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Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads,
father comes :
Pol. Yet here, Laertes! aboard, aboard for shame;
[Laying his hand on Laertes's head.
Whileft he, a puft and reckless libertine.
'a was a goodly king,
-1 warn't it will,
The emendation is not amiss, but the reason for it is very inconclusive ; we use the saine mode of speaking on many occasions. When I say of one, be squanders like a spendthrift, of another, be robbed me like a thief, the plirise produces no ambiguity; it is understood that the one is a spendthrifl, and the other a thief. JOHNSON.
-recks not his own read.] That is, heeds not his own lessons. Pope. Ben Jonson uses the word in his. Catiline.
" So that thou couldt not move
Against a public reed.”
Dispatch, I read you,
Grapple them to thy soul with hooks of steel;
Thou ? But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-batch'd, unfledg'd comrade.] The literal sense is, Do not make thy palm callous by making every man by the hand, The figurative meaning may be, Do not by promiscuous conver, Jation wiake thy mind in; ensible to the difference of characters.
JOHNSON. Are most select, and generous, chief in that.) I think the whole’design of the precept Mews we ihould read,
Are moft jeleä, and generous chief, in that. Chief is an adječlive used adverbially, a practice common ta our author, Chiefly generous. STEEVENS.
9. And it must follow, as the night the day,] The sense here requires, that the fimilitude Mould give an image not of two. effe ??s of different ratures, that follow one another alternately, but of a cause and effect, where the effect follows the cause by a physical neceffity. For the aliertion is, Be true to thyself, and then thou muß necesarily be true to others. Truth to himself then was the cause, truth to others the effect. To illuftrare this neceffity, the speaker employs a fimilitude : but no fimi. litude can illustrate it, but what presents an image of a cause and effect; and such a cause as that, where the effect follows by a physical, not a moral necessity : for if only, by a moral necetlity the thing illustrating would not be more certain than the thing illustrated; which would be a great absurdity. This being premised, let us see what the text lays,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Laer. Most humbly do I take my leave, my lord.
Opb. 'Tis in my memory lock’d,
Pol. And it must follow, as the night the day: In this we are so far from being presented with an effect following a cause by a physical necetiity, that there is no cause at all : but only two different effects, proceeding from two different causes, and succeeding one another alternately. Shakespeare, therefore, without question wrote,
And it must follow, as the light the day. As much as to say, Truth to thyself, and truth to others, are inseparable, the latter depending neccffarily on the former, as light depends upon the day; where it is to be observed, that day is used figuratively for the fun. The ignorance of which, I luppose, contributed to mislead the editors. WARBURTON.
And it must follow, as the night the day. This note is very acute, but the common succession of night to day was, I believe, all that our author meant to make Polonius think of, on the present occasion. STEEVEXS. —my bleffing season this in thee! ] Season, for infrufe.
WARBURTON. It is more than to infuse, it is to infix it in such a manner as that it never may wear out. JOHNSON.
2 The time invites you :-) This reading is as old as the firit folio; however, I suspect it to have been substituted by the players, who did not understand the term which posiefies
the elder quartos :
The time invests
you; i. e. besieges, presses upon you on every fide. To invest a town, is the military phrase from which our author borrowed his metaphor. THEOBALD. Either reading may ferve. Macbeth says,
and it is done, the bell in viles me.” STEEVENS.
- your servants tend.) i. e. your servants are waiting for you. JOHNSON.
- yourself Mall keep the key of it.] That is, By thinking on you, I shall think on your lessons. JOHNSON.
Pol. What is’t, Ophelia, he hath said to you?
Pol. Affection ! puh! you speak like a green girl,
Oph. I do not know, my lord, what I should think.
Think yourself a
The meaning is, that your counsels are as sure of remaining locked up in my memory, as if you yourself carried the key of it. STEEVENS.
s Unfifted in such perilous circumstance.] Unifted, for untried. Untried fignifies either not tempted, or not refined; unfified, signifies the latter only, though the sense requires the former.
WARBURTON. 6 --Tender yourself more dearly;
Or (not to crack the wind of the poor phrase)
Wronging it thus, you'll tender me a fool.] The parenthefis is closed at the wrong place ; and we must have likewife" a Night correction in the last verse. Polonius is racking and playing on the word tender, till he thinks proper to correct himself for the licence; and then he would say—not farther to crack the wind of the phrafe, by twisting and contorting it, as I have done. WARBURTON.
Or (not to crack the wind of the poor phrase)
Oph. My lord, he hath importun'd me with love, In honourable fashion.
Pol. Ay, 7 fashion you may call it : go to, go to. Opb. And hath given countenance to his speech,
With almost all the holy vows of heaven.
These blazes, daughter, Giving more light than heat, extinct in both, Even in their promise as it is a making, You must not take for fire. From this time, Be somewhat fcantier of thy maiden-presençe; 8 Set your intreatments at a higher rate, Than a command to parley. For lord Hamlet, Believe so much in him, that he is young; And with a ' larger tether may he walk, Than may be given you. In few, Ophelia,
I believe the word wronging has reference, not to the phrase, but to Ophelia; if you go on wronging it thus, that is, if you continue to go on thus wrong:
This is a mode of spcaking perhaps not very grammatical, but very common, nor have the bett writers refused it.
To finner it or faint it, is in Pope. And Rowe,
-Thus to coy it,
-roaming it thus,
1-fathion you may call it :-) She uses fashion for manner, and he for a tranfient practice. JOHNSON.
.] Intreatments here means company, conversation, from the French entrétien. JOHNSON.
? —larger tether-) A ftring to tie horses. Pope. Tether is that string by which an animal, set to graze
in grounds uninclosed, is confined within the proper limits.