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Ah me, what act, That roars so loud, and thunders in the index?3
Ham. Look here, upon this picture, and on this ;'
1604, is the true one. In Shakspeare's licentious diction, the meaning may be,-The face of heaven doth glow with heated visage over the earth : and heaven as against the day of judg. ment, is thought-sick at the act.
Had not our poet St. Luke's description of the last day in his thoughts !-" And there shall be signs in the sun and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring: men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking on those things which are coming on the earth; for the powers of heaven shall be shaken," &c. Matone.
3 That roars so loud, ] The meaning is,-What is this act, of which the discovery, or mention, cannot be made, but with this violence of clamour? Fohnson.
3 and thunders in the index?] Mr. Edwards observes, that the indexes of many old books were at that time inserted at the beginning, instead of the end, as is now the custom. This observation I have often seen confirmed.
So, in Othello, Act II, sc. vii:“ an index and obscure prologue to the history of lust and foul thoughts.” Steevens.
Bullokar in his Expositor, 8vo. 1616, defines an Index by “ A table in a booke.” The table was almost always prefixed to the books of our poet's age. Indexes, in the sense in which we now understand the word, were very uncommon. Malone.
4 Look here, upon this picture, and on this;] It is evident from the following words,
“ A station like the herald Mercury,” &c. that these pictures which are introduced as miniatures on the stage, were meant for whole lengths, being part of the furniture of the Queen's closet:
like Maia's son he stood, “ And shook his plumes.” Paradise Lost, Book V. Hamlet, who, in a former scene, has censured those who gave « forty, fifty, a hundred ducats apiece” for his uncle's “ picture in little,” would hardly have condescended to carry such a thing in his pocket. Steevens.
The introduction of miniatures in this place appears to be a modern innovation. A print prefixed to Rowe's edition of Ham. let, published in 1709, proves this. There, the two royal por. traits are exhibited as half-lengths, hanging in the Queen's clo. set; and either thus, or as whole-lengths, they probably were exhibited from the time of the original performance of this tra. gedy to the death of Betterton. To half-lengths, however, the same objection lies, as to miniatures. Malone
We may also learn, that from this print the trick of kicking the chair down on the appearance of the Ghost, was adopted by modern Hamlets from the practice of their predecessors. Steevens.
The counterfeit presentment of two brothers,
5 Hyperion's curls ;] It is observable, that Hyperion is used by Spenser with the same error in quantity. Farmer.
I have never met with an earlier edition of Marston's Insatiate Countess than that in 1613. In this the following lines occur, which bear a close resemblance to Hamlet's description of his father:
“ A donative he hath of every god;
“ dignos et Apolline crines.” Ovid's Metam. B. 111, thus translated by Golding, 1587 : “ And haire that one might worthily Apollo's haire it
deeme.” Steevens. 6 A station like the herald Mercury, &c.] Station, in this instance, does not mean the spot where any one is placed, but the act of standing. So, in Antony and Cleopatra, Act Ill, sc. iïi :
“Her motion and her station are as one." On turning to Mr. Theobald's first edition, I find that he had made the same remark, and supported it by the same instance. The observation is necessary, for otherwise the compliment designed to the attitude of the King, would be bestowed on the place where Mercury is represented as standing. Steevens.
In the first scene of Timon of Athens, the poet, admiring a picture, introduces the same image:
“— How this gruce
“ Speaks his own standing!!” Malone. I think it not improbable that Shakspeare caught this image from Phaer's translation of Virgil, (Fourth Æneid,) a book that without doubt he had read: “ And now approaching neere, the top he seeth and
mighty lims “Of Atlas, mountain tough, that heaven on boystrous
shoulders beares:“ There first on ground with wings of might doth Mer
cury arrive, “ Then down from thence right over seas himselfe doth
headlong drive." In the margin are these words: “ The description of Mercury's journey from heaven, along the mountain Atlas in Afrike, highest on earth.” Malone. 7 heaven-kissing hill;] So, in Troilus and Cressida :
“ Yon towers whose wanton tops do buss the clouds." Again, in Chapman's version of the fourteenth Iliad: " A fir it was that shot past air, and kiss'd the burning
A combination, and a form, indeed,
i like a mildew'd ear,
Blasting his wholesome brother. ] This alludes to Pharaoh's Dream, in the 41st chapter of Genesis. Steevens.
