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Or thinking, by our late dear brother's death,
your duty. Vol. In that, and all things, will we shew our
duty. King. We doubt it nothing. Heartily farewell.
[Exeunt Voltimand and Cornelius,
? 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 head is not more native to the heart,
Laer. My dread lord,
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.
Part of this emendation I have received, but cannot discern
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?
"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
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,
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.
But, you must know, 5 your father loft a father ;
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.