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Shakspere seated between the Dramatic Muse and the Genius of Painting. From an Alto-Relievo by Banks in the front o» 
the British Institution, formerly the Shakspere Gallery, Pall Mall. 



Title-page— The Masquerade Scene : an original 
design by W. Harvey 1 


Tragic Mask 3 

Costume of Senators and Ladies, from a drawing by 

Giotto 9 

Costume of a young Venetian Nobleman, from 

Vecellio 10 


Funeral Garland, composed from specimens of the 
principal funeral flowers of Shakspere — " Vio- 
lets blue," "Marigold," "Azure hare-bell," 
"Rosemary," " Eglantine," &c 12 


Verona 13 

Maskers 23 


Bills and Partizans, from specimens 25 

Grove of Sycamore 25 

Lady masked, from Vecellio 26 

Fete Champetre ; designed from an illumination 

in the " Roman de la Rose," Harl. MS. 4425... 27 
Plantain Leaf, from specimens, and a group in 

Gerarde's Herbal 27 

The " Measure," from a drawing by R. W. Buss... 28 
" Court Cupboard" and Plate, selected from speci- 
mens in private collections, and from old prints. 30 


Capulet's Garden 31 

Nurse and Peter 40 


Cupid, from an engraving iifter Francesco Albano . 41 

Falconry 42 

" Nimble-pinioned Doves," from Raffaelle 44 


Juliet and Nurse 45 

Juliet and Romeo (Loggia) 55 


Old Stage and Balcony, from the title-page to Dr. 

W. Alabaster's Tragedy of Roxana, 1032 56 


Friar Laurence's Cell 58 

Verona, from an original sketch — the Funeral Pro- 
cession of Juliet, from an old Italian engraving 
of a "Funeral Pomp" 64 


Costume of Servants, from Vecellio 66 

Musicians, from the " Roman de la Rose" Harl. 

MS. 4425 66 


Mantua 67 

Tomb of the Capulets 73 


Tomb of the Scaligeri, Verona, from an original 

sketch 75 

Juliet's Tomb, from an original drawing by J. P. 

Bbockedon, Esq 76 

Cupid and Psyche, from an antique gem 84 



Title i 1 rom a design by W. Hahvey SJ 


Danish Lutes 87 

Canute and his Wile 98 

■i.ite the sledded Polaeks." W. Haiivkv 99 


Border: Ophelia's Flowers 100 

ACT 1. 

Platform at Elsinore. G. F. Sargent 101 

Danish Standard and Arms 113 

" Hyperion to a satyr" 114 


Palace of Rosenberg. G.F.Sargent 1 16 

View of Elsinore. Ditto 125 

Choppines 126 


Kronberg Castle. G.F.Sargent 128 

" The herald Mercury " 140 


Pictures on arras 141 


A Plain in Denmark. G. F. Saroent 142 

Danish Ships 150 


Cockle Hat and Staff. 151 

Pelicans 154 

Monumental Trophy 154 

Church and Churchyard at Elsinore. G. F. Sar- 


Hamlet's Grave. 

Ditto . 


" To stop a flaw" — a Rude House 

" Anon, as patient as the female dove" 
" Sword-belts or Hangers" 






Kernble as Hamlet, from SirT. Lawrence 168 

" There is a willow grows aslant a brook." W. 

Harvey 176 


Title-page. From a design by T. Crf.swkk 177 


Btonebenge The high Allar, from a drawing by 

S. Sly 179 

Coin of Cunobelinus. From a specimen in Br iish 

Museum 188 

Gaulish Captive, wearing the Torque 184 

Spear-head and Celt 1 55 

British Shield in British Museum i 

Ditto, in Meyrick Collection 1 5 

Conflict between Romans and Barbarians. From 

the Column of Trajan 166 


Fidele's Flowers 



The Garden. T. Cheswick 189 

"This diamond was my mother's: take it, heart." 

T. Cbeswick 199 


"Hark! hark I the lark at heaven's gate sings." T. 

Car.swicK 201 

" Sleep hath seized me wholly" 20S 


Sleeping Children. From Chantrey's Monument in 

field Cathedral 209 

Andinns. From originals at Knowle, Kent 210 


Restoration of the Roman Forum 211 

" Well, madam, we must take a short farewell." T. 

Cheswick 222 


Coin of Augustus. From a gold specimen in British 

Museum 223 


The Cave. T. Creswick 226 

The Forest. Ditto 234 


Roman Eagle. Enlarged from a Coin of Domitian, 

in the British Museum 235 

Combat of Posthumus and Iachimo . 



Roman General, Standard Bearer, &c, landing from 

a bridge of boats. From Column of Trajan 247 

41. Tt I Ml MAKY KOI " I 

View near Milfnnl. T. Creswick 


Roman and British Weapons. From engraved spe- 
cimens in Meyrick and Montfaucon 252 





Title-page. The scene in the Council Chamber, 
Act i., Scene in. The apartment represents 
the Senate Hall, engraved in Brustolini's 
" Vedute di Venezia," after a drawing by Canal- 
letti. Drawn by W. Harvey 253 


A General of Venice in time of War. From Vecellio 255 

Morions. From the Meyrick Collection 258 

Venetian Soldier off Guard. From Vecellio 259 


Central portion of the canal front of the Ducal 
Palace 260 


Court of the Ducal Palace, Venice. From an ori- 
ginal drawing 201 

The Arsenal at Venice. From an engTaving by 

Marieschi 272 


The Harbour of Rhodes. From a view in Le Brun's 

" Voyage en Orient" 273 

Anthropophagi, &c. From Hondius's Latin trans- 
lation of Raleigh's "Voyage to Guiana" 275 



The Citadel at Famagusta, Cyprus. From a sketch 

by F. Arokdale 27G 

An Estradiot. From Iloissard 286 

View of Cerini. From a sketch by F. Arundale . 2S7 


Venetian Remains at Famagusta — being a Gothic 
Cathedral, now converted into a Turkish 
Mosque. From a sketch by F. Arundale 289 

Venetian General. From " Habiti d' Huominie 

Donne Venetiane." 1609 300 


Piazza of the Mosque at Famagusta, with Venetian 
Remains (the sculpture on the keystone of the 
central arch represents the Lion of St. Mark). 
From a sketch by F. Arundale 302 


General view of Famagusta. From Le Brun's 
"Voyage en Orient" 313 

Venetian Glaive, Halberds, and Sword of an Estra- 
diot. From the Meyrick Collection 321 


View of Famagusta, from the Ramparts. From a 
sketch by F. Arundale 323 


Title-page. From a design by W. Harvey 329 


Athenian Coin. From a specimen in the British 
Museum 331 

Ornamental Border 344 


View of Athens. From a sketch by F. Arundale 345 
Ancient Triclinium 353 


Rake's Levee. From Hogarth 354 

Marriage a-Ia-Mode. Ditto 355 


Athens, from the Pnyx. From a sketch by F. 

Arundale 35G 

Remainsof the Propyla:a. From Stuart's "Athens" 3G0 


Athens. The Pnyx 861 

The Parthenon. From a sketch by F. Arundale. 368 


Walls of Athens : restored 370 

Temple of Theseus. From a sketch by F. Arun- 
dale 379 

Timon'sCave. From a drawing by G. F. Sargent 380 
Timon's Grave. Ditto 385 


Alcibiades. From an antique Bust 386 

Temperance. From Raffaclle 38' 




Title-page — (Act v. in.) From a design by 
W. Harvey 889 


Country near Dover. From nn original sketch.... 391 
" My good biting faulchion." 399 


Border: Lear's Garland. 
" Crown'd with rank fumitcr, and furrow weeds, 
With barlockf, hemlocks, nettles, cuckoo flowers, 
Darnel, and all the idle weeds that grow 
In our sustaining corn" 411 


Scene iv. From a design by W. Harvey .. 


Henry VIII. and Will Sommers «.<! 

The Coxcomb. From "Catzii Emblemata." Ilfi 


Edgar. — "I heard myself proclaim'd." Fromade- 
sign by W. Harvey 417 

Prometheus. — " Sharp-tooth'd unkindness, like a 
vulture here." 426 


Sarum Plain. From an original sketch 427 


Lear in the Storm. From a design by W. Harvey 430 
Design by W. Harvey. 
" This night wherein the cub-drawn bear would Couch, 
The lion, and the belly-pinched wolf," &c 439 

Dover Cliff. From an original sketch 444 

Samphire *5G 


Dover Castle in the time of Elizabeth 457 

Norman Gatew^-, Dover Castle 4C3 


Lear. After a Study by Sir Joshua Reynolds 404 

Sophocles. From a Bust in the British Museum. 471 

Tkagedues. — Vol. I. B 


State op the Text, and Chronology, of Romeo and Jtjliet. 

Romeo and Juliet was first printed in the year 1597, under the following title: — "An excellent 
conceited Tragedie of Romeo and Juliet. As it hath been often (with great applause) plaid 
publiquely, by the right honourable the L. of Hunsdon his Seruants." This edition, a copy of 
which is of great rarity and value, was reprinted by Steevens, in his collection of twenty of the 
plays of Shakspere. 

The second edition of Romeo and Juliet wa3 printed in 1599, under the following title : — "The 
most excellent and lamentable Tragedie, of Romeo and Juliet. Newly corrected, augmented, and 
amended : As it hath bene sundry times publiquely acted, by the right Honourable the Lord 
Chamberlaine his Seruants." This edition is also rare; but we have had the advantage of usinc a 
copy in the British Museum. 

The subsequent original editions are,— an undated quarto; a quarto in 1607; a quarto in 1G09 
which has also been reprinted by Steevens; and the folio of 1623. All these editions are founded 
upon the quarto of 1599, from which they differ very slightly. 

