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Where joy most revels, grief doth most lament
Dutch. Nor earth to me give food," nor heaven light!
Ham. If she should break it now
Duke. 'Tis deeply sworn ; Sweet, leave me here a while My fpirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile The tedious day with sleep.
[Sleeps. Dutch. Sleep rock thy brain, And never come mischance between us twain ! [Exit.
Ham. Madam, ; how like you this Play'? * Queen, The lady protests too much, micthinks. skii Ham. Oh, but he'll keep her word. was'?
King Have you 'heard the argument, is there no of fence in't?
Ham. No, no, they do but jest, poison in jest, offence i'th' world. :??:)
King. What do you call the Play?
Ham. The Mouse-Trap ; Marry, how ? tropically. This Play is the image of a murther done in Vienna ; Gonzago is the Duke's name, his wife's Baptista ; you shall see anon, 'tis a knavish piece of Work ; but what o' that? your Majesty, and we that have free souls, it touches us not let the gall'a jade winch, our withers are unwrung.
This is one Lucianus, nephew to the Duke.
Oph. You are as good as a chorus, my lord.
Ham. I could interpret between you and your love, if I could see the puppets dallying.
Oph. You are keen, my lord, you are keen.
(40) Still worse and worse.
Husbands.] Surely, this is the moft uncomfortable Lesson, that ever was preach'd to the poor Ladies : and I can't help wishing, for our own fakes too, it mayn't be true.
'Tis too foul a Blot upon our Reputations, that every Husband that a Woman takes must be worse than her former. The Poet, I am pretty certain, intended no such Scandal upon the Sex. But what a precious Collator of Copies is Mr. Pope ! All the old Quarto's and Folio's read.
Ophel. Still better and worse.
Ham. So you mistake Husbands. Hamlet is talking to her in such gross double Entendres, that she is forc'd to parry them by indirect Answers : and remarks, that tho' his Wit be Smarter, yet his Meaning is more blunt. This, I think, is the Sense of her
-Still better and worse. This puts Hamlet in mind of the Words in the Church Service of Matrimony, and he replies ; So you mistake Husbands, i. e. So you take Husbands, and find yourselves mistaken in them.
Thou mixture rank, of mid-night weeds collected,
[Pours the poifon in his ears. Ham. He poisons him i’th garden for's estate ; his name's Gonzago ; the story is extant, and writ in choice Italian. You
shall see anon how the murtherer gets the love of Gonzago's wife.
Oph. The King rises.
Manent Hamlet and Horatio.
Ham. Why, let the strucken deer go weep,
The hart ungalled play:
So runs the world away.
(41) With Hecate's Bane thrice blafted,] Here, again, Mr. Pope approves himself a worthy Collator: for the old Quarto's and Folio's concur in reading, as I have reform'd the Text,
With Hecate's Bann tbrice blastedj.e. With her Curse, Execration. So, in Timon ;
Take thou that too, with multiplying Banns, 2 Henry VI.
Ay, ev'ry joint should seem to curse and bann. And again;
You bad me bann, and will you bid me leave ? Ibid.
&c. &c. &c. Befides, Words of Execration have been always practis'd in magical Operations. So Horace, to give a single Instance,
Canidia, parce vocibus tandem facris. Upon which Words Porphyrion has given us this short Comment. Dialogus nunc de Sacris, quià Sacrum religiosum et execrabile significat. Hermannus Figulus thus explains it ; Vocibus sacris.] Mális cantibus, & verbis magicis. And Badius Afcentius, ftill nearer to our purpose ; Sacris] id eft, Diris et imprecationibus in me abftine,
of my fortunes turn Turk with me) (42) with two provincial roses on my rayed shooes, get me a fellowship in a cry of Players, Sir?
Hor. Half a share.
Ham. A whole one, I.
This realm dismantled was
A very, very, Paddock. (43)
(42) With two provincial Rofes on my rayed fooes, Get me a Fellowship in a City of Players, Sir -] I once suspected, that We ought to read, raised Shoes. By a Forest of Feathers, he certainly alludes to the Plumes worn by the Stage-Heroes ; as, by raised Shoes, he would to their Buskins ; the Cothurni, as they were called by the Romans, which were as much higher in the Heel than other common Shoes, as the Chiop. pines worn by the Venetians are. It was the known Custom of the Tragedians of old, that they might the nearer resemble the Heroes they personated, to make themselves as tall in Stature, and by an artificial Help to Sound, to speak as big, as they possibly could. To both these Horace has alluded ;
magnumq; loqui, nitiq Cothuruo.
The Cry went once for thee.
You common Cry of Curs, &c.
Menen. You have made you good Work,
For all the Country in a general Voice
Cry'd Hate upon him. (43) A very very Peacock.] The old Copies have it Paicock, Paiocke, and Pajocke. I føbstitute Paddock, aš nearest to the Traces of the cors Tupted Reading. I have, as Mr. Pope says, been willing to: fubftitute
Hor. You might have rhim'd.
Ham. Oh, good Horatio, I'll take the Ghost's word for a thousand pounds. Didst perceive? Hor. Very well, my lord.
. Ham. Upon the talk of the poisoning? Hor. I did very well note him.
Enter Rolncrantz and Guildenstern,
Gril. Good my lord, vouchsafe me a word with you.
any Thing in the place of his Peacock. He thinks a Fable alluded to, of the Birds chusing a King; instead of the Eagle, a Peacock. I fuppose, , he must mean the Fable of Barlandus, in which it is said, The Birds, being weary of their State of Anarchy, mov'd for the setting up of a King and the Peacock was elected on account of his gay Feathers. But, with Submission, in this passage of our Shakespeare, there is not the least Mention made of the Eagle in Antithesis to the Peacock; and it must be by a very uncommon Figure, that Jove himself ftands in the place of his Bird. I think, Hamlet is setting his Father's and Uncle's Characters in Contrast: to each other : and means to say, that by his Father's Death the State was stripp'd of a godlike Monarch, and that now in his Stead reign'd the most despicable poisonous Animal that could be: a-meer Paddock, or Toad. Pad, bufo, rubeta major ; a toad. - Belgis, Padde. Vid. Somnerum, Minshew, &c. Our Author was very well acquainted with the Word, and has used it more than once. Macbeth.
ift Witch. “I come, Grimalkin.
2d Witch. Paddock calls. The Witches are suppos'd to hear their Spirits call to them in the foream. ing of a Cat, and the Croaking of a Toad. But what makes it the more probable that this Term 1hould be used here, Hamlet, again, afterwards speaking of his Uncle to the Queen, among other contemptuous Additions, gives him this very Appellation.
Twere good, you let him know...
I had formerly propos'd other Conjectures; but, I think, I may ventate to stand by This. Sub Judice lis eft. If it has Reason and Probability on its Side, Mr. Pope's legendary Peacock mult een be content to wait for another Election a
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