate. Enter the Queen, Hamlet, Polonius, Laertes, Voltimand,

Cornelius, lords ard attendants. King. Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother's

death The memory be green; and that it us befitted To bear our hearts in grief, and our whole kingdom To be contracted in one brow of woe; Yet fo far hath discretion fought with nature, That we with wiseft forrow think on him, Together with remembrance of ourselves. Therefore, our sometime sister, now our queen, The imperial jointress of this warlike state, Have we, as ’twere, with a defeated joy, With one auspicious, and one dropping eye, With mirth in funeral, and with dirge in marriage, In equal scale weighing delight and dole, Taken to wife. Nor have we herein barr'd Your better wisdoms, which have freely gone With this affair along. For all, our thanks.

Now follows, that you know, young Fortinbras, , Holding a weak supposal of our worth ; :-higheastern bill.] The old quarto has it better cafiward.



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