Obrazy na stronie

was to fill it. This therefore was a costly sacrifice to be laid on the altar of duty-a thing to be done effectually and at once. And it must be recollected that Ophelia's loss of reason and untimely death did not arise from wounded affection or injury to her feelings, produced by the interview with Hamlet. Her mind was rather filled with pity for him, than distress for herself : but she suffered froin the sudden shock produced by her father's death, and the afflicting circumstances attending it. Just previously to this interview, Hamlet had gained a complete conviction of the King's guilt, and was therefore meditating his great purpose of revenge. His father's spirit was always before him, demanding justice: a voice from the dead called on him for the punishment of the murderer. Compared to this, all that belonged to the present life either in retrospect or hope was as a picture, that had once existed, but whose colours bad been washed away. Now this great secret of the heart could not be divulged to Ophelia ; the causes of his wayward and strange conduct to her could not be explained. He had therefore forcibly and abruptly to break asunder the ties which he could not gently unloose ; and disengage his affections from their dearest, their last, and their firmest hold. There is no reason given that could induce us to believe that this acted on Ophelia to the bereavement of reason, or the sacrifice of life. This last was occasioned by an additional and unforeseen calamity, unconnected except casually with her former affliction. All the natural ties of affection in the heart of Hamlet were broken and dissolved but one,-his love of Ophelia ; this also must necessarily perish ; it was even criminal to retain it ; it could not exist amidst the injuries of a lacerated heart, in the misery that involved the present, and with the still deeper gloom of sorrows and calamities impending over his future days.

We now proceed to transcribe from the copy of this play such passages of the text as we had remarked, whether for singularity of expression or for resemblance to those of other poets, or explanation of meaning: in critical alteration of the language we have little to add to what has been done before, and what remains seems to require not the ingenuity of conjecture, but the authority of new manuscripts, or hitherto undiscovered editions.

HAMLET. (Vol. XVIII. ed. Reed.)

P. 6.-" Fran. Not a mouse stirring." Imitated in Armin's Two Maids of Moreclacke, p. 11,

“ Close and husht, not a fly stirring."

P. 11.--" He smote the sledded Polacks on the ice." " Polack" was used for Polander or Pole at that time. See Camden's Remains, p. 394, Epitaphs

". That smote the fickle French and Polacks bold." See also Killigrew's Thomaso, p. 334.

" That's the Polack Prince with the Saretta."

P. 24.—"The extraragant and erring spirit lies." This word has been used by a modern and very elegant poet in its larger and primitive meaning as in the text, viz. got out of bounds

“ The impending trees
Stretch their extravagant arms athwart the gloom,"

Armstrong's Art of Preserving Health. Vid. Works, ü, 371,

P. 31.-"A little more than kin, and less than kind." See Dolarney's Primrose, c. I. by J. Reynolds,

“ Faire, but unkinde, no kinde, fie too too cruel." Fletcher's Woman-Hater, p. 238, ed. Seward,

“To teach his passions against kind to move."

P. 33.-" 'Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother." See Churchyard's Funeral of Sir F. Knowles, p. 3,

" Thy freindes shall mourn not wyth long cloakes of blacke."

P. 33.-—"Nor the dejected 'haviour of the visage." So Massinger's Old Law, p. 70, 4to.

"Nearer the 'haviour of a funeral ;" and Marston's Malcontent, p. 34,

" Mark the 'haviour of the Dutchess now;" Fletcher's Noble Gentleman, p. 371,

" Files off all rudeness and uncivil 'havior."

P. 37.-"No jocund health that Denmark drinks to day," &c. See Camden's Remains, p. 17, “When we charge them with drunkenness, which, as we receive from the Danes, so we first taught the French all their kitchen skill." See Beaumont's Psyche, c. xii. st. 56,

** Thou
So well appointed art as not to fear
Of Dutch or Danish bowls."

P. 41.-"A little month, or ere those shoes were old," &c. Quintilian expresses the same thought by another happy image, “ Quo adhuc in torum uxoris prioris (vestigio calentem adducta est nova nupta." See Declamationes, cccxxxix. p. 707, ed. Burman.

P. 41.-"O, Heaven! a beast that wants discourse of reason." See Fletcher's Coxcomb, p. 218, ed. Seward.

“Why should a man that has discourse and reason."