"We have taken the folio of 1623 as the basis of our text, indicating the differences between that 
text and the quartos subsequent to that of 1597, whenever any occur. But we have' not attempted 
to make up a text, as was done by Pope, and subsequently by Steevens, out of the amended quarto 
of 1599 and the original of 1597. In some instances, indeed, the quarto of 1597 is of importance 
in the formation of a text, for the correction of typographical errors, which have run through the 
subsequent editions. Wherever our text differs from that commonly received, we state the difference 
and the reasons for that difference. Our general reasons for founding the text upon the folio of 1623 
which is, in truth, to found it upon the quarto of 1599, are as follows : — 

The quarto of 1599 was declared to be "Newly corrected, augmented, and amended." There 
can be no doubt whatever that the corrections, augmentations, and emendations were those of the 
author. There are typographical errors in this edition, and in all the editions, and occasional 
confusions of the metrical arrangement, which render it more than probable that Shakspero did not 
see the proofs of his printed works. But that the copy, both of the first edition and of the second, 
was derived from him, is, to our minds, perfectly certain. We know of nothing in literary hi>: 
more curious or more instructive than the example of minute attention, as well as consummate skill, 
exhibited by Shakspere in correcting, augmenting, and amending the first copy of this play. "\\ e 
would ask, then, upon what canon of criticism can an editor be justified in foisting into a copy 
Tragedies. — Vol. I. B 2 3 


bo corrected, passages of the original copy, which the matured judgment of the aut'.ior had rejected ? 
Essentially the question ought not to be determined by any arbitrement whatever other than the 
judgment of the author. Even if his corrections did not appear, in every case, to be improvements, 
wo should be still bound to receive them with respect and deference. We would not, indeed, 
attempt to establish it as a rule implicitly to be followed, that an author's last corrections are 
to be invariably adopted ; for, as in tho case of Cowper's Homer, and Tasso's Jerusalem, the 
corrections which these poets made in their first productions, when their faculties were in a great 
o clouded and worn out, are properly considered as not entitled to supercede what they 
produced in brighter and happier hours. Mr. Southey has admirably stated the reason for this iu 
the advertisement to his edition of Cowper's Homer. But in the case of Shakspere's Romeo and 
Juliet, the corrections and augmentations were made by him at that epoch of his life when he 
exhibited "all the graces and facilities of a genius in full possession and habitual exercise of 
power."* The augmentations, with one or two very trifling exceptions, are amongst the most 
masterly passages in the whole play, and include mauy of the lines that are invariably turned to, as 
some of the highest examples of poetical beauty. These augmentations, further, are so large in 
their amount, that, iu Steevens' reprint, the first editicn occupies only seventy-three pages; while 
the edition of 1609, in tho same volume, printed in the same type as the first edition, occupies 
ninety-nine pages. The corrections are made with such exceeding judgment, such marvellous tact, 
that of themselves they completely overthrow the theory, no long submitted to, that Shak»«pero was 
n careless writer. Such being tho cose, wo consider ourselves justified in treating the labour of 
Steevens and other editors, in making a patchwork text out of the author's fust and second copies, as 
utterly worthless. We most readily acknowledge our own particular obligations to them; for, unless 
they had collected a great mass of materials, no modern edition could have been properly undertaken. 

In attempting to settle the Chronology of Sh;ikspcre's plays, there are, as in every other case of 
literary history, two species of evidence to be regarded — the extrinsic and the intrinsic. Of the former 
species of evidence we have the one important fact that a Romeo and Juliet by Shakspere, however 
wanting in the completeness of the Romeo and Juliet which we now possess, was published in 1597. 
The enumeration of this play, therefore, in the list by Francis Meres, in 1598, adds nothing to our 
previous information. In the same manner, the mention of this play by Marston, in his tenth satire, 
first published in 1599, only shows us how popular it was : — 

' Luscus, what's play'd to-day? i' faith, now I know; 
I see thy lips abroach, from whence doth How 
Naught but pure Juliet and Romeo." 

The "corrected, amended, and augmented" copy of Romeo and Juliet was printed in 1599; and 
as Marston's tenth satire did not appear in his "Three Books of Satires," first printed in 159S, 
it is by no means improbable that his mention of the play referred to the improved copy which 
was in that year being acted by " The Lord Chamberlain his servants." We might here 
dismiss the extrinsic evidence ; but Malone thinks, contrary to his original opinion of the date of 
the play, that the statement in the title-page of the original quarto, " that it had been often 
(with great applause) plaid publiquely by the right honourable Lord Hunsdon his servants," 
decides that it was first played in 1596. His reasons are these : — Henry Lord Hunsdon, and 
George Lord Hunsdon, his son, each filled the office of Lord Chamberlain under Elizabeth. 
Henry, the father, died on the 22nd July, 1596. Shakspere's company, during the life of this 
lal, were called the "Lord Chamberlain's men;" but, according to Malone, they bore this 
designation, not a3 being attached to the Lord Chamberlain officially, but as tho servants 
of Lord Hunsdon, whose title, as a nobleman, was merged in that of his office. George Lord 
Hunsdon was not appointed Lord Chamberlain till April, 1597; and in the interval after the 
death of his father his company of comedians were not tho Lord Chamberlain's servants, but 
Lord Hunsdon's servants. This, no doubt, is decisive as to the play being performed before 
Geor.'e. Lord Hun don; but it 13 not in any degree decisive as to the play not having been 
performed without the advantage of this nobleman's patronage. The first date of the printing of 
any play of Shakspere goes a very short way to determine the date of its theatrical production. 
We are rery much in the dark a* to the mode in which a play passed from one form of publication, 

• Coleridge's IJtorarj Rcmalne. 


that of the theatre, into another form of publication, that of the press. It is no evidence, therefore, to 
our minds, that, because the Romeo and Juliet first printed in 1597 is stated to have been publicly 
acted by the Lord Hunsdon his servants, it was not publicly acted long before, under circumstances 
that would appear less attractive in the bookseller's title-page. 

Of the positive intrinsic evidence of the date of Romeo and Juliet, the play, as it appears to us, only 
furnishes one paas^e. The Nurse, describing the time when Juliet was weaned, says, 

' On Lammas-eve at night shall she be fourteen; 
That shall she, marry; I remember it well. 
'T is since the earthquake now eleven years ; 

* ****** 

Sitting in the sun under the dove-house wall, 

Shake, quoth the dove-house; 'twas no need I trow, 

To bid me trudge. 

And since that time it is eleven years." 

All this particularity with reference to the earthquake, 

-I never shall forget it,— 

Of all the days of the year " — 

was for the audience. The poet had to exhibit the minuteness with which unlettered people, and 
old people in particular, establish a date, by reference to some circumstance which has made a 
particular impression upon their imagination ; but in this case he chose a circumstance which would 
be familiar to his audience, and would have produced a corresponding impression upon themselves. 
Tyrwhitt was the first to point out that this passage had, in all probability, a reference to the great 
earthquake which happened in Eugland in 1580. Stow has described this earthquake minutely in 
his Chronicle, and so has Holinshed. " On the 6th of April, 1580, being Wednesday in Easter 
week, about six o'clock toward evening, a sudden earthquake happening in London, and almost 
generally throughout all England, caused such an amazedness among the people as was wonderful 
for the time, and caused them to make their earnest prayers to Almighty God ! " The circumstances 
attendant upon this earthquake show that the remembrance of it would not have easily passed away 
from the minds of the people. The great clock in the palace at Westminster, and divers other 
clocks and bells, struck of themselves against the hammers with the shaking of the earth. The 
lawyers supping in the Temple " ran from the tables, and out of their halls, with their knives in their 
hands." The people assembled at the theatres rushed forth into th«« fields lest the galleries should 
fall. The roof of Christ Church near to Newgate-market was so shaken, that a large stone dropped 
out of it, killing one person, and mortally wounding another, it being sermon-time. Chimneys 
toppled down, houses were shattered. Shakspere, therefore, could not have mentioned an earth- 
quake with the minuteness of the passage in the Nurse's speech without immediately calling up 
some associations in the minds of his audience. He knew the double world in which an excited 
audience lives, — the half belief in the world of poetry amongst which they are placed during a 
theatrical representation, and the half consciousness of the external world of their ordinary life. 
The ready disposition of every audience to make a transition from the scene before them to the 
scene in which they ordinarily move, — to assimilate what is shadowy and distant with what is 
distinct and at hand, — is perfectly well known to all who are acquainted with the machinery of the 
drama. Actors seize upon the principle to perpetrate the grossest violations of good taste ; aud 
authors who write for present applause invariably do the same when they offer us, in their dialogue, 
a passing allusion, which is technically called a clap-trap. In the case before us, even if Shakspere 
had not this principle in view, the association of the English earthquake must have been strongly in 
bis mind when he made the Nurse date from an earthquake. Without reference to the circumstance 
of Juliet's age, 

" Even or odd, of all days in the year, 
Come Lammas-eve at night, shall she be fourteen ; ' 

he would naturally, dating from the earthquake, havo made the date refer to the period of .lis 


writing the passage instead of the period of Juliet's being wcaued : — " Then Bhe could stand alone." 
But, according to the Nurse's chronology, Juliet had not arrived at that epoch in the lives of children 
till she waa three years old. The very contradiction shows that Shakspere had another object in 
view than that of making the Nurse's chronology tally with the age of her nursling. Had ho 
written — 

" 'Tis since the earthquake now just thirteen years," 

we should not have been so ready to believe that Romeo and Juliet was written iu 1593 ; but as he 
has written — 

" 'T is since the earthquake now eleven years," 

in defiance of a very obvious calculation on the part of the Nurse, we have no doubt that he wrote the 
passage eleven years after the earthquake of 15S0, and that the passage being also meant to fix the 
attention of an audience, the play was produced, as well as written, in 1591. 

Reasoning such as this would, we acknowledge, be very weak if it were unsupported by evidence 
deduced from the general character of the performance, with reference to the maturity of the author's 
powers. But, taken in connexion with that evidence, it becomes important. Now, we have no 
hesitation in believing, although it woidd be exceedingly difficult to communicate the grounds of our 
belief fully to our readers, that the alterations made by Shakspere upon his first copy of Romeo and 
Juliet, as printed in 1597 (which alterations are shown in his second copy as printed in 1599), exhibit 
differences as to the quality of his mind — differences in judgment — differences in the cast of thought 
— differences in poetical power — which cannot be accounted for by the growth of his mind during two 
years only. If the first Romeo and Juliet were produced in 1591, and the second in 1599, we have an 
interval of eight years, in which some of his most finished works had been given to the world. During 
this period his richness, as well as his sweetness, had been developed; and it is this development 
which is so remarkable in the superadded passages in Romeo and Juliet. We almost fancy that tie 
" Queen Mab" speech will of itself furnish an example of what we mean. 

