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For he himself is subject to his birth;
Oph. I shall th' effects of this good leflon keep, As watchman to my heart. But, good my
brother, Do not, as some ungracious pastors do, Shew me the steep and thorny way to heav'n ; Whilft, like a puft and careless libertine, Himelf the primrose path of dalliance trcads, And recks not his own reed,
Laer. Oh, fear me not,
Enter POLONIUS. I stay too long ;---but here my
father comes : A double blessing is a double grace; Occasion siniles upon a second leave.
Pol. Yet here, Laertes! aboard, aboard for shame; The wind sits in the shoulder of your fail, (11) And you are staid for. There ;------My blessing with you ;
[Laying his hand on Laertes' head. And these few precepts in thy memory See thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue, Nor any unproportioned thought his act: Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar; The friends thou hast, and their adoption try'd, Grapple them to thy soul with hooks of Iteel: But do not dull thy palm with entertainment Of each new-hatched, unfledged comrade. Beware Of entrance to a quarrel: but, being in, Bear't that the opposed may beware of thee. Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice. Take each man's censure; but reserve thyjudgment. (11) The wind sits in the firoulder of your fril,
And you are paid for there. My blelling, &c.] There where in the shoulder of his fail! For to that must this local adverb relate, as 'tis Guated. Besides, it is a dragging idle expletive, and seems of no ure but to support the meafare of the verse. But when we come to point this paisage right, and to the Poet's intention in it, we shall find it nejther unnecessary, nor improper, in its place. In the speech immediately preceding this, Laertes taxes himself for itay. ing too long; but seeing his father approach, he is willing to stay for a second blelling, and kneels down for that end; Polonius accordingly lays his hand on his head, and gives him the second blessing. The manner in which a comic acfor behaved upon this occasion, was sure to raise a laugh of pleafure in the audience; and the oldest Quartos, in the pointing, are a confirmation that thus the Poet intended its and thus the stage expressed it.
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
Laer. Moit humbly do I take my leave, my Lord.
Oph. 'Tis in my memory lock'd,
[Exit Laer. Pol. What is't, Ophelia, he hath faid to you? Oph. So please you, fomething touching the Lord
Pal. Marry, well bethought! 'Tis told me, he hath very ost of late Given private time to you; and you yourself Have of your audience been most free and bounIf it be so, (as so 'tis put on me,
[teous. And that in way of caution,) I must tell you, You do not understand yourself so clearly,
(12.) The time invites yoz!;] This reading is as old as the firit Folio; however I suspect it to have been substitued by the players, wlio did not understand the term which por. fesses the elder Quartos ;
The time invests you, i. e. besieges; presles upon you on every Gide. To invest a town is a military phrase, from which our Author borrowed his metaphor.
As it behoves my daughter, and your honour.
Opb. He hath, my Lord, of late, made many tenOf his affection to me.
[ders Pol. Affection! puh! you speak like a green girl, Unfifted in fuch perilous circumstance. Do you believe his tenders, as you call them? Oph. I do not know, my Lord, what I should think..
Pol. Marry, I'll teach you; think yourself a baby, That you
have ta’en his tenders for true pay, Which are not Sterling. Tender yourself more
dearly ; (13) Or (not to crack the wind of the poor phrafe, Wringing it thus) you'll tender me a fool.
Oph. My Lord, he hath importuned me with: In honourable fashion.
[love, Pol. Ay, fashion you may callit: go to go to. Oph. And hath given countenance to his speech, With almost all the holy vows of Heaven.
Pol. Ay, springes to catch woodcocks. I do kpow, When the blood burns, how prodigal the soul Lends the tongue vows.
Thele blazes, oh my daughter, Giving more light than heat, extinct in both, Er'n in their promise as it is a-making, You muit not take for fire. From this time, Be somewhat scanter of your maiden presence,
(13) Tender yourself more dearly;
Or. (not to crack the wind of the poor phrase)
Wronging it thus, you'll tender me a fool.] The parenthesis is closed at the wrong place, and we must make likewise a Night correction in the last verse. Polonius is racking and playing on the word tender, till be thinks proper to correct himself for the licence; and then he would say--not farther to crack the wind of the phrase by twiting and contorsing it, as I have done, &c.
Set your intreatments at a higher rate,
(14.) Do not believe his vows, for they are brokers";
Breathing like fan&tified and pious bonds,
The better to beguili.] To the same purpose our Author, speaking of vows, exa presses himself in his poem called tho Lover's Complaint :
Saw how deceits were gilded in his fmiling;
Kuew vows were ever brokers to desiling: But to the paslage in question; though all the editors have fwallowed it implicitly, it is certainly corrupt; and I have been surprised how men of genius and learning could let it pass without some suspicion. What idea can we form to“ ourselves of a breathing bond, or of its being fanctified and pious? The only tolerable way of reconciiingit to a meaning without: a change, is to suppose that the Poet intends by the word bonds, verbal obligations, protestations : and then, indeed, thelé bonds may, in some fense, be said to have breath. But this is to make him guilty of over-straining the word and allusion, and it will hardly bear that interpretation, at least not without much obscurity: As he just before is calling amo. rous vows brokers, and implorers of unholy fuits, I think a continuation of the plain and natural sense directs to an easy emendation, which makes the whole thought of a piece, and gives it a turn not nnworthy of our Poet.
Breathing, like sanctified and pious bawds,
The better to beguile. Brsker, 'tis to be observed, our Author perpetually uses as the more modest synonymous term for bawd. Besides, what strengthens my correction, and makes this emendation the more necessary and probable, is the words with which the Puet winds up his thought," the better to beguile.” It is the lly artifice and custom of bawds to put on an air and form of fanctity, to betray the virtue of young ladies, by drawing them first into a kind opinion of them, from their exteriour and dissembled goodness. And bawds in their office of treachery are likewite properly brokers; and the inplorers and