P. 43.

"A countenance more

In sorrow than in anger."
Brome has the reverse in his New Academy, p. 8,

"Expressing more of anger than of grief."

P. 53.-"Out of the shot and danger of desire." Compare Daniel's Queen of Arcadia, vol. i. p. 209,

Made thus easy to the violent shot of passion."

P. 55.- Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar." Compare Munday's Banquet of Daintie Conceits,

“ Be gentle unto every wight,

Let courtesie be thy delight,
Familiar be with you I say,
For sure it is the wisest way,
Therefore keep gentleness in mind," &c.

P. 61.-“Ay, springes to catch woodcocks." See Fletcher's Loyal Subject, p. 368,

“Go, like a woodcock,

And thrust your neck i' the noose." Marston in his Malcontent, p. 55, has another proverb, “ Traps to catch polecats;" and Fletcher in the Humourous Lieutenant, p. 38, "Stales to catch kites."

P. 71.-"Bring with thee airs from heaven or blasts from hell." Compare Milton " Of Reformation in England," p. 58: “The very maw of hell ransacked and made to give up her concealed destruction, ere she could vent it in that horrible and damned blast."

P. 72.-" Hath oped its ponderous and marble jaws," &c.
See the Second Maiden's Tragedy, p. 85,

“ All thy strength,
Thou grey.eyed monument, shall not keep her from me.
Strike, villain! though the echo rail us all
Into ridiculous deafness, pierce the jaws

Of this cold ponderous creature."
P. 73.-" That thou, dead corse, again in complete steel," &c.
This seems to have been a current and common phrase ; the word
"complete" always being accented on the first syllable. See Marlow's
Lust's Dominion, 0. P. p. 155,

“I'm armed with more than complete steel ;'' Dekker's Satiro-Mastix, p. 41, 4to. 1602.

" To arm our wits With complete steel of judgment;" see also Fletcher's Wife for a Month, p. 444, ed. Sympson,

“And as he had been made of complete virtue ;'' and Fanshaw's Luciad, p. 127,

" In cómpleat steele begins to clothe each knight ;" and Chapman's Homer's Odyssey, xxiv. p. 374,

Which compleat armed they put in present force."

P. 77.--"Alas! poor ghost !" See Massinger's Old Law, p. 25, 4to.

“ Alas! poor ghost!"

P. 79.

“ Whose lightest word

Would harrow up thy soul." See a learned note by Boissonade on Nicetas, vol. ii, p. 234, and Alciphronis Epist. iii. 33,

κάμε κνίζεις, άχρί του και αυτήν έκρινήσαι την καρδίαν. P. 82.-"Oh! my prophetic soul, my uncle !" Compare Shakspere's Sonnet, " A Monument to Fame,"

“ Not mine owne feares nor the prophetic soule of the wide world;"> and Fletcher's Double Marriage, p. 136,

"O, my prophetic soul!''

P. 87.-" And in the porches of mine ears did pour," &c. See Plauti Pseudolus, Act i. sc. 5, 682, ed. Taubmanni,

“ Fac sis racivus, Pseudolus ædes aurium,

Mea ut migrare dicta possint, quo volo."
P. 85.-"Unhousel'd, disappointed, unanel'd.”
Add to the notes A. Borde's Book of Knowledge, p. 105," On Corpus
Christi day you should be housel'd.On the word “ disappointed," that is,
"unprepared," see Fletcher's Martial, p. 230, ed. 1656,

“The bridegroome in at last did rustle,
All dis-appointed in the bustle,

The maid had shay'd his breeches," &c. P. 86.-"A couch for luxury and damned incest." For this use of the word “ luxury,” see V. Paterculi Hist. lib. ii. c. 100: “Nihil luxuria, libidine infectum reliqnit ;” and Dante, Il Purgatorio, cxxvi.

“ Perche 'I trullo a sua lussuria corre ;" Fletcher's Noble Gentleman, Act i. sc. I,

'Tis the rarest fellow, and the soundest

In the noble theory of luxury;" and a "Lover's Complaint,"v. Malone's Suppl. I. 759,

“When he most burnt in heart wish'd luxury." P. 88.--"Ye from the table of my memory." See Daniel's Queen of Arcadia, vol. i. p. 77, 12mo.