9 - batten -] i. e. to grow fat. So, in Claudius Tiberius Nero, 1607 : "
and for milk “ I batten'd was with blood.” Again, in Marlowe's Jew of Malta, 1633 :
" make her round and plump,
“ And batten more than you are aware.” Bat is an ancient word for increase. Hence the adjective bas. ful, so often used by Drayton in his Polyolbion. Steevens.
1 The hey-day in the blood-] This expression occurs in Ford's 'Tis Pity she's a Whore, 1633 :
“ Up to a surfeit?” Steevens. 2 Sense, sure, you have,
Else, could you not have motion:] But from what philosophy our editors learnt this, I cannot tell. Since motion depends so little upon sense, that the greatest part of motion in the universe, is amongst bodies devoid of sense. We should read:
Else, could you not have notion. i. e. intellect, reason, &c. This aludes to the famous peripatetic principle of Nil fit in intellectu, quod non fuerit in sensu. And how fond our author was of applying, and alluding to, the principles of this philosophy, we have given several instances. The principle in particular has been since taken for the foundation of one of the noblest works that these latter ages have produced.
Warburton. The whole passage is wanting in the folio; and which soever of the readings be the true one, the poet was not indebted to this boasted philosophy for bis choice. Steevens.
Is apoplex'd: for madness would not err;
shame! where is thy blush? Rebellious hell, If thou canst mutine in a matron's bones,
Sense is sometimes used by Shakspeare for sensation or sensual appetite; as motion is the effect produced by the impulse of nature. Such, I think, is the signification of these words here. $o, in Measure for Measure:
" she speaks, and 'tis
“ Such sense, that my sense breeds with it." Again, more appositely in the same play, where both the words occur:
One who never feels “ The wanton stings and motions of the sense.” So, in Braithwaite's Survey of Histories, 1614: “ These conti; nent relations will reduce the straggling motions to a more settled and retired harbour.” Sense has already been used in this scene, for sensation:
“ That it be proof and bulwark against sense.” Malone. 3 at hoodman-blind?] This is, I suppose, the same as blindman's-buff. So, in The Wise Woman of Hogsden, 1638:
“ Why should I play at hood-man blind » Again, in Two Lamentable Tragedies in One, the One a Murder of Master Beech, &c. 1601 :
“ Pick out men's eyes, and tell them that's the sport
“Of hood-man blind." Steevens. 4 Eyes without feeling, &c.] This and the three following lines are omitted in the folio. Steevens.
5 Could not so mope.] j. e. could not exhibit such marks of stupidity. The same word is used in The Tempest, sc. ult:
\/\/?§Â§Â§Â2Ò2 Â2Ò2ÂòÂ§Â2Ò2Âòm2ņtiņģ22222Â2 m2m2 \ 6 - Rebellious hell,
If thou canst mutine in a matron's bones, &c.] Thus the old copies. Shakspeare calls mutineers,~mutines, in a subsequent scene. Steevens. So, in Othello:
" this hand of yours requires
To flaming youth let virtue be as wax,
O Hamlet, speak no more:
Nay, but to live In the rank sweat of an enseamed bed ;1
To mutine, for which the modern editors have substituted mutiny, was the ancient term, signifying to rise in mutiny. So, in Knolles's History of the Turks, 1603: “ The Janisaries-be. came wonderfully discontented, and began to mutine in diverse places of the citie." Malone.
7 - reason panders will.] So the folio, I think, rightly; but the reading of the quarto is defensible :
reason pardons will. Johnson. Panders ' was certainly Shakspeare's word. So, in Venus and Adonis :
“ When reason is the bawd to lust's abuse." Malone. 8 grained -] Died in grain. Johnson.
I am not quite certain that the epithet-grained, is justly in. terpreted. Our author employs the same adjective in The Comedy of Errors:
“ Though now this grained face of mine be hid,” &c. and in this instance the allusion is most certainly to the furrows in the grain of wood.
Shakspeare might therefore design the Queen to say, that her spots of guilt were not merely superficial, but indented. A passage, however, in Twelfth Night, will sufficiently authorize Dr. Johnson's explanation : “ "Tis in grain, sir, 'twill endure wind and weather.” Steevens.
9 As will not leave their tinct.] To leave is to part with, give up, resign. So, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona:
“ It seems, you lov'd her not, to leave her token." The quartos read:
As will leave there their tinct. Steevens.
Johnson Thus also the quarto, 1604. Beaumont and Fletcher use the word inseamed in the same sense, in the third of their Four Plays in One:
“ His leachery inseam'd upon him.” In The Book of Haukyng, &c. bl. l. no date, we are told that “ Ensayme of a hauke is the grece."