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To flaming youth let virtue be as wax,
Queen. O Hamlet, speak no more :
Ham. Nay, but to live
Queen. Oh, speak to me no more ;
Ham. A murderer, and a villain !
your precedent lord !-a o vice of kings !-
Queen. No more.
faid of heat, be said of hell, that it will mutiny wherever it is quartered ? Though the emendation be elegant, it is not neceffary. JOHNSON.
-reason panders will.] So the folio, I think rightly : but the reading of the quarto is defensible;
reason pardons will. JOHNSON. -grained-] Dyed in grain. JOHNSON.
incestuous bed;] The folio has enfeamed, that is, greasy bed. JOHNSON Incestuous is the reading of the quarto, 1611. STEEVENS.
vice of kings ! ] a lo:mimick of kings. The vice is the fool of a tarce; from whom the modern punch is descended.
JOHNSON. * That from a self, &c.] This is said not unmeaningly, but to hew, that the usurper came not to the crown by any glorious villainy that carried danger with it, but by the low cowardly theft of a common piiserer. WARBURTON.
[Starting up. You heavenly guards ! - What would your gracious
Ham. Do you not come your tardy son to chide,
Ghost. Do not forget : this visitation
Ham. How is it with you, lady?
Queen. Alas, how is't with you ;
he glares !
? A king of freds and patches.] This is said, pursuing the idea of the vice of kings. The wice was dressed as a fool, in a coat of party-coloured patches. JOHNSON.
-laps’d in time and pasion, —] That, having suffered time to siip, and pasion to cool, lets go, &c. Johnson.
-like life in excrements,] The hairs are excrementitious, that is, without life or fenfation ; yet those very hairs, as if they had life, start up, &c. POPE.
Would make them capable. Do not look on me;
Queen. To whom do you speak this ?
away! s My father, in his habit as he liv'd ! Look, where he goes, even now, out at the portal!
[Exit Ghost. Queen. This is the very coinage of your brain : This bodiless creation, ecstasy Is very cunning in.
Ham. Ecstasy! My pulse, as yours, doth temperately keep time, And makes as healthful music. It is not madness That I have utter'd : bring me to the test, And I the matter will re-word; which madness Would gambol from. Mother, for love of grace, Lay not that flattering unction to your foul, That not your trespass, but my madness, speaks : It will but skin and film the ulcerous place ; Whilft rank corruption, mining all within, Infects unseen. Confess yourself to heaven ;
s My father, in his habit as he liv'd!) If the poet means by this expression, that his father appeared in his own familiar habit, he has either forgot that he had originally introduced him in armour, or must have meant to vary his dress at this
appearance. The father of Hamlet, though a wariike prince, was hardly always drest in armour, or fiept (as is reported of Hacho king of Norway) with his battle-axe in his hand.
This dificulty might perhaps be a little obviated by pointing the line thus :
My father-in bis habit--as he liv'd. STEEVENS. VOL. X.
Repent what's past; avoid what is to come ;
Refrain to-night ;] And that shall lend a kind of easiness To the next abstinence : [the next, more easy; For use can almost change the stamp of nature, And master the devil, or throw him out With wondrous potency.) Once more, good night! And when you are desirous to be blest, I'll blessing beg of you.--For this same lord,
[Pointing to Polonius. 6 - do not spread the compofit, &c.] Do not, by any new indulgence, heighten your former cffences. Johnson.
7-curb-] That is, bend and truckle. Fr. courber. $ That monfler cufiom, who all sense doth eat
Of habii's devil, is angel yet in this ;] This paffage is left out in the tivo elder folics : it is certainly corrupt, and the players did the discreet part to ftifle what they did not underItand. Habii's devil certainly arose from some conceited tamperer with the text, who thought it was necesiary, in contraft to angel. The emendation of the text I owe to the fagacity of Dr. THIRLBY.
That monster cifloni, who all fons doch eat
Of habits evil, is angel, &c. THEOBALD. I think Thirlby's conjecture wrong, though the succeeding editors have followed it; angel and devil are evidently opposed. Johnson.
I do repent: but heaven hath pleas'd it so,
Queen. What shall I do?
do. * Let the bloat king tempt you again to bed; Pinch wanton on your cheek ; call you, his mouse; And let him, for a pair of reechy kisses, Or padling in your neck with his damn'd fingers, Make you to ravel all this matter out. * That I essentially am not in madness, But mad in craft. 'Twere good, you let him know.
• To punish this with me, &c.] This is Hanmer's reading; the other editions have it,
To punish me with this, and this with me. JOHNSON. Let the fond king] The old quarto reads,
Let the bloat king i. e. bloated, which is better, as more expressive of the speaker's contempt.
WARBURTON. 2 Tbar 1 fentially am not in madness,
But mad in craft.-] The reader will be pleased to see Mr. Farmer's extract from the old quarto Historie of Hamblet, of which he had a fragment only in his posfellion. —" It was “ not without cause, and jufte occasion, that my geitures, “ countenances, and words, seeme to proceed from a madman, “ and that I desire to haue all men efteeme mee wholy depriued “ of fence and reasonable understanding, bycause I am well “ assured, that he that hath made no conscience to kill his " owne brother (accustomed to murthers, and allured with “ desire of gouernement without controll in his treasons) will “ not spare to faue himselfe with the like crueltie, in the blood, “ and Aesh of the loy.ns of his brother, by him massacred : and " therefore it is better for me to fayne madnesse, then to use
my right fences as pature hath bestowed them upon me. “ The bright shining clearnes therof I am forced to hide vnder " this shadow of diffimulation, as the sun doth hir beams