“Set in the table-frame of memory." P. 87.-"And shall I couple heil? (0, fye !) hold, hold, my heart." Steevens supposes these words “0, fye !" to be the marginal reprehension of a scrupulous reader : and yet there might be a various reading, as “ Fye, hold my heart !" for "fye was often introduced in this manner, See Fletcher's Coxcoinb, p. 221,

“Away, away, fie! now I'll read your letter.'' It has no ludicrous turn, thongh Steevens says it has. The O we believe to be surreptitious; but we are not at all certain that " fye, hold," is not a varia lectio for “hold, hold.” See the passage from Dolarney already quoted, p. 119,

“ Faire, but unkinde, no kinde, fie too too cruel.” P. 82.-"My tables ; meet it is I set it down.” See“ A Quest of Enquirie whether the Tripe Wife was trimmed, &c." 4to. 1595, “I drew foorth my writing-tables, and, getting close into a corner, noted down everything as neere as I could." See also Fletcher's Prologue to the Woman-Hater, and Lover's Progress, p. 376, “In your table-book."

P. 92.-"Ha! ha! boy! say'st thou so ? art thou there, Truepenny ?" See The Marriage Broker, p. 62,

Farewell, old noble Truependy;" and Fletcher's Loyal Subject, p. 307, ed. Seward,

“Go, go thy ways, old Truepenny." Gent. Mag, Vol. XXIII.


P. 113.-" Doubt Truth to be a liar." See a criticism on this line in Smith's Comic Miscellanies, vol. i. p. 103. -It does not harmonise with the preceding ones, unless “ truth" could be used in its original sense of " what I trow," common belief.

P. 113.-" Thine evermore, most dear Jady, while this machine is to him, Hamlet." This affected way of concluding a letter is ridiculed in Chapman's Mons. D'Olive, Act iv. sc. last, " Thine, if I am worth ought, and yet such as it skills not whose I am, if I be thine, Geronimo ;” and Jonson's Every Man out of his Humour, Act jii. sc. 7, " And thus, pot doubting of your fatherly benevolence, I humbly ask your blessing, and pray God to bless you. Yours if his own."

P. 119.-" P. Do you know me, my Lord ?

H. Excellent well; you are a fishmonger." See Jonson's Every Man in his Humour, Act i. sc. 3, “ His father's an honest man, a worshipful fishmonger, and so forth.” The phrase seems explained in Fletcher's Humorous Lieutenant, p. 6, “ Thou lookst like an ass; why, whither wouldst thou, fish face " a face without meaning or intelligence.

P. 120.--"Let her not walk in the sun,

Conception is a blessing,” &c.
See Heywood's Challenge for Beauty, Act. ii. sc. 1.

“ Royal lady,
Might I advise you, keep out of the sun,
And walk still in the shade. By proof we see
Such meteors oft take fire," &c.

P. 123.-" His eyes purging thick amber and plumtree gum." See Kirkman's Sport upon Sport, i. 82, "Surely I was begot in a plumtree; I have such a deal of

guin about

my eyes."

P. 123.-" Though this be madness, yet there's method in it." See Plauti Menechm. Act v. sc. 5, “Haud quidem Ædipol hoc pro insano verbum respondit mihi." P. 128. “What a piece of work is a man.

How noble in reason, how infinite in faculties ; in form and moving how express and admirable ; in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a God," &c. There is something in Maximus Tyrius resembling this noble passage. See Diss. viii. y ed. Reiske, beginning, éı yap á vOputoŨ Yux éyyutatov Oew

διά τοιούτου σώματος τύπων τους θεούς τιμάν ενόμισαν οι "Exinves. See also The Honest Lawyer, 1616. By s. s.

“ Man, man, the pride of Heaven's creation,
Abstract of nature, that in her small volume
Contains the whole world's text and Heaven's impression.

His Maker's image, angels' mate, earth's great wonder," &c.
P. 128. “We coted then on the way." See Chapman's Homer's
Odyssey, xiii. p. 204.

“He should be passing slie and covetous

Of stealth, in men's deceits, that coted thee."
And Hall's Satires, ed. Singer, Book ii. s. i. p. 26.
P. 139.

“When the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw..

« PoprzedniaDalej »