Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

But my

Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads,
And 5 recks nor his own read.
Laer. Oh, fear me not.

Enter Polonius.
I stay too long: -But here

father comes :
A double blessing is a double grace;
Occasion smiles upon a second leavę.

Pol. Yet here, Laertes! aboard, aboard for shame;
The wind fits in the 6 shoulder of your fail,
And you are staid for. There !-my blessing with
you:

[Laying his hand on Laertes's head.
And these few precepts in thy memory
Look thou character, Give thy' thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportion'd thought his act.
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
The friends thou hast, and their adoption try'd,

Whileft he, a puft and reckless libertine.
The first impression of these plays being taken from the play-
house copies, and those, for the better direction of the actors,
being written as they were pronounced, these circumstances
have occasioned innumerable errors. $o a for he every where.

'a was a goodly king,
'A was a man take him for all in all.

-1 warn't it will,
for I warrant. This should be well attended to in correcting
Shakespeare. WARBURTON.

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.
So in Sir Tho. North's translation of Plutarch.

Dispatch, I read you,
“ for your enterprize is betray’d." STEEVENS.
.—the shoulder of your fail,] This is a common fea phrase,

STEEVENS.

Grapple

1

[ocr errors]

Grapple them to thy soul with hooks of steel;
7 But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatch’d, unfledg'd comrade. Beware
Of entrance to a quarrel ; but being in,
Bear it that the opposer may beware of thee,
Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice :
Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment,
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not exprest in fancy; rich, not gaudy:
For the apparel oft proclaims the man;
And they in France of the best rank and station
& Are most select, and generous, chief in that.
Neither a borrower, nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all, to thine ownself be true;
And it inust follow, as the night the day,

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,

And

8

Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell : 'my blessing season this in thee!

Laer. Most humbly do I take my leave, my lord.
Pol. * The time invites you : go, your servants

tend 3.
Laer. Farewell, Ophelia ; and remember well
What I have said to you.

Opb. 'Tis in my memory lock’d,
And you + yourself shall keep the key of it.
Laer. Farewell.

[Exit Leer.

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

[ocr errors]

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.

The

[ocr errors]

3

4

Pol. What is’t, Ophelia, he hath said to you?
Oph. So please you, something touching the lord

Hamlet.
Pol. Marry, well bethought :
'Tis told me, he hath very oft of late
Given private time to you; and you yourself
Have of your audience been most free and bounteous.
If it be fo (as so ʼtis put on me,
And that in way of caution) I must tell you,
You do not understand yourself so clearly,
As it behoves my daughter, and your honour.
What is between you ? Give me up the truth.
Opb. He hath, my lord, of late, made many

tenders
Of his affection to me.

Pol. Affection ! puh! you speak like a green girl,
5 Unsifted in such perilous circumstance.
Do you believe his tenders, as you call them?

Oph. I do not know, my lord, what I should think.
Pol. Marry, I'll teach you.

Think yourself a
baby,
That you have ta’en these tenders for true pay,
Which are not sterling. 6 Tender yourself more
dearly;

Or

[ocr errors]

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.

I believe

Or (not to crack the wind of the poor phrase)
Wronging it thus, you'll tender me a fool.

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,

my lord,

With almost all the holy vows of heaven.
Pol. Ay, springes to catch woodcocks. I do

know,
When the blood burns, how prodigal the soul
Lends the tongue vows.

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,
To one who knows you too.
The folio has it,

-roaming it thus,
That is, letting yourself loose to such improper liberty.
wronging seems to be more proper. JOHNSON.

1-fathion you may call it :-) She uses fashion for manner, and he for a tranfient practice. JOHNSON.

Set
your intreatments

.] 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.

JOHNSON.

Do

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »