Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

Or thinking, by our late dear brother's death,
Our state to be disjoint and out of frame;
7 Co-leagued with this dream of his advantage,
He hath not fail'd to pester us with message,
Importing the surrender of those lands
Lost by his father, with all bands of law,
To our most valiant brother. So much for him.
Now for ourself, and for this time of meeting:
Thus much the business is. We have here writ
To Norway, uncle of young

Fortinbras
(Who, impotent and bed-rid, scarcely hears
Of this his nephew's purpose) to suppress
His further gait herein; in that the levies,
The lifts, and full proportions, are all made
Out of his subjects: and we here dispatch
You, good Cornelius, and you, Voltimand,
For bearers of this greeting to old Norway;
Giving to you no further personal power
To business with the king, more than the scope 8
Of these dilated articles allows.
Farewell; and let your haite commend

your duty. Vol. In that, and all things, will we shew our

duty. King. We doubt it nothing. Heartily farewell.

[Exeunt Voltimand and Cornelius,
And now, Laertes, what's the news with you ?
You told us of some fuit. What is’t, Laertes ?
You cannot speak of reason to the Dane,
And lose your voice. What would'st thou beg,

Laertes,
That shall not be my offer, not thy asking ?

? Co-leagued with this dream of his advantage,] The meaning is, He goes to war so indiscreetly, and unprepared, that he has no allies to support him but a dream, with which he is cele leagued or confederated. WARBURTON.

-more than the scope] More than is comprised in the general design of these articles, which you may explain in a more diffuse and dilated stile. Johnson.

The

• The head is not more native to the heart,
The hand more inftrumental to the mouth,
Than to the throne of Denmark is thy father.
What wouldst thou have, Laertes ?

Laer. My dread lord,
Your leave and favour to return to France ;
From whence, though willingly I came to Denmark,
To shew my duty in your coronation ;
Yet now I must confess, that duty done,
My thoughts and wishes bend again toward France :
And bow them to your gracious leave and pardon.
King. Have you your father's leave ? What says

Polonius?

.

[ocr errors][merged small]

9 The head is not more native to the heart,

The hand more inftrumental to the mouth,

Than is the throne of Denmark 10 iby farber.] This is a flagrant instance of the first editor's stupidity, in preferring found to sense. But bead, heart, and band, he thought muit needs go together, where an honest man was the subje&t of the encomium; tho' what he could mean by the head's being NATIVE to the beart, I cannot conceive. The mouth indeed of an honest man might, perhaps, in some sense, be said to be native, that is, allied to the heart. But the speaker is here talking not of a moral, but a physical ailiance. And the force of what is said is supported only by that distinction. I suppose, then, that Shakespeare wrote,

The BLOOD is not more native to the heart,

Than to the throne of Denmark is thy father.
This makes the sentiment just and pertinent. As the blood is
formed and sustained by the labour of the heart, the mouth
supplied by the office of 'the hand, fo is the throne of Denmark
by your father, &c. The expreilion too of the blood's being
native to the heart, is extremely fine. For the heart is the
laboratory where that vital liquor is digcfted, distributed, and
(when weakened and debilitated) again restored to the vigour
necessary for the discharge of its functions. WARBURTON,

Part of this emendation I have received, but cannot discern
wby the head is not as much native to the heart, as the bloor,
that is, natural and congenial to it, born with it, and co-ope-
rating with it. The relation is likewise by this reading better
preserved, the counsellor being to the king as the bend to the
heart. johason.

Pel.

Pol. He hath, my lord, [wrung from me my now

leave, By laboursome petition ; and, at laft, Upon his will I seald my hard consent :] I do beseech you, give him leave to go. King. ' Take thy fair hour, Laertes ; time be

thine, And thy best graces spend it at thy will. But now, my cousin Hamlet, and my son. Ham. · A little more than kin, and less than kind.

[Afde. King. -How is it, that the clouds still hang on you?

Ham.

