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The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes;
When he himself 3 might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would fardles bear,
4 To groan and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
That undiscover'd country, from whose bourne
No traveller returns ; puzzles the will;
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
T'han fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution


concernment. He therefore takes in all such evils as could befall mankind in general, without considering himself at present as a prince, or wishing to avail himself of the few exemptions which high place might once have claimed. Steev.

-might his lietus make With a bare bodkin?] This first expression probably alluded to the writ of discharge, which was formerly granted to those barons and knights who personally attended the king on any foreign expedition, which was called a Quiet 25.

The word is used for the discharge of an account by Webster, in his Dutchejs of Malfy, 1623.

“ You had the trick in audit time to be fick

« Till I had fign'd your Quietus.A bodkin was, I believe, the ancient term for a small dagger. Gascoigne, speaking of Julius Cæsar, says,

*. At last with bodkins, dub'd and doust to death

“ All, all his glory vanish'd with his breath."
In the margin of Stowe's Chronicle, edit. 1614, it is said,
that Cæsar was slain with bodkins; and in The Mujes Looking-
glofs, by Randolph, 1638.

Apho. A rapier's but a bodkin,
« Deil. And a bodkin
“ Is a moit dang’rous weapon ; fince I read
“ Of Julius Cæsar's death, I durit not venture

“ Into a taylor's shop for fear of bodkins.
Again, in The Cuftorn of the Country, by B. and Fletcher:

-Out with your bodkin, “ Your pocket-dagger, your filletto.”— STEEVENS. * To groan and sweat) All the old copies have, to grunt and sweat. It is undoubtedly the true reading, but can scarcely be borne by modern ears. JOHNSON.

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Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought;
And enterprizes of great pith and moment,
With this regard, their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action. ---Soft you, now!

[Seeing Ophelia. The fair Ophelia ? — 5 Nymph, in thy orisons Be all my sins remembred.

Oph. Good, my lord,
How does your honour for this many a day?

Ham. I humbly thank you ; well.

Oph. My lord, I have remembrances of yours,
That I have longed long to re-deliver.
I pray you, now receive them.
Ham. No, not I; I never gave you ought.

Oph. My honour'd lord, you know right well
And, with them, words of so sweet breath compos’d,
As made the things more rich: that perfume loft,
Take these again; for to the noble mind
Rich gifts wax poor, when givers prove unkind.

-There, my lord.
Ham. Ha, ha! are you honest ?
Oph. My lord !
Ham. Are you fair ?
Oph. What means your lordship?

Ham. 6 That if you be honest and fair, you should admit no discourse to your beauty.

you did;

-Nymph, in thy crisons, &c.] This a touch of nature. Hamlet, at the sight of Ophelia, does not immediately recollect, that he is to personate ma ess, but makes her an address grave and solemn, such as the foregoing meditation excited in his thoughts. JOHNSON.

That if you be honest and fair, you should admit no discourse to your beauty. ] This is the reading of all the modern editions, and is copied from the quarto. The folio reads, your honesty frould admit no discourse to your beauty. The true reading seems to be this, If you be honeft and fair, you should admit your honefty to no discourse with your beauty. This is the sense evidently required by the process of the conversation. Johnson.

Oph. .

Oph. Could beauty, my lord, have better commerce than with honesty ?

Ham. Ay, truly; for the power of beauty will sooner transform honesty from what it is, to a bawd, than the force of honesty can translate beauty into its likeness. This was sometime a paradox, but now the time gives it proof. I did love you once.

Oph. Indeed, my lord, you made me believe so.

Ham. You should not have believed me: for virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock, but we shall relish of it. I lov'd you not.

Oph. I was the more deceiv'd.

Ham. Get thee to a nunnery. Why wouldst thou be a brecder of sinners? I am myself indifferent honeft; but yet I could accufe me of such things, that it were better my mother had not borne me. I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious; with more offences 7 at my beck, than I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them shape, or time to act them in. What should such fellows, as I, do crawling between earth and heaven? We are arrant knaves all ; believe none of us. Go thy ways to a nunnery. Where's your father?