'• Her chariot is an empty hazel-nut, 
Made by the joiner Squirrel, or old Grub, 
Time out of mind the fairies' coach-makers." 

These lines are not in the first copy ; but how beautifully they fit in after the description of the 
spoke3 — the cover — the traces — the collars — the whip — and the waggoner ; while, in their peculiarly 
rich and picturesque effect, they stand out before all the rest of the passage. Then, the " I have seen 
the day — * * * 'tis gone, 'tis gone," 'tis gone," of old Capulet, seems to speak more of the middle- 
aged than of the youthful poet, of whom all the passages by which it is surrounded are characteristic. 
Agtin, the lines in the friar's soliloquy, beginning 

" The earth, that 's nature's mother, is her tomb," 

look like the work of one who had been reading and thinking more deeply of nature's mysterieE 
than in hi3 first delineation of the benevolent philosophy of this good old man. But, as we 
uce in the play, the development of the writer's powers is more and more displayed in his 
additions. The examples are far too numerous for us to particularize many of them. The critical 
reader may trace what has been added by our foot-notes. We would especially direct attention to 
the soliloquy of Juliet in the fifth Scene of Act II. ; — to her soliloquy, also, in the second Scene of 
Act III. ;— and to her great soliloquy, before taking the draught, in the fourth Act. We have 
given this last passage as it stood in the original copy ; and we confidently believo that whoever 
peruses it with attention will entertain little doubt that the original sketch was the work of a much 
younger man than the perfect composition which we now possess. The whole of the magnificent 
speech of Romeo in the tomb may bo said to be re-written : and it produces in us precisely the same 
impression, that it was the work of a genius much moro mature than thatj which is exhibited in the 
original copy. 

Tieck, who, as a translator of Shakspere, and as a profound and beautiful critic, has done very 
much for cultivating the knowledge, built upon love, which the Germans possess of our poet, has not 


been trammelled by Malone and Chalmers, but has placed Romeo and Juliet amongst Shakspere'a 
early plays. "We have no exact statements on this subject by Tieck; but, in a very delightful 
imaginary scene between Marlowe and Greene, he has made Marlowe describe to his brother dramatist 
the first performance of Romeo and Juliet to which he had been witness.* Tieck has made this 
imaginary conversation a vehicle for the most enthusiastic praise of this play. Marlowe describes the 
performance as taking place at the palace of the Lord Hunsdon. He had expected, he says, that one 
of his own plays would have been performed; but he found that it was "that old poem, which we 
have all long known, worked up into a tragedy." After Marlowe has run through the general 
characteristics of the play, with an eloquent admiration, mingled with deep regret that he himself had 
been able to approach so distantly the excellence of that " out-sounding mouth, which a god-like muse 
has herself inspired with the sweetest of her kisses," he thus replies to Greene's inquiry as to who was 
the poet : — " Wilt thou believe ? — one of Henslowe's common comedians, who has already served him 
many years on very low wages." " And now, if thy fever has passed," said Greene, " let us look on 
this thing in the broad light. This is merely such a passing apparition as we have seen many of 
before— admired, gaped at, praised without limit, — but full of faults and imperfections, and soon to be 
altogether forgotten." " The same thing," said Marlowe, " the same words were whispered to me by 
my base envy, when I observed the universal delight, the deep emotion, of every spectator. I 
endeavoured to comfort myself therewith, and again to recover my lost honours in this miserable 
manner. I fled from the company ; and the house-steward, who had acted as an assistant, gave me the 
manuscript of the play. In my lonely chamber I sat and read the whole night, and read again, — and 
each time admired the more ; for much that had appeared to me episodical or superfluous, acquired, 
on more exact examination, a significancy and needful fulness. The good house-steward gave me also 
another poem, which the author ha3 not yet quite completed, Venus and Adonis, that I might read it 
in my nightly leisure. My friend, even here, even in this sweet narrative, — even in this soft speech 
and voluptuous imagery, — in this intoxicating realm, where I, till now, only looked upon likenesses of 
myself, —I am completely, completely, beaten. this man, this more than mortal, to him (I feel a3 if 
my life depends on it) I must become the most intimate friend or the most bitter enemy. Either I 
will yet find my way to him, or I will succumb to this Apollo, and he may then speak over my 
outstretched corpse the last words of praise or blame." Tieck has thus decidedly placed the date of 
its performance before 1592,— for Greene died in that year, and Marlowe in the year following. The 
Venus and Adonis, which is here mentioned as not quite completed, was published in 1593. Tieck 
built his opinion, no doubt, upon internal evidence ; and upon this evidence we must be content to let 
the question rest. 

Supposed Soubce of the Flot. 

When Dante reproaches the Emperor Albert for neglect of Italy,— 

" Thy sire and thou have suffer'd thus, 

Through greediness of yonder realms detain 'd, 
The garden of the empire to run waste," — 

Ho adds,— 

" Come, see the Capulets and Montagues, 
The Filippeschi and Monaldi, man 
Who car'st for nought ! those sunk in grief, and theoo 
With dire suspicion rack'd.'" t 

The Capulets and Montagues were amongst the fierce spirits who, accordiug to the poet, ha: 
rendered Italy " savage and unmanageable." The Emperor Albert was murdered in 1308 ; and 

• Dirtiterleben, von Tieck. Berlin, 1828, p. 188, &o. 

t Purgatory, Canto 6 Ccry's tra-.slGiir*, 



the Veronese, who believe the story of Romeo and Juliet to be historically true, fix the date of this 
tragedy as 1303. At that period the Scalas, or Scaligers, ruled over Verona. 

If the records of history tell us little of the fair Capulet and her loved Montague, whom Shakspere 
has made immortal, the novelists have seized upon the subject, as might be expected, from its interest 
and its obscurity. Massuccio, a Neapolitan, who lived about 1470, was, it is supposed, the writer who 
first gave a somewhat similar story the clothing of a connected fiction. He places the scene at Sienna, 
and, of course, there is no mention of the Montagues and Capulets. The story, too, of Massuccio 
varies in its catastrophe ; the bride recovering from her lethargy, produced by the same means as in 
the case of Juliet ; and the husband being executed for a murder which had caused him to flee from 
his country. Mr. Douce has endeavoured to trace back the groundwork of the tale to a Greek 
romance by Xenophon Ephesius. Luigi da Porto, of Vicenza, gave a connected form to the legend of 
Romeo and Juliet, in a novel, under the title of " La Giulietta," which was published after his death 
in 1535. ' Luigi, in an epistle which is prefixed to this work, states that the story was told him by "an 
archer of mine, whose name was Peregrino, a man about fifty years old, well practised in the military 
art, a pleasant companion, and, like «almost all his countrymen of Verona, a great talker." Bandello, 
in 1554, published a novel on the same subject, the ninth of his second collection. It begins "when 
the Scaligers were lords of Verona," and goes on to say that these events happened " under 
Bartholomew Scaliger" (Bartolomeo della Scala). The various materials to he found in these sources 
were embodied in a French novel by Pierre Boisteau, a translation of which was published by Painter 
in his Palace of Pleasure, in 1567 ; and upon this French story was founded the English poem by 
Arthur Brooke, published in 1562, under the title of " The tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet, 
written first in Italian by Bandell, and nowe in Englishe by Ar. Br." It appears highly probable 
that an English play upon the same subject had appeared previous to Brooke's poem ; for a copy 
of that poem, which was in the possession of the Rev. H. White, of Lichfield, contains the 
following passage, in an address to the reader : — " Though I saw the same argument lately set 
forth on the stage with more commendation than I can look for : being there much better set 
foorth than I have or can dooe, yet the same matter, penned as it is, may serve to lyke good effect, 
if the readers do brynge with them lyke good myndes, to consider it, which hath the more 
incouraged me to publish it, suche as it is." We thus see that Shakspere had materials enough to 
work upon. But, in addition to these sources, there is a play by Lope de Vega in which the 
incidents are very similar ; and an Italian tragedy also by Luigi Groto which Mr. Walker, in his 
historical memoir of Italian tragedy, thinks that the English bard read with profit. Mr. Walker 
gives us passages in support of his assertion, such as a description of a nightingale when the lovers 
are parting, which appear to confirm this opinion. 

To attempt to show, as many have attempted, what Shakspere took from the poem of the Romeus 
and Juliet, and what from Painter's Palace of Pleasure — how he was " wretchedly misled in his 
catastrophe," as Mr. Dunlop has it, because he had not read Luigi da Porto — and how he invented 
only one incident throughout the play, that of the death of Paris, and created only one character, that 
of Mercutio, according to the sagacious Mrs. Lenox— appears to us somewhat idle work. 

Period oe 1 the Action, and Manners. 

The slight foundation of historical truth which can bo established in the legend of Romeo and 
Juliet — that of the "civil broils" of the two rival houses of Verona — would place the period of 
the action about the time of Dante. But this one circumstance ought not, as it appears to us, very 
strictly to limit this period. The legend is so obscure, that we may be justified in carrying its date 
forward or backward, to the extent even of a century, if anything may be gained by such a freedom. 
In this case, we may venture to associate the story with the period which followed the times of 
Petrarch and Boccaccio — verging towards the close of the fourteenth century — a period full of rich 
associations. Then, the literary treasures of the ancient world had been rescued out of the duat 


and darkness of ages, — the language of Italy had heen formed, in great part, by the marvellous 
"Visions " of her greatest poet; painting had been revived by Giotto and Cimabue; architecture had 
put on a character of beauty and majesty, and the first necessities of shelter and defence had been 
associated with the higher demands of comfort and taste ; sculpture had displayed itself in many 
beautiful productions, both in marble and bronze ; and music had been cultivated as a science. All 
these -were the growth of the freedom which prevailed in the Italian republics, and of the wealth 
which had been acquired by commercial enterprise, under the impulses of freedom. To date the 
period of the action of Eomeo and Juliet before this revival of learning and the arts, would be to 
make its accessories out of harmony with the exceeding beauty of Shakspere's drama. Even if a 
slight portion of historical accuracy be sacrificed, his poetry must be surrounded with an appropriate 
atmosphere of grace and richness. 

