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historical-pastoral, 4 tragical-historical, tragical-comical, historical-pastoral, scene undividable, or poem unlimited : 5 Seneca cannot be too heavy, nor Plautus too light. 6 For the law of writ, and the liberty, . these are the only men.
Ham. Oh, Jephtha, judge of Israel, what a treasure hadft thou !
Pol. What a treasure had he, my lord ?
Ham. Why-one fair daughter, and no more,
Pol. Still on my daughter.
Pol. If you call me Jephtha, my lord, I have a daughter that I love passing well.
Ham. Nay, that follows not.
Ham. 7 Why, as by lot, God wot - and then you know, it came to pass, as most like it was: 8 the first
row * The words distinguished by Italicks I have recovered from the folio, and see no reason why they were hitherto omitted. There are many plays of the age, if not of Shakespeare's, that answer to the delcription. STEEVENS.
Seneca cannot be too heavy, nor Plautus too light.] The tragedies of Seneca were translated into English by Tho. Newton, and publihed in 1581. One comedy of Plautus, viz. the Menachmi, was likewise translated early enough for Shakespeare to have seen it. STEEVENS.
6 For the law of writ, and the literty, these are the only men.] All the modern editions have, the lazu of wit, and the liberty; but both my old copies have, the law of writ, I believe rightly. Writ, for writing, compofition. Wit was not, in our author's time, taken either for in:agitation, or acuteness, or both together, but for understanding, for the faculty by which we apprehend and judge. Those who wrote of the human mind distinguished its primary powers into wit and will. Ascham distinguishes bojs of tardy' and of active faculties into quick zuits and love swits. JOHNSON.
? Why, as by lot, Ged wot &c.] The old song from which these are quotations are taken, is printed in the ed edit. of Dr. Percy's Rcliques of ancient English Poetry. STEEVENS.
the pious chanson-] It is pons chansons in the firit folio edition. The old ballads sung on bridges, and from thence
row of the pious chanson will shew you more. For, look, where 9 my abridgment comes.
Enter Players. You are welcome, masters; welcome, all. I am glad to see thee well :-welcome, good friends. -Oh!
old friend! why, thy face is valanc'd since I saw thee laft: com'lt thou to beard me in Denmark? What! my young lady and mistress ? By-'r-lady, your ladyship is nearer heaven than when I saw you last, by the altitude of a chioppine. Pray God, your voice,
like called Pons chansons. Hamlet is here repeating ends of old songs. Pope.
It is pons chansons in the quarto too. I know not whence the rubric has been brought, yet it has not the appearance of an arbitrary addition. The titles of old ballads were never printed red; but perhaps rubric may stand for marginal explamation. JOHNSON.
There are five large vols. of ballads in Mr. Pepys's collection in Magdalen college library, Cambridge, some as ancient as Henry VII's reign, and not one red letter upon any one of the titles. Gray.
The first row of the RUBRIC will, &c.] The words, of the rubric were first inserted by Mr. Rowe, in his edition in 1709. The old quarto in 1611 reads pious chanson, which gives the sense wanted, and I have accordingly inserted it in the text.
The pious chansons were a kind of Christmas carol, containing fome scriptural history thrown into loose rhimes, and fung about the streets by the common people when they went at that season to beg alms. Hamlet is here repeating some scraps from songs of this kind, and when Polonius enquires what follows them, he refers him to the first row (i. e. division) of one of these, to obtain the information he wanted. STEEVENS.
9-my abridgment-] He calls the players afterwards, the brief chronicles of ihe time; but I think he now means only those who will porten my talk. JOHNSON.
-by the aliitude of a chioppime.] A chioppine is a high shoe worn by the Italians, as in Tho. Heywood's Challenge of Beauty', Act 5. Song.
The Italian in her high chopeene,
Scotch lass and lovely free too;
He doth not feare to go to,
like a piece of uncurrent gold, * be not crack'd within the ring. Masters, you are all welcome. We'll e’en to't 3 like French faulconers, fly at any thing we see : we'll have a speech straight. Come, give us a taste of your quality ; come, a passionate speech.
i Play. What speech, my good lord ?