Oph. At home, my lord.

Ham. Let the doors be shut upon him, that he may play the fool no where but in's own house. Farewell.

Oph. Oh, help him, you sweet heavens !

Ham. If thou dost marry, I'll give thee this plague for thy dowry. Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to


—at my beck,--] That is, always ready to come about me. With more offences at my beck, than I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them mape, or time to act them in.) What is the meaning of thoughts to put them in? A word is dropt out. We should read,

-thoughts to put them in NAME. This was the progress. The offences are first conceived and named, then projected to be put in act, then executed. WARB.' To put a thing into thought, is to think on it. Johnson.

a nunnery;

a nunnery; farewell: or, if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool; for wife men know well enough what monsters you make of them. To a nunnery, go, and quickly too.

Oph. Heavenly powers restore him!

Ham. 8 I have heard of your paintings too, well enough. God has given you one face, and you make yourselves another. You jis, you amble, and you lifp, and nick-name God's creatures, and make your wantonness your ignorance. Go to; I'll no more on’t; it hath made me mad. I say, we will have no more marriages. Those that are married already, all but one, shall live; the rest shall keep as they are. To a nunnery, go.

[Exit Hamlet. ph. Oh, what a noble mind is here o’erthrown! • The courtier's, foldier's, scholar's, eye, tongue,

sword; The expectancy and rofe of the fair state, The glafs of fashion, and ? the mould of form, The observ'd of all observers ! Quite, quite down ! And I, of ladies most deject and wretched, That suck'd the honey of his music vows, Now see that noble and most fovereign reason, Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh; That unmatch'd form, and feature of blown youth,

8 I have heard of your painting too, well enough, &c.] This is according to the quarto; the folio, for painting, has prartlings, and for face, has pace, which agrees with what follows, jou jig, you amble. Probabl; the author wrote both. I think the common reading best. JOHNSON.

9 make your wantonness your ignorance.] You mistake by wanton affectation, and pretend to mistake by ignorance.

JOHNSON. The courtier's, foldier's, scholar's eye, tongue, jword;] The poet certainly meant to have placed his words thus :

The courtier's, scholar's, foldier's, ere, tongue, sword; otherwise the excellence of tongue is appropriated to the soldier, and the scholar wears the sword. WARNER.

2 —the mould of form,j The model by whom all endeavoured to form themselves. JOHNSON, 2


Blasted with ecstasy 3. Oh, woe is me!
To have seen what I have seen ; see what I fee.

Enter King and Polonius.
King. Love! his affections do not that way tend;
Nor what he spake, though it lack'd form a little,
Was not like madness. Something's in his soul,
O’er which his melancholy fits on brood;
And, I do doubt, the hatch, and the disclose
Will be fome danger; which, how to prevent,
I have in quick determination
Thus set it down. He shall with speed to England,
For the demand of our neglected tribute :
Haply, the feas, and countries different,
With variable objects, shall expel
This something-fettled matter in his heart,
Whereon his brain still beating, puts him thus
From fashion of himself. What think


on't? Pol. It shall do well. But yet do I believe The origin and commencement of this grief Sprung from neglected love. How now, Ophelia ? You need not tell us what lord Hamlet faid; We heard it all.

[Exit Ophelia. My lord, do as you please. But, if you hold it fit, after the play Let his queen-mother all alone entreat him To shew his griefs ; let her be round with him; And I'll be plac'd, so please you, in the ear Of all their conference. If she find him not, To England send him ; or confine him where Your wisdom best shall think.

King. It shall be fo. Madness in great ones must not unwatch'd go. [Exeunt.

3-with ecstasy.] The word ecfiafy was anciently used to fignify fome decree of alienation of mind. So G. Douglas, translating—ftetit acri fixa dolore.

“ In ecficfy she stood, and mad almaist.” So in Macbeth :

on the torture of the mind to lie “ In rettlofs ecfialy." STEEVENS,


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