Of the Manners of this play we have occasionally spoken in our Illustrations. With the excep- 
tion of a few English allusions, which are introduced for a particular object, they are thoroughly 
Italian. Mrs. Jameson has noticed the "sunny brilliance of effect" with which the whole of 
this drama is lighted up ; and she adds, with equal truth and elegance, " the blue sky of Italy 
bends over all." 


Assuming, as we have done, that the incidents of this tragedy took place (at least traditionally) at 
the commencement of the fourteenth century, the costume of the personages represented would be 
that exhibited to us in the paintings of Giotto and his pupils or contemporaries. 

From a drawing of the former, now in the British Museum (Payne Ehight's Collect.) , and presumed 
to have been executed by him at Avignon, in 1315, we give the accompanying engraving, and our 
readers will perceive that it interferes sadly with all popular notions of the dress of this play. 

The long robes of the male personages, so magisterial or senatorial in their appearance, would, 
perhaps, when composed of rich materials, be not unsuitable to the gravity and station of the elder 
Montague and Capulet, and of the Prince, or Podesta, of Verona himself : but, for the younger and 
lighter characters, the love-lorn Romeo, the fiery Tybalt, the gallant gay Mereutio, &c, some very 
different habit would be expected by the million, and, indeed, desired by the artist. Cccsar ^ ecelho, 
in his " Habiti Antichi e Moderni," presents us with a dress of this time, which he distinctly describes 
as that of a young nobleman on a love-making expedition. 

" Itabito Antico di giovani nobile ornato per far Vamore." 



He assigns uo particular date to it, but the pointed cowl, or hood, depending from the shoulders, 
the closely-set buttons down tho front of the super-tunic," and up the arms of the under-garment, from 
the wrist to tho elbow, with the peculiar lappet to the sleeve of the super-tunic, are all distinctive 
marks of the European costume of the early part of the fourteenth century, and to be found 
in any illuminated French or English MS. of the time of our Edward II., 1307-27, and utill 
earlier, of course, in Italy, from whence the fashions travelled northward, through Paris to London. 
• The coverings for the head were, at this time, besides tho capuchon, or cowl here seen, caps 
and hats of various fantastic shapes, and the chaperon, or turban-shaped hood, began to make its 
appearance (vide second male figure in the engraving after Giotto). No plumes, however, adorned 
them till near the closo of the century, when a single feather, generally ostrich, appears placed 
upright iu front of the cap, or chaperon. The hose were richly fretted and embroidered with gold, 
and the toes of the shoes long and pointed. 

The female costume of the same period consisted of a robe, or super-tunic, flowing in graceful 
folds to the feet, coming high up in the neck, where it was sometimes met by the wimple, or gorget, 
of white linen, giving a nun-like appearance to tho weaver ; the sleeves terminating at the elbow, 
in short lappets, liko those of the men, and showing the sleeve of the under-garment (the kirtle, 
which fitted the body tightly), buttoned from the wrist to the elbow also, as in the male costume. 

The hair was gathered up into a sort of club behind, braided in front, and covered, wholly or 
partially, with a caul of golden net-work. Garlands of flowers, natural, or imitated in goldsmiths' 
work, and plain filets of gold, or even ribbon, were worn by very young females. We shall say no 
more respecting the costume of this play, as the introduction of such a masquerade as is indispen- 
sable to the plot would be inconsistent with the dressing of the other characters correctly. Artists 
of every description are, in our opinion, perfectly justified in clothing the dramatis personae of thi,-; 
ragedy in the habits of the time in which it was written, by which mean3 all serious anachronisms 
would be avoided. 

r^ r ^ 


Two households, both alike in dignity, 

In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, 
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, 

Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. 
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes 

A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life; 
Whose misadventur'd piteous overthrows 

Do, with their death, bury their parents' strife. 

The fearful passage of their death-mark'd Iotf, 

And the continuance of their parents' rage, 
Which, but their children's end, nought could 
Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage; 
The which if you with patient ears attend, 
What here shall miss, our toil shall strivft to 


SCENE I.— A public Place. 

Enter Sampson and Gregory, armed with 
swords and bucklers. 

Sam. Gregory, o' my word, we'll not carry 
coals. 1 

Ore. No, for then we should be colliers. 

Sam. I mean, an we he in choler, we '11 draw. 

Gre. Ay, while you live, draw your neck out 
of the collar. 

Sam. I strike quickly, being moved. 

Gre. But thou art not quickly moved to strike. 

Sam. A dog of the house of Montague moves 

Gre. To move is to stir ; and to be valiant is 

to stand ; a therefore, if thou art mov'd, thou 
run'st away. 

Sam. A dog of that house shall move me to 
stand : I will take the wall of any man or maid 
of Montague's. 

Gre. That shows thee a weak slave; for the 
weakest goes to the wall. 

Sam. True; and therefore women, being the 
weaker vessels, are ever thrust to the wall: — 
therefore I will push Montague's men from the 
wall, and thrust his maids to the wall. 

Gre. The quarrel is between our masters, and 
us their men. 

a The first quarto of 1597 which we mark as (A), " Stand 
(o it." 


Act I.] 


[ScrKC 1. 

Sam. 'T is all one, I will show myself a tyrant : 
when I have fought with the men, 1 will be 
civil" with the maids, ami cut off their heads. 

Gre. The heads of the maids? 

Sam. Ay, the heads of the maids, or their 
maidenheads: lake it in what sense thou wilt. 
. They must take it sense. 1, that feel it. 

Sam. Me they shall feci, while I am able to 
stand: and 'tis known I am a pretty piece of 

. 'Tis well thou art not fish; if thou 
hadst, thou hadst been poor John. Draw thy 
tool ; here comes d of the house of the Montagues. 2 

Enter ABRAM and Baltiiasab. 

Sam. My naked weapon is out ; quarrel, I 
will back thee ? 

Gre. Dow ? turn thy back, and run ? 

Sam. Fear me not. 

Gre. No, marry : I fear thee ! 

Sam. Let us take the law of our sides; let 
them begin. 

Gre. I will frown, as I pass by ; and let them 
take it as they list. 

Sam. Nay, as they dare. I will bite my thumb 
at them ; which is a disgrace to them, if they 
bear it. 3 

Abr. Do you bite your thumb at us, sir ? 

Sam. I do bite my thumb, sir. 

Abr. Do you bite your thumb at us, sir ? 

Sam. Is the law of our side, if I say — ay ? 

Gre. No. 

Sam. No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, 
sir; but I bite my thumb, sir. 

Gre. Do you quarrel, sir ? 

Abr. Quarrel, sir ? no, sir. 

Sam. If you do, sir, I am for you ; I serve as 
good a man as you. 

Abr. No better. 

Sam. Well, sir. 

Enter Benvolio, at a distance. 

Gre. Say — better; here comes one of my 
master's kinsmen. 
Sam. Yes, better. 
Abr. You lie. 

(. Draw, if you be men. — Gregory, re- 
member thy swashing blow. 4 [They fight. 
Ben. Part, fools ; put up your swords ; you 
know not what you do. 

[Beats down their swords. 

■ The undated quarto, which we mark as {D), cruel. 
b (A), Jn sense. 

c l',,i,r John. Hake, dried and salt'.d. 
' , two of the bouse. 


Enter Tybalt. 

Ti/b. What, art thou drawn among these 
heartless hinds ? 
Turn thee, Benvolio, look upon thy death. 
Bat. I do but keep the peace ; put up thy 
Or manage it to part these men with me. 

Tyb. What, draw 3 and talk of peace? I hate 
the word, 
As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee : 
Eave at thee, coward. \They fight. 

Enter several partisans of both houses, who join 
the fray ; then enter Citizens, with clubs. 

1 Cit. Clubs, bills, and partisans! 5 strike! 
beat them down ! 
Down with the Capulets ! down with the Mon- 
tagues ! 

Enter Capulet, in his gown ; and Lady Capulet. 

Cap. What noise is this ? — Give me my long 

sword, ho ! 
La. Cap. A crutch, a crutch ! — Why call you 

for a sword ? 
Cap. My sword, I say ! — Old Montague is 

And flourishes his blade in spite of me. 

Enter Montague and Lady Montague. 

Mon. Thou villain Capulet ! —Hold me not, 

let me go. 
La. Mon. Thou shalt not stir a foot b to seek 

a foe. 

Enter Prince, with. Attendants. 

Prin. Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace, 
Profaners of this neighbour-stained steel, — 
Will they not hear ? — what ho ! you men, you 

beasts, — 
That quench the fire of your peniicious rage 
With purple fountains issuing from your veins ! 
On pain of torture, from those bloody hands 
Throw your mistemper'd weapons to the ground, 
And hear the sentence of your moved prince. 
Three civil broils, bred of an airy word, 
By thee, old Capulet, and Montague, 
Have thrice disturb'd the quiet of our streets ; 
And made Verona's ancient citizens 
Cast by their grave beseeming ornaments, 
To wield old \ .artisans, in hands as old, 
Cankcr'd with peace, to part your canker'd hate : 
If ever you disturb our streets again, 
Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace. 

11 The quarto of 1G09, which we mark as (C), Croon. 
b (C), one foot c (C), brawls. 

Aci I.] 


[Scene I. 

