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Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works.-
Speak to her, Hainlet.
Ham. How is it with you, Lady?

Queen. Alas, how is't with you !
That thus you bend your eye on vacancy,
And with th’incorporal air do hold discourse?
Forth at your eyes your spirits wildly peep,
And, as the fleeping soldiers in th' alarm,
Your bedded hairs, like life in excrements, (53)

(53) Your bedded hairs, like life in excrements,

Start up and stand on end) I took notice, in my Shakespeare Restored, that this exprefffon as much waniéd an explanation, as any the most antiquated word in our Poet wants a gloss. Mr Hughes, in his impression of this play, has left it out; either because he could make nothing of it; or thought it alluded to an image too nauseous. The Poet'smeaning is founded on a phyfical determination, that the bair and nails are excrementitious parts of the body (as indeed they are) without life or sensation. Maerobus, in his Saturnalia, (lib. vii. cap. 9 ) not only speaks of those parts of the human body which have on sensation, but likewise affigns the reasons why they can have none. Ofa, dentes, cum unguibus et capillis, nima ficcitate ita denfata sunt, ut penetrabilia non fint effeftui animæ qui fenfum minil.rat. Therefore the Poet means to say, fear and surprise had such an effect upon Hamlet, that his hairs, as if there were life in those excrementitious parts, started up and stood on end. He has ex pressed the same thought more plainly in Macbeth;

-and my fell of, hair
Would at a dismal treaise rouze, and stir,

As life were in't. That our Poet was acquainted with this notion in physics, of the hair being without life, we need no stronger warrant, ihan that he frequently mentions it as an excrement.

Why is time such a niggard of hair, being, as it is, so plena tiful an excrement?

Comedy of Errors,
How many cowards, whose hearts are all as falle
As stairs of sand, wear yet upon their chins
The beards of Hercules, and frowning Mars;
Who, inward searchred, have livers white as milk?
And there assume but valour's excrement
To render them redoubted. Merchant of Venice,

Start up, and stand on end. O gentle fon,
Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper
Sprinkle cool patience. Whereon do you look?
Hani. On him ! on him !---look you, how pale he

glares !
His form and cause conjoined, preaching to hones,
Would make them capable. Do not look on me,
Left with this piteous action you convert
My stern effects; then what I have to do,
Will want true colour; tears, perchance, for blood.

Queen. To whom do you speak this?
Ham. Do you see nothing there?

[Pointing to the Ghost.
Queen. Nothing at all; yet all, that is, I see.
Ham. Nor did you nothing hear?
Queen. No, nothing but ourselves.

Ham. Why, look you there! look, how it steals. My father in his habit as he lived !

[away! Lcok, 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. What ecstasy ? My pulse, as yours, doni temperately keep time, And makes as healthful mufic. 'Tis not madness That I have uttered; 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 soul, That not your trespals, but my madness, fpeaks ;

For I must tell thee, it will please his grace (by the world) fonetime to lean ipon my poor bloulder, and with bis royal enger thus c'ally with my excrement, with my musiacius. &c. &ca

Love's Labour Loft.

It will but skin and film the ulcerous place; (54).
Whilst rank corruption, mining all within,
Infects unseen. Confess yourself to Heaven;
Repent what's past, avoid what is to come ;
And do not spread the compoit on the weeds
To make them ranker. Forgive me this my virtue;
For, in the fatness of these purly times,,
Virtue itself of vice must pardon begg.
Yea, cuurb, and wooe, for leave to do it good.
Queen. Oh, Hamlet! thou hast cleft my heart is

Hum. O, throw away the worser part of it,
And live the purer with the other half.
Good night; but go not to mine uncle's bed:
Affume a virtue, if you have it not.
That monster custom, who all sense doth eat (55)

(54) It will but skin and film the ulcerous place,

Why rank corruption, running all withir,

Infelts urleen.] So, our Poet elsewhere speaking of the force of power;

Because authority, though it err like others,
Hath yet a kind of medicine in itself,
That kius the vice o' th top.

Meas. for Menjo But why, in the passage before us, has Mr Pope given usa reading that is warranted by none of the copies, and door graded one that has the countenance of all of them?

Whilft rank corruption, mining all within,

Infects unseen, The Poet describes corruprion as having a corrosive quality, eating its secret way, and undermining the parts that are skinned over, and seem found io exteriour viciv He, in another place, uses the limpie verb for the compound.

He lets me feed with his hinds, bars me the place of a bros ther, and, as much as in hinr lyes, mines my gentility withmy education,

As You Like it, (55) That monster custom, zuha al! les se doth eat,

of babit's devil, is angel yet in this;
Tiat to the use of actionis fair anagord
Hastike z ise gives a fruik, et livery,

Of habits evil, is angel yet in this;
That to the use of actions. fair and good
He likewise gives a frock, or livery,
That aptly is put on. 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 even the Devil, or throw him out
With wondrous potency. . Once more, good night!.
And when you are desirous. to be blest,
I'll blefling beg of you.---For this fame Lord,

[Pointing to Polonius..
I do repent: but Heaven hath pleased it fo,
To punish me with this, and this with me,
That I must be their fcourge and minister.
I will bestow him, and will answer well.
The death I gave him; fo, again, good night!
I must be cruel, only to be kind;
Thus bad begins, and worse, remains behind.

Queen. What shall I do?
Han. Not this, by no means, that I bid you

Let the fond King tempt you again to bed;.
Finch wanton on your cheek; call you-his mouse;
And let him, for a pair of reechy, kifles,
Or paddling in your neck with his damned fingers,

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That aptly is put on.] This paffage is left out in the two. elder Folios; it is certainly corrupt, and the players did the discreet part to ftifle what they did not understand. Habit's. devil certainly arose from some conceited tamperer with the text, who thought it was neecffary, in contrast to ano

The emendation of the text. I owe to the fagacity of Dr TMirlby :

That monster custom, who all sense doth cat:

Of babits evil, is angel, &c. 3. e. Custom, which by inuring us to .ill habits, makes us lose: the apprehension of their being really ill, as easily will 12: concile us to the practice of good actions..

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.
For who that's but a Queen, fair, fober, wise,
Would from a paddock, from a bat, a gibbe,
Such dear concernings hide? who would do to?
No, in despight of lense and secresy,
Unpeg the balket on the bouse's top,
Let the birds fly, and, like the famous ape,
To try cooclusions, in the basket creep,
And break your own neck down.

Queen. Be thou assured, if words be made of breath,
And breath of life, I have no life to breathe
What thou hast said to me.

Ham. I must to England, you know that?
Queen. Alack, I had forgot; 'tis fo concluded on.
Ham. There's letters sealed, and my two school-

Whom I will trust as I will adders fanged)
They bear the mandate; they must sweep my way,
And marshal me to knavery: let it work.-
For 'tis the sport, to have the engineer
Hoist with his own petard : and't Thall hard,
But I will delve one yard below their mines,
And blow them at the moon. 0, 'tis most sweet,
When in one line two crafts directly meet!
This man shall set me packing ;
P'll lug the guts into the neighbour room;
Mother, good-night. - Indeed, this Counsellor
Is now molt still, most secret, and mott grave,
Who was in life .: foolish prating knave.
Come, Sir, to draw toward an end with you.
Good-night, mother.

[Exit Hamlet, tugging in Polonius.

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