Ham. I heard thee speak me a speech once; but it was never acted; or if it was, not above once : for the play, I remember, pleased not the million ; 'twas 4 caviare to the general ; but it was (as I received it, and others whose judgment in such matters 5 cried in the top of mine) an excellent play; well digested
“ I do wish myself one of my mistress's Cioppini. Another
demands, why would he be one of his mistress's Cioppini ? " third answers, because he would make her kigher.”
STEVENS. ? -be not crack'd within the ring.] That is, crack'd too much for use. This is said to a young player who acted the parts of women. JOHNSON. I find the same phrase în The Captain, by B. and Fletcher.
• Come to be married to my lady's woman
“ After Me's crack'd in the ring.' Again, in Ben Jonson's Magnetic Lady: Light gold, and crack'd within the ring.”
STEEVENS. 3-like friendly falroners,-) HANMER, who has much illuftrated the allufions to falconry, reads, like French falconers.
JOHNSON. French falconers is not a correction by Hanmer, but the reading of the first folio.
STEEVENS. + Caviare to the general ;] Caviare is the spawn of sturgeon pickled, and is imported hither from Rusia. `Hawkins.
The Caviare is not the spawn of the sturgeon, but of the fterlett, a fith of the sturgeon kind, which seldom grows above 30 inches long. It is found in many of the rivers of Rusia, but the Volga produces the best and in the greatest plenty. See Bell's Journey from Petersburgh to Ispahan.
B. Jonson has ridiculed the introduction of these foreign delicacies in his Cinthia's Revels. -' He doth iearn to eat An“ chovies, Macaroni, Bovoli, Fagioli, and Caviare,” &c.
STESVENS. $-iiet in the top of mine, -] 1.e. whose judgment I had the high ft (pinion of. “WAREURTON,
in the scenes, 5 set down with as much modesty as cunning. I remember one said, there were no fallets 6 in the lines, to make the matter favoury; nor no matter in the phrase, ? that might indite the author of affection ; 8 but called it, an honest method (as wholesome as sweet, and by very much more handfome than fine]. One speech in it I chiefly loved; 'twas Æneas's tale to Dido; and thereabout of it especially, where he speaks of Priam's Naughter. If it live in your memory, begin at this line, let me see, let me fee-The rugged Pyrrhus, like the Hyrcanian beast-It is not so ; it begins with Pyrrhus. The rugged Pyrrhus, he, whose sable arms, Black es his purpose, did the night resemble When he lay couched in the ominous horse ;Hath now his dread and black complexion smear'd With heraldry more dismal; heed to foot, Now is he total gules ; borridly trick'd With blood of fathers, mothers, daughters, sons,
I think it means only that were higher than mine. Johnson.
Whose judgment, in such matters, was in much higher vogue than mine. Revisal.
Perhaps it means only—whose judgment was more clamouroully delivered than mine. We ftill fay of a bawling actor, that he speaks on the top of his voice. STEEVENS. s -jét down with as much modeliy—] Modesiy, for fimplicity.
WARBURTON. 6 —there were no fallets, &c.] Such is the reading of the old copies.
know not why the later editors continued to adopt the alteration of Mr. Pope, and read, no salt, &c. Steev.
? —that might indite the author- ] Indite, for conviet. WARB.
indite the author of offeflion :) i. e. convict the author of being a fantastical affected writer. Maria calls Malvolio an affectioned ass, i. e. an affiled afs; and in Love's Labour Loft Nathaniel tells the Pedant, that his reasons “ have been witty " quithout AFFECTION.” STEEVENS.
8 - but call'd it, an honest method, --] Hamlet is telling how much his judgment differed from that of others.
One faid, there V.l!s no jait in the lines, &c. but call'd it an hon:jt method. The author probably gave it, But I called it an honest met bout, &c. JOHNSON. -an konest method,–] Honej, for challe. WARBURTON.
Bak'd and impasted with the parching fires,
Pol. 'Fore God, my lord, well spoken; with good accent, and good discretion.
1 Play. Anon he finds him,