For this time, all the rest depart away : 
You, Capulet, shall go along with me ; 
And, Montague, come you this afternoon, 
To know our farther" pleasure in this case, 
To old Free-town, our common judgment-place. 
Once more, on pain of death, all men depart. 
[Exeunt Pktnce and Attendants ; Capulet, 
Lad!/ Capulet, Tybalt, Citizens, and 
Mon. Who set this ancient quarrel new 
abroach ? — 
Speak, nephew, were you by, when it began? 
Bene. Here were the servants of your adversary, 
And yours, close fighting ere I did approach : 
I drew to part them ; in the instant came 
The fiery Tybalt, with his sword prepar'd ; 
Which, as he breath' d defiance to my ears, 
He swung about his head, and cut the winds, 
Who, nothing hurt withal, hiss'd him in scorn : 
While we were interchanging thrusts and blows, 
Came more and more, and fought on part and part, 
Till the prince came, who parted either part. 
La. Mon. 0, where is Romeo ! — saw you him 
to-day ? 
Right glad am I, b he was not at this fray. 
Ben. Madam, an hour before the worshipp'd 
Peer'd forth the golden window of the east, 
A troubled mind drave me to walk abroad; 
Where, underneath the grove of sycamore, 6 
That westward rooteth from this city's side, 
So early walking did I see your son : 
Towards him I made ; but he was 'ware of me, 
And stole into the covert of the wood : 
I, measuring his affections by my own, — 
That most are busied when they are most 

alone, — 
Pursued my humour, not pursuing his, 
And gladly shunn'd who gladly fled from me. 
Mon. Many a morning hath he there been 
With tears augmenting the fresh morning's dew, 
Adding to clouds more clouds with his deep sighs : 
But all so soon as the all-cheering sun 
Should in the farthest east begin to draw 
The shady curtains from Aurora's bed, 
Away from light steals home my heavy son, 
Aud private in his chamber pens himself ; 
Shuts up his windows, locks fair daylight out, 

a So (A). The folio and (C), father's. b {A), I am. 
c So (A). The folio and (C) have 

" By my own, 
Which then most sought, where most might not be found, 
Being one too many by my weary self, 
Pursued my humour." 

The restoration of the first reading is clearly an improvement. 

And makes himself an artificial night : ° 
Black and portentous must this humour prove, 
Unless good counsel may the cause remove. 

Ben. My noble uncle, do you know the cause ? 

Mon. I neither know it, nor can learn of him. 

Ben. Have you importun'd him by any means r 

Mon. Both by myself, and many others, friends : 
But he, his own affections' counsellor, 
Is to himself — I will not say, how true — 
But to himself so secret and so close, 
So far from sounding and discovery, 
As is the bud bit with an envious worm, 
Ere he can spread his sweet leaves to the air, 
Or dedicate his beauty to the sun. b 
Could we but learn from whence his sorrows 

Y\ c would as willingly give cure, as know. 

Enter RoiiEO, at a distance. 

Ben. See, where he comes : So please you, step 
aside ; 
I '11 know his grievance, or be much denied. 

Mon. I would thou wert so happy by thy stay. 
To hear true shrift. — Come, madam, let 's away. 
{Exeunt Montague and Lady. 
Ben. Good morrow, cousin. 
Rom. Is the day so young ? 

Ben. But new struck nine. 
Bom. Ah me ! sad hours seem long. 

Was that my father that went hence so fast ? 
Ben. It was : — What sadness lengthens Ro- 
meo's hours ? 
Rom. Not having that, which, having, makes 

them short. 
Ben. In love ? 
Rom. Out — 
Ben. Of love? 

Rom. Out of her favour, where I am in love. 
Ben. Alas, that love, so gentle in his view, 
Should be so tyrannous and rough in proof ! 
Rom. Alas, that love, whose view is muffled 
Should, without eyes, see pathways to his will ! 
Where shall we dine? — me ! — What fray was 

here ? 
Yet tell mc not, for I have heard it all. 
Here's much to do with hate, but more with 

love : — 
Why then, brawling love ! loving hato ! : 

a The first ten beautiful lines of Montague's speech are 
not in the original quarto ; neither ia Henvolio's question, 
'■Have you iniportim'd him?" nor the answer. We fiTid 
them in (B), the quarto of 1599. 

t> The folio and (C) read same. Theobald cave u3 sun : 
and we could scarcely wish to restore the old readinp, even 
if the probability of a typographical error, tnme for itinne, 
were not so obvious. 


Act I.] 



any tiling, of nothing first created !" 
O heavy lightness ! serious vanity ! 
Mis-shapen chaos of w 'ell-seeming fonns ! 
Feather of lead, blight smoke, cold fire, sick 

health ! 
Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is ! — 
This love feel I, that feel no love in this. 
Dost thou not laugh ? 

Ben. No, coz, I rather weep. 

Rem. Good heart, at what ? 

Ben. At thy good heart's oppression. 

R .-. Why, such is love's trausgression. — 
Griefs of mine own lie heavy in my breast ; 
Which thou wilt propagate, to have it press'd 
With more of thine : this love, that thou hast 

Doth add more grief to too much of mine own. 
Love is a smoke made b with the fume of sighs ; 
Being purg'd. a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes ; 
Being vex'd, a sea nourish'd with loving c tears : 
What is it else ? a madness most discreet, 
A choking gall, and a preserving sweet. 
Farewell, my coz. \Going. 

Ben. Soft, I will go along ; 

An if you leave me so, you do me wrong. 

Rom. Tut, I have lost myself ; I am not here ; 
This is not Romeo, he 's some other where. 

Ben. Tell me in sadness, who is that d you love. 

Rom. What, shall I groan, and tell thee ? 

Ben. Groan ? why, no ; 

But sadly tell me, who. 

Rom. Bid a sick man in sadness make his 
will :— e 
Ah, word ill urged to one that is so ill ! — 
In sadness, cousiu, I do love a woman. 

Ben. Iaim'dsonear, whenl suppos'dyou luv'd. 

Rom. A right good marksman! — And she's 
fair I love. 

Ben. A right fair mark, fair coz, is soonest hit. 

Rom. Well, in that hit, you miss : she '11 not 
be hit 
With Cupid's arrow, she hath Dian's wit; 
And, in strong proof of chastity well arm'd, 
From love's weak childish bow she lives un- 

She will not stay the siege of loving terms, 
Nor bide the encounter of assailing eyes, 
Nor ope her lap to saint-seducing gold : 
0, she is rich in beauty ; only poor 

» {A), create. Some editors have adopted tliU: but it 
appears to us to introduce, improperly, a couplet amidst tho 
blank verte. 

b (A i, rais'd. 

* (/> I, raging with a lover's tears. 
d I A), whom she it. 

• So(//). The folio and (C). "A sick man in sadness makes." 
iSn{A). The folio and (C), uncharm'd. 


That, when she dies, with beauty dies her 
store. a 

Ben. Then she hath sworn, that she will still 
live chaste ? 

Rom. She hath, and in that sparing makes 
huge waste ; 
For beauty, starv'd with her severity, 
Cuts beauty off from all posterity. 
She is too fair, too wise, wisely too fair, 
To merit bliss by making me despair : 
She hath forsworn to love ; and, in that vow, 
Do I live dead, that live to tell it now. 

Ben. Be rul'd by me, forget to think of her. 

Rom. teach me how I should forget to think. 

Ben. By giving liberty unto thine eyes ; 
Examine other beauties. 

Rom. 'T is the way 

To call hers, exquisite, in question more : 
These happy masks, that kiss fair ladies' brows, 
Being black, put us in mind they hide the fair ; 8 
He that is strucken blind, cannot forget 
The precious treasure of his eyesight lost : 
Show me a mistress that is passing fair, 
What dotli her beauty serve, but as a note 
Where I may read, who pass'd that passing fair ? 
Farewell : thou canst not teach me to forget. 

Ben. I '11 pay that doctrine, or else die in debt. 

SCENE IL— A Street. 
Enter Captjlet, Paeis, and Servant. 

Cap. And b Montague is bound as well as I, 
In penalty alike ; and 't is not hard, I think, 
For men so old as we to keep the peace. 

Par. Of honourable reckoning are you both ; 
And pity 't is, you liv'd at odds so long, 
But now, my lord, what say you to my suit. 

Cap. But saying o'er what I have said before : 
My child is yet a stranger in the world, 
She hath not seen the change of fourteen years ; 
Let two more summers wither in their pride, 
Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride. 

Par. Younger than she are happy mothers 

Cap. And too soon marr'd arc those so early 
Earth hath swallow'd all my hopes but she, 
She is the hopeful lady of my earth : ° 

* The scene ends here in (A); and the three first lirei in 
the next scene are also wanting. (B) has them. 

bSo(fl). The folio omits And. 

c Lady of my earth. Fille de terre heinR the French 
phrase for an heiress, Bteeveni thinks that Capulet speaks 
of Juliet in this sense, but Hliakspere uses earth lor the 
mortal part, as in the 146th Sonnet : — 

" Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth,'' 
and in this play, 

" Turn back, dull earth." 

Act I.] 



But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart, 
My will to her consent a is but a part ; 
An she agree, within her scope of choice 
Lies my consent and fair according voice. 
This night I hold an old accustom'd feast, 9 
Whereto I have invited many a guest, 
Such as I love ; and you, among the store, 
One more, most welcome, makes my number 

At my poor house, look to behold this night 
Earth-treading stars, b that make dark heaven 

Such comfort, as do lusty young men feel 
When well apparell'd April on the heel 
Of limping winter treads, 10 even such delight 
Among fresh female buds shall you this night 
Inherit at my house ; hear all, all see, 
And like her most, whose merit most shall be : 
Which on more view of many, mine, being one, 
May stand in number, though in reckoning none. 
Come, go with me; — Go, sirrah, trudge about 
Through fair Yerona ; find those persons out, 
Whose names are written there, [gives a paper.'] 

and to them say, 
My house and welcome on their pleasure stay. 
[Exeunt Capulet and Paris. 
Serv. Find them out, whose names are written 
here ? It is written — that the shoemaker should 
meddle with his yard, and the tailor with his 
last, the fisher with his pencil, and the painter 
with liis nets ; but I am sent to find those per- 
sons, whose names are writ, and can never fiud 
what names the writing person hath here writ. 
I must to the learned : — In good time. 

Enter Benvolio and Romeo. 