"Take thy fair hour, Lacrtes; time be thine,

And thy fair graces ; spend it at thy will.] This is the pointing in both Mr. Pope's editions; but the poet's meaning is loft by it, and the close of the sentence miserably flatten'd. The pointing, I have restored, is that of the best copies; and the sense, this: “ You have my leave to go, Laertes ; make " the fairest use you please of your time, and spend it at your « will with the fairelt graces you are master of.” THEOB. I rather think this line is in want of emendation. I read,

-Time is thine, And my best graces ; Spend it at thy will. JOHNSON. 2 Ham. A little more than kin, and less than kind.] The king had calied him, coufin Hamlet, therefore Hamlet replies,

A little more than kin,i.e. A little more than cousin; because, by marrying his mother, he was become the king's son-in-law : fo far is easy. But what means the latter part,

-and less than kind? The king, in the present reading, gives no occasion for this reflection, which is sufficient to sew it to be faulty, and that we should read and point the first line thus,

But nczi, my coufin Hamlet Kind my foni. e. But now let us turn to you, cousin Hamlet. Kind my fon, (or, as we now say, Good my son) lay aside this clouded look. For thus he was going to expoftulate gently with him for his melancholy, when Hamlet cut him short by reflecting on the titles he gave him;

À little more than kin, and less than kind, which we now see is a pertinent reply. WARBURTON.

A little more than kin, and less than kind.] It is not unreasonable to suppose that this was a proverbial expression, known

in

Ham. Not fo, my lord, I am 3 too much i' the

fun. Queen. Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted colour off, And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark. Do not, for ever, with thy 4 vailed lids, deek for thy noble father in the dust : Thou know it, 'tis common; all, that live, must die ; Passing through nature to eternity.

Ham. Ay, Madam, it is common.

Queen. If it be,
Why seems it so particular with thee?
Ham. Seems, Madam ! nay, it is ; I know not

seems.
'Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother,
Nor customary suits of folemn black,
Nor windy suspiration of forc'd breath,
No, nor the fruitful river in the eye,
Nor the dejected 'haviour of the visage,
Together with all forms, modes, shews of grief,
That can denote me truly.Thefe, indeed, seem,
For they are actions that a man might play:
But I have that within, which patieth shew;
These, but the trappings, and the suits of woe.
King. 'Tis sweet and commendable in your nature,

Hamlet,
To give these mourning duties to your father :

[ocr errors]

in former times for a relation so confused and blended, that it was hard to define it. Hanmer.

Kind is the Teutonick word for child. Hamlet therefore answers with propriety, to the titles of cousin and jon, which the king had given him, that he was fomewhat more than ccufir, and less than for. JOHNSON.

-too much i' the jun.] He perhaps alludes to the proverb, Out of heaven's blesing into the warm jun. JOHNSON.

-100 much i' the jun. Meaning probably his being fent for from his studies to be exposed at his uncle's marriage as his chiefeft courtier, &c.

STEEVENS. 4-vailed lids,] With lowering eyes, cast down eyes.

JOHNSON. 2

But,

[ocr errors]

But, you must know, 5 your father loft a father ;
That father loft, lost his ; and the survivor bound
In filial obligation, for some term,
To do 6 obsequious sorrow. But to perfever
7 In obstinate condolement, is a course
Of impious stubbornness ; 'tis unmanly grief:
It shews 8 a will most incorrect to heaven,
A heart unfortify'd, or mind impatient,
An understanding simple, and unschoold:
For, what we know, must be, and is as common
As any the most vulgar thing to sense,
Why should we, in our peevish opposition,
Take it to heart? Fie! 'tis a fault to heaven,
A fault against the dead, a fault to nature,

[ocr errors]

IS MUCH EASIER TO BE

your futher loft a father ; That father, his; and the survivor bound] Thus Mr. Pope judiciously corrected the faulty copies. On which the editor Mr. Theobald thus descants : This supposed refinement is from Mr. Pope, but all the editions else, thut I have met with, old and modern, read,

That father loft, loft his ; The reduplication of which word here gives an energy and an elegance, WHICH

CONCEIVED THAN EXPLAINED IN TERMS. I believe fo: for when explained in terms it comes to this ; That father after he had loft himself, lost his father. But the reading is ex fide codicis, and that is enough. WARBURTON.

I do not admire the repetition of the word, but it has so much of our author's manner, that I find no temptation to recede from the old copies. JOHNSON.

- your father loft a fat ber;

That father loft, lojt his ;The meaning of the paffage is no more than this. Your father lojt a father, i. e. your grandfather, which loft grandfather, also loit his father. S're EVENS.

o-obsequious forrow.-) Obfequious is here from obsequies, or funeral ceremonies. JOHNSON. So in Titus Andronicus,

To shed obsequious tears upon his trunk.” Steevens. ? In obftinate condolement,-) Condolement, for forrow.

WARBURTON. a will most incorrect-] Incorred, for untutor’d.

WARBURTON.

Το

« AnteriorContinuar »