Ben. Tut, man ! one fire bums out another's 

Que pain is lessen'd by another's anguish ; 
Turn giddy, and be holp by backward turniug ; 
One desperate grief cures with another's lan- 
guish : 

a My will to her consent. In proportion to, or with re- 
ference to, her consent. 

b Earth-treading stars, $c. Warburton calls this line non- 
sense, and would read, 

"Earth-treading stars that make dark even light." 

Monck Mason would read, 

"Earth-treading stars that make dark, heaven's light," 

that is, stars that make the light of hpaven appear dark in 
comparison with them. It appears to us unnecessary to 
alter the original reading, and especially as passages in the 
masquerade scene would seem to indicate that the ban- 
queting-room opened into a garden — as, 

" Her beauty hangs upon the cheek of night." 

c So the folio and (C), with the exception of one for on. 
(A), Such, amongst view of many. 

Tragedies. — Vol. I. C 

Take thou some new infection to the eye, 
And the rank poison of the old will die. 

Rom. Your plantain-leaf is excellent for that." 

Ben. For what, I pray thee ? 

Rom. For your broken shin. 

Ben. Why, Romeo, art thou mad ? 

Rom. Not mad, but bound more than a mad- 
man is : 
Shut up in prison, kept without my food, 
Whipp'd, and tormented, and — Good-e'en, good 

Serv. God gi' good e'en. — I pray, sir, can you 
read ? 

Rom. Ay, mine own fortune in my misery. 

Serv. Perhaps you have learn'd it without 
book : 
But I pray, can you read anything you see ? 

Rom. Ay, if I know the letter 3, and the lan- 

Serv. Ye say honestly ; Rest you merry ! 

Rom. Stay, fellow : I can read. [Reads. 

Signor Martino, and /lis wife and daughters ; 
County Anselme, and his beauteous sisters; the 
lady widow of Yitruvio ; Signor Placentio, and 
his lovely nieces ; Mercutio, and his brother Va- 
lentine ; Mine uncle Capulet, his wife, and 
daughters ; My fair niece Rosaline ; Livia ; 
Signor Yalentio, and his cousin Tybalt ; Lucio, 
and the lively Helena. 

A fair assembly ; [gives back the notc7\ Whither 
should they come ? 

Serv. Up. 

Rom. Whither to supper ? a 

Serv. To our house. 

Rom. Whose house ? 

Serv. My master's. 

Rom. Indeed, I should have ask'd you that 

Serv. Now I'll tell you without asking : My 
master is the great rich Capulet ; and if you be 
not of the house of Montagues, I pray, come 
and crush a cup of wine. Rest you merry. 


Ben. At this same ancient feast of Capulet's 
Sups the fair Rosaline, whom thou so lov'st ; 
With all the admired beauties of Verona: 
Go thither; and, with unattainted eye, 
Compare her face with some that I shall 

And I will make thee think thy swan a crow. 

Rom. When the devout reUgion of mine eye 

Maintains such falsehood, then turn tears to 
fires ! 

a So all the early editions. 
to the servant 

Theobald gives " To supper' 

act I.J 


[Scene III. 

And these, — who, often drown'd, could never 
die, — 

Transparent heretics, be burnt for liars ! 
Oue fairer than inv love ! the all-seeing sun 
Ne'er saw her match, since first the world begun. 

Ben. Tut ! you saw her fair, none else being 
by, * 
Herself pois'd with herself in either eye : 
But in that crystal scales,* let there be weigh' d 
Your lady's love against some other maid 
That I will show you, shining at this feast, 
And she shall scant show well, that now shows 
• best. 

Rom. I '11 go along, uo such sight to be shown, 
But to rejoice in splendour of mine own. [Exeunt, 

SCENE HI.— A Room in Capulet's House. 

Enter Lady Capulet and Nukse. 

La. Cap. Nurse, where 's my daughter ? call 

her forth to me. 
Nurse. Now by my maiden-head, — at twelve 
year old, — 
1 bade her come. — "What, lamb ! what, lady- 
bird !— 
God forbid ! — where 's this girl ? — what, Juliet ! 

Enter Juliet. 

Jul. IIow now ! who calls ? 

Nurse. Your mother. 

Jul. Madam, I am here. 

"What is your will? 

La. Cap. This is the matter : — Nurse, give 
leave awhile, 
We must talk in secret. — Nurse, come back again; 
1 have remember'd me, thou shalt hear our 

Thou know'st, my daughter 's of a pretty age. 

Nurse. 'Faith, I can tell her age unto an hour. 

La. Cap. She 's not fourteen. 

Nurse. I '11 lay fourteen of my teeth, 

And yet, to my teen b be it spoken, I have but 

four, — 
She is not fourteen. — How long is it now 
To Lammas-tide ? 

La. Cap. A fortnight, and odd days. 

Nurse." Even or odd, of all days in the year, 
Come Lammas-eve at night, shall she be fourteen. 
Susan and she, — God rest all Christian souls ! — 

» Scale* — used as a singular noun. 

b Teen. Sorrow. 

c The speeches of the Nurse, from hence, are given U 
prose in all the early editions. Capell had the great merit 
of lirst printing them as verse; and not "erroneously," as 
Boswell appears to think, for there is not in all Shakspere a 
passage in which the rhythm is more happily characteristic 


\\ ere of an age. — Well, Susan is with Gjd; 
She was too good for me : But, as I said, 
On Lammas-eve at night shall she be fourteen ; 
That shall she, marry ; I remember it well. 
'T is since the earthquake now eleven years; 15 
And she was wCan'd, — I never shall forget it,. — 
Of all the days of the year, upon that day : 
For I had then laid wormwood to my dug. 
Sitting in the sun under the dove-house wall, 
M\ lord and you were then at Mantua : — 
Nay, I do bear a brain : a — but, as I said, 
When it did taste the wormwood on the nipple 
Of my dug, and felt it bitter, pretty fool ! 
To see it tetchy, and fall out with the dug. 
Shake, quoth the dove-house : 't was no need, I 

To bid me trudge. 

And since that time it is eleven years : 
For then she could stand alone ; nay, by the rood, 
She could have run and waddled all about. 
For even the day before, she broke her brow : 
And then my husband — God be with his soul ! 
'A was a merry man ! — took up the child : 
Yea, quoth he, dost thou fall upon thy face ? 
Thou wilt fall backward, when thou hast more 

wit ; 
Wilt thou not, Jule ? and, by my holy dam, 
The pretty wretch left crying, and said — Ay . 
To see now, how a jest shall come about ! 
I warrant, an I should live a thousand years, 
I never should forget it ; Wilt thou not, Jule ? 

quoth he : 
And, pretty fool, it stinted, 1 * and said — Ay. 
La. Cap. Enough of this ; I pray thee, hold 

thy peace. 
Nurse. Yes, madam ; yet I cannot choose but 

To think it should leave crying, and say — Ay : 
And yet, I warrant, it had upon its brow 
A bump as big as a young cockrel's stone ; 
A parlous knock ; and it cried bitterly. 
Yea, quoth my husband, fall'st upon thy face ? 
Thou wilt fall backward, Yvhen thou com'st to 

"Wilt thou not, Jule ? it stinted, and said — Ay. 

a Bear a brain. Have a memory — a common expression. 
!j // stinted. It stopped. Thus Gascoigne, — 

" Then stinted she as if her song were done." 

To stint is used in an active signification for to *!np. Thus 
in those fine lines in Titus Andronicus, which it is dillicult 
to believe any other than Shakspere wrote, 

" The eagle sutlers little birds to sing, 

And is not careful what they mean thereby, 
Knowing thai with the shadow of his wing 
lie can at pleasure ttint their melody." 

What a picture of a despot in his Interval! of self satisfying 
c parlous. A corruption of the word perilous 

Act I.] 



Jul. And stint thou too, I pray thee, nurse, 

say I. 
Nurse. Peace, I have done. God mark thee 
to his grace ! 
Thou wast the prettiest babe that e'er I nurs'd : 
An I might live to see thee married once, 
I have my wish. 

La. Cap. Marry, that marry is the very theme 
I came to talk of :— Tell me, daughter Juliet, 
How stands your disposition to be married ? 
Jul. It is an honour that I dream not of. 
Nurse. An honour ! a were not I thine only 
I 'd say, thou hadst suck'd wisdom from thy teat. 
La. Cap. Well, think of marriage now ; younger 
than you, 
Here in Verona, ladies of esteem, 
Are made already mothers : by my count, 
I was a mother much upon these years 
That you are now a maid. Thus, then, in brief;— 
The valiant Paris seeks you for his love. 

Nurse. A man, young lady! lady, such a man, 
As all the world— Why, he 's a man of wax. 
La. Cap. Yerona's summer hath not such a 

Nurse. Nay, he's a flower; in faith, a very 

La. Cap. ° What s-ay you ? can you love the 
gentleman ? 
This night you shall behold him at our feast : 
Read o'er the volume of young Paris' face, 13 
And find delight writ there with beauty's pen ; 
Examine every several lineament, 
And see how one another lends content ; 
And what obscur'd in this fair volume lies, 
Pind written in the margin of his eyes. 
This precious book of love, this unbound lover, 
To beautify him, only lacks a cover : 
The fish lives in the sea ; and 't is much pride, 
Por fair without the fair within to hide : 
That book in many's eyes doth share the glory, 
That in gold clasps locks in the golden story ; 
So shall you share all that he doth possess, 
By having him, making yourself no less. 

Nurse. No less ? nay, bigger ; women grow 

by men. 
La. Cap. Speak briefly, can you like of Paris' 

/*/. I'll look to like, if looking liking move : 
But no more deep will I endart mine eye, 
Than your consent gives strength to make it fly. 

a So (A). The folio and (C) have hour, both in Juliet's 
and the Nurse's speeches. . 

t> The next seventeen lines are wanting in (A). 

c IB), married ; which reading has been adopted by 
Steevens and Malone, in preference to several, m the 10110 

Enter a Servant. 

Sen. Madam, the guests are come, supper 
served up, you called, my young lady asked for, 
the nurse cursed in the pantry, and every thing 
in extremity. I must hence to wait ; I beseech 
you, follow straight. 

La. Cap. We follow thee— Juliet, the county 

Nurse. Go, girl, seek happy nights to happy 



SCENE TV.— J. Street. 

ar.d (C). 

C 2 

Enter Roiieo, Merctjtio, Benvolio, with Five 
or Six Maskers, Torch-Bearers, and others. 

Rom. What, shall tliis speech be spoke for our 
excuse ? 
Or shall we on without apology ? 

Ben. The date is out of such prolixity : 
We'll have no Cupid hood-wink'd with a scarf, 1 ' 
Bearing a Tartar's painted bow of lath, 
Scaring the ladies like a crow-keeper ; 
Nor no without-book prologue, faintly spoke 
After the prompter, for our entrance : a 
But, let them measure us by what they will, 
We '11 measure them a measure, 13 and be gone. 
Bom. Give me a torch, 16 — I am not for this 
ambling ; 
Being but heavy I will bear the light. 

Mer. Nay, gentle Romeo, we must have you 

Bom. Not I, believe me : you have dancing 
With nimble soles : I have a soul of lead, 
So stakes me to the ground I cannot move. 

Mer. You are a lover ; borrow Cupid's wings, 
And soar with them above a common bound. 

Bom. I am too sore enpierced with his shaft, 
To soar with his light feathers; and so bound, 
I cannot bound a pitch above dull woe : 
Under love's heavy burden do I sink. 

Mer. And, to sink in it, should you burden 
love : 
Too great oppression for a tender thing. 

Rom. Is love a tender thing? it is too rough, 
Too rude, too boist'rous ; and it pricks like thorn. 
Mer. If love be rough with you, be rough 
with love ; 
Prick love for pricking, and you beat love down.— 
Give me a case to put my visage in : 

[Putting on a Mask. 

a These two lines in {A) are omitted in the subsequent 
old editions. . . . ,,. 

b So bound, in (C) ; to oound, in fcho. 

An I.] 


[SCBHB 1 V. 

A visor for a visor ! — what cave I 

What curious eye doth quote" deformities? 

Here are the beetle-brows shall blush for me. 

Ben. Come, knock, ami cuter; and no sooner 
But every man betake him to Ids legs. 

Rom. A torch for me : let wantons, light of 
Tickle the senseless rushes with their heels; '' 
For I am proverb'd with a grandsirc phrase, — . 
I'll be a candle-holder, and look on, — 
The game was ne'er so fair, and I am done. 

Mer. Tut ! dun 's the mouse, 18 the constable's 
own word : 
If thou art dun, we '11 draw thee from the mire 
Of this, sir reverence, 19 love, b wherein thou 

Up to the ears. — Come, we burn daylight, ho. 

Rom. Nay, that 's not so. 

Mer. I mean, sir, in delay 

We waste our lights in vain, lights, lights, by 

Take our good meaning; for our judgment sits 
Five times in that, ere once iu our five wits. 

Rom. And we mean well in going to this mask: 
But 't is no wit to go. 

Mer. Why, may one ask ? 

Rom. I dreamt a dream to-night. 

Mer. And so did I. 

Rom. "Well, what was yours ? 

Mer. That dreamers often lie. 

Rom. In bed, asleep, while they do dream 
things true. 

Mer. 0, then, I see queen Mab kith been 
with you. 
She is the fairies' midwife ; and she comes 
In shape no bigger than an agate-stone 
On the fore-finger of an alderman, 
Drawn with a team of little atomies ,l 
Athwart men's noses as they lie asleep : 
Her waggon-spokes made of long spinners' legs, 
The cover, of the wings of grasshoppers ; 
I F . - r traces of the smallest spider's web; 
Her collars of the moonshine's water? beams; 
Her whip of cricket's bone ; the lash of film : 
Her waggoner a small grey-coated gnat, 
Not half so big as a round little worm 
Prick'd from the lazy finger of a maid : f 
Her chariot is an empty hazel-nut, 
Made by the joiner squirrel, or old grub, 

» Quote. Observe. ^ Thus (./). 

c This is the rt-aclinp of the folio. Johnson nails " like 
lights by liay." Capcll's reading is generally adopted (though 
not literally) from the early copies: — 

" We waste our lights in vain, like lamps by day.' 

d (A), atomy. 1 hus (A). (C) and folio, oxer. 

f < A ,, maid ; folio and (C), man,— clearly an error in the 


Time out o' mind the fairies' coach-makers. 
And in this state she gallops night by night 
Through lovers' brains, and then they dream of 

love : 
On courtiers' knees, that dream on court'sics 

straight : 
O'er lawyers' fingers, who straight dream on fees : 
O'er ladies' lips, who straight on kisses dream ; 
Which oft the angry Mab with blisters plagues, 
Because their breaths with sweetmeats tainted 

Sometime she gallops o'er a courtier's nose, 
And then dreams he of smelling out a suit : a 
And sometime comes she with a tithe-pig's tail, 
Tickling a parson's nose as 'a lies asleep, 
Then dreams he of another benefice : 
Sometime she driveth o'er a soldier's neck, 
And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats, 
Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades, 
Of healths five fathom deep ; and then anon 
Drums in his car; at which he starts, and wakes; 
And, being thus frighted, swears a prayer or two, 
And sleeps again. This is that very Mab 
That plats the manes of horses in the night ; -° 
And bakes the elf-locks in foul sluttish hairs, 
Winch, once untangled, much misfortune bodes. 
This is the hag, when maids lie on their backs, 
That presses them, and learns them first to bear, 
Making them women of good carriage. 
This is she— b 

a A suit. A court solicitation was called a suit ; — a pro- 
cess, a suit at law. 

t> It is desirable to exhibit the first draft of a performance 
so exquisitely finished as this celebrated description, in 
which every word is a study. And yet it is curious, that in 
the quarto of 1609, and in the folio (from which we prints, 
and in both of which the corrections of the author are ap- 
parent, the whole speech is given as if it were prose. The 
original quarto of 1597 gives the passage as follows : — 

" Ah then I see queen Mab hath been with you. 
She is the fairies' midwife, and doth come 
In shape no bigger than an agate-stone 
On the forefinger of a burgomaster, 
Drawne with a team of little atomy, 
Athwart men's noses when they lie asleep. 
Her waggon spokes are made of spinners' webs. 
The cover of the wings of grasshopi 
The traces are the moon-shine watery 1> 
The collais cricket bones, the lash of films. 
Her waggoner is a small gray-coated My 
Not half so big as is a liule worm, 
Picked from the lazy finger of a maid. 
And in this sort she gallops up and down 
Through lovers' brains, and then they dream of love. 
O'er courtiers' knees, who strait on courtesies dream ; 
O'er ladies' lips who dream on kisses strait, 
Which oft the angry Mali with blisters pla 
Bi iuse their breaths with sweetmeats tainted are. 
Sometimes she gallops o'er a lawyer's lap, 
And then dreamt he of smelling out a suit ; 
And sometime-, comes she with a tyilie pig*a tail * 

Tickling a parson's nose that lies asleep 
And then creams he of another benefice. 
Sometimes she gallops o'er a soldier's nose, 
And then dreams he of cutting foreign throat 
Of breaches, nmbu-radoes, countermines, 
Of healths five fathom deep, and then anon 
Drums in his ear, at which he starts and waies. 

Act I.] 


[Scene V. 

Rom. Peace, peace, Mercutio, peace, 

Thou talk'st of nothing. 

Mer. True, I talk of dreams, 

Which are the children of an idle brain, 
Begot of nothing but vain fantasy ; 
Which is as thin of substance as the air ; 
And more inconstant than the wind who "wooes 
Even now the frozen bosom of the north, 
And, being anger'd, puffs away from thence, 
Turning his face a to the dew-dropping south. 

Ben.. This wind, you talk of, blows us from 
ourselves ; 
Supper is done, and we shall come too late. 

Rom. I fear, too early: for my mind mis- 
Some consequence, yet hanging in the stars, 
Shall bitterly begin his fearful date 
With this night's revels ; and expire the term 
Of a despised life, clos'd in my breast, 
By some vile forfeit of untimely death : 
But He, that hath the steerage of my course, 
Direct my sail ! b — On, lusty gentlemen. 

Ben. Strike, drum. {Exeunt. 

SCENE V.— A Hall in Capulet'* Borne. 

Musicians waiting. Enter Servants. 

1 Sere. Where 's Potpan, that he helps not to 
take away? he shift a trencher! he scrape a 
trencher ! 

2 Sen. When good manners shall lie all in 
one or two men's hands, and they unwashed too, 
'tis a foul thing. 

1 Sera. Away with the joint-stools, remove 
the court-cupboard, 21 look to the plate : — good 
thou, save me a piece of marchpane ; d and, as 
1 hou lovest me, ' let the porter let in Susan 
Grindstone, and Nell. — Antony ! and Potpan ; 

2 Sere. Ay, boy ; ready. 

1 Serv. You are looked for, and called for, 
asked for, and sought for, in the great chamber. 

2 Serv. We cannot be here and there too. — '■ 
Cheerly, boys ; be brisk a while, and the longer 
liver take all. {They retire behind. 

And swears a prayer or two, and sleeps again : 

This is that Mab that makes maids lie on their backs, 

And proves them women of good carriage. 

This is the very Mab, 

That plaits the manes of horses in the night, 

And plaits the elfe locks in foul sluttish hair, 

Which once untangled much misfortune breeds." 

» Thus {A). (C) and the folio, side. 

b Thus (A). (C) and the folio, suit. 

o Thus (C). Folio omits all. 

J Marchpane. A kind of sweet cake or biscuit, some- 
times called almond-cake. Our maccaroons are diminutive 

Enter Capulet, $c, with the Guests, and the 

Cap. Welcome, gentlemen ! ladies, that have 
their toes 
Unplagued with corns, will have a a bout with 

Ah ha, my mistresses ! which of you all 
Will now deny to dance ? she that makes dainty, 

E '11 swear, hath corns ; Am I come near ye now ? 
Welcome, gentlemen ! b I have seen the day, 
That I have worn a visor ; and could tell 
A whispering tale in a fair lady's ear, 
Such as would please ; 'tis gone, 'tis gone, 't is 

You are welcome, gentlemen !— Come, musi- 
cians, play. 
A hall ! a hall ! give room, and foot it, girls. 

{Music plays, and they dance. 
More light, you knaves ; and turn the tables up, 
And quench the fire, the room is grown too 

All, sirrah, tliis unlooked-for sport comes well. 
Nay, sit, nay, sit, good cousin Capulet ; 
For you and I are past our dancing" days : 
How long is 't now, since last yourself and I 
Were in a mask ? 

2 Cap. By 'r lady, thirty years. 

1 Cap. What, man ! 't is not so much, 't is 

not so much : 
'T is since the nuptial of Lucentio, 
Come pentecost as quickly as it will, 
Some five-and-twenty years ; and then we 


2 Cap. 'T is more, 't is more : his sou is elder, 

His son is thirty. 

1 Cap. Will you tell me that ? 

His son was but a ward two years ago. 
Rom. What lady's that, which doth enrich 
the hand 
Of yonder knight ? 
Serv. I know not, sir. 

Rom. 0, she doth teach the torches to burn 
bright ! 
Her beauty d hangs upon the cheek of night 

•■> Thus [A). (C) and folio, walk about. 

b This passage, to " More light, ye knaves," is wanting 
in (A). 

c Good cousin Capulet. The word cousin, in Shakspere, 
■was applied to any collateral relation of whatever degree; thus 
we have in this play "Tybalt, my cousin, Oh my brother's 
child." Richard the Third calls his nephew York, cousin, 
while the boy calls Richard, uncle. In the same play Yi its 
grandmother calls him cousin, while he replies grandam. 

J Her beauty hangs. All the ancient editions which can te 
considered authorities — the four quartos and the (irst folio- 
read It teems she hangi. The reading of her benu'y is from 


ACT I.] 


[Scene V 

As* a rich jewel in an Etliiop's ear : 

Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear ! 

So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows, 

As yonder lady o'er her fellows shows. 

The measure done, I '11 watch her place of stand. 

And touching hers, make blessed b my rude 

Did my heart love till now ? forswear it, sight ! 
For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night. 

Tyb. This, by his voice, should be a Mon- 
tague : — 
Fetch me my rapier, boy:— What! dares the 

Come hither, cover' d with an antic face, 
To fleer and scorn at our solemnity ? 
Now by the stock and honour of my kin, 
To strike him dead I hold it not a sin. 

1 Cap. Why, how now, kinsman? wherefore 
storm you so ? 

Tyb. Uncle, this is a Montague, our foe ; 
A villain, that is hither come in spite, 
To scorn at our solemnity tins night. 

1 Cap. Young Romeo is't? 

Tyb. 'Tis he, that villain Romeo. 

1 Cap. Content thee, gentle coz, let him 
He bears him like a portly gentleman ; 
And, to say truth, Verona brags of him, 
To be a virtuous and well-govern' d youth : 
I would not for the wealth of all this town, 
Here in my house do him disparagement : 
Therefore be patient, take no note of him, 
It is my will ; the which if thou respect, 
Show a fair presence, and put off these frowns, 
An ill-beseeming semblance for a feast. 

Tyb. It fits, when such a villain is a guest ; 
I '11 not endure him. 

1 Cap. He shall be endur'd. 

What, goodman boy! — I say, he shall; — Go 

to; — 
Am I the master here, or you ? go to. 
You '11 not endure him ! — God shall mend my 

soul — 
You '11 make a mutiny among my guests ! 

the second folio. Why then, it may be asked, do we depart 
from our usual principle, and reject an undoubted ancient 
reading t Because the reading which we give has become 
familiar, — has passed into common use wherever our lan- 
guage is sp*ken, — is quoted in books as frequently as any 
of the other passages of Shakspere which constantly present 
themselves as examples of his exquisite power of descrip- 
tion. Here, it appears to us, is a higher law to be obi 
than that of adherence to the ancient copies. It is the same 
with the celebrated passage, 

" Or dedicate his beauty to the tun." 
All the ancient copies read the tamr. We believe this to be 
a misprint ; but, even if that could not be alleged, we should 
feel ourselves justified in retaining tin- tun. Such instances, 
of course, present but very rare exceptions to a general rule. 
• A), Like. b So (C) and folio. (A), happy. 


You will set cock-a-hoop ! a you'll be the man ! 

Tyb. Why, uncle, 't is a shame. 

1 Cap. Go to, go to, 

You are a saucy boy : — Is 't so indeed ? 
This trick may chance to seath b you ; — I know 

You must contrary me ! — marry, 't is time — 
Well said, my hearts ! — You are a princox; d go: — 
Be quiet, or — More light, more light.— For 

shame ! — 
I '11 make you quiet ; What ! — Cheerly, my hearts. 

Tyb. Patience perforce with wilful choler 
Makes my flesh tremble in their different greeting. 
I will withdraw : but this intrusion shall, 
Now seeming sweet, convert to bitter gall. [Exit. 

Rom. If I profane with my unworthiest hand 


This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this, — 
My lips, two blushing pilgrims ready stand 

To smooth that rough touch with a tender 
Jul. Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand 
too much, 
Which mannerly devotion shows in this ; 
For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do 
And palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss. 
Rom. Have not saints lips, and holy palmers 

Jul. Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in 

Rom. then, dear saint, let lips do what 

hands do ; 
They pray, grant thou, lest faith turn to 

Jul. Saints do not move, though grant for 

prayers' sake. 
Rom. Then move not, while my prayers' 
effect I take. 
Thus from my lips, by thine f my sin is purg'd. 

[Kissing her. 
Jul. Then have my lips the sin that they have 

Rom. Sin from my lips? trespass sweetly 
urg'd ! 
Give me my sin again. 

a Set cock-a-hoop. The origin of this phrase, which ap- 
pears always to be used in the sense of hasty and violent 
excess, is very doubtful. The received opinion is, that on 
some festive occasions the cock, or spigot, was taken out of 
the barrel and laid on the hoop, and that the uninterrupted 
flow of the ale naturally led to intemperance. 

b To scath. To injure. 

c Contrary. Sir Philip Sidney, and many otherold writers 

d Princox. Coxcomb. 

« Sin in all the old copks. War'.mrton changed tin to fine 

f (A), your I. 

Act I.] 



Jul. You kiss by the book. 

Nurse. Madam, your mother craves a word 
with you. 

Rom. What is her mother ? 

Nurse. Marry, bachelor, 

Her mother is the lady of the house, 
And a good lady, aud a wise, and virtuous : 
I nurs'd her daughter, that you talk'd withal; 
I tell you, — he, that can lay hold of her, 
Shall have the chinks. 

Rom. Is she a Capulet ? 

dear account ! my life is my foe's debt. 
Ben. Away, begone ; the sport is at the best. 
Rom. Ay, so I fear ; the more is my unrest. 

1 Cap. Nay, gentlemen, prepare not to be 
gone ; 
We have a trifling foolish banquet towards.* 
Is it e'en so ? Why, then I thank you all ; 

1 thank you, honest gentlemen ; good night : — 
More torches here ! —Come on then; let 's to bed. 
Ah, sirrah, [To 2 Cap.'] by my fay, it waxes late ; 
I '11 to my rest. 

[Exeunt all but Juliet and Nurse. 

a Towards. Ready ; at hand. 

Jul. Come hither, nurse : What is yon gen- 
tleman ? 
Nurse. The son and heir of old Tiberio. 
Jul. What 's he, that now is going out of door ? 
Nurse. Marry, that, I think, be young Pc- 

Jul. What 's he, that follows there, that would 

not dance ? 
Nurse. I know not. 

Jul. Go, ask his name :— if he be married, 
My grave is like to be my wedding bed. 

Nurse. His name is Romeo, and a Montague : 
The only son of your great enemy. 

Jul. My only love sprung from my only hate ! 
Too early seen unknown, and known to late ! 
Prodigious birth of love it is to me, 
That I must love a loathed enemy. 
Nurse. What 's this ? What 's this ? 
Jul. A rhyme I learn' d even now 

Of one I dane'd withal. 

[One calls within, Juliet. 
Nurse. Anon, anon : — 

Come, let 's away ; the strangers all are gone. 


Enter Chorus. 

Now old desire doth in his death-bed lie, 

And young affection gapes to be his heir; 
That fair, for which love gToan'd for, and would die, 

With tender Juliet match'd, is now not fair. 
Now Romeo is belov'd, and loves again, 

Alike bewitched by the charm of looks ; 
Hut to his foe suppos'd he must complain, 

And she steal love'3 sweet bait from fearful hooks : 

Being held a foe, he may not have access 
To breathe such vows as lovers use to swear; 

And she as much in love, her means much less 
To meet her new-beloved anywhere : 

But passion lends them power, time means to meet, 

Temp'ring extremities with extreme sweet. 



Verona, the city of Italy, where, nest to Rome, 
the antiquary most luxuriates ; — where, blended 
with the remains of theatres, and amphitheatres, 
and triumphal arches, are the palaces of the factious 
nobles, and the tombs of the despotic princes of 
the Gothic ages; — Verona, so rich in the asso- 
ciations of real history, has even a greater charm 
for those who would live in the poetry of the 
past : — 
" Are these the distant turrets of Verona? 
And shall I sup where Juliet at the masque 
Saw her lov'd Montague, and now sleeps by him?" 

So felt our tender and graceful poet, Rogers. He 
adds, in a note, "The old palace of the Cappelletti, 
with its uncouth balcony and irregular windows, 
is still standing in a lane near the market-place ; and 
what Englishman can behold it with indifference ? 
When we enter Verona, we forget ourselves, and 
are almost inclined to say with Dante, 

' Vieni a veder Montecchi, e Cappelletti.' " 

1 Scene I. — " Gregory, o' my word, we '11 not carry 

To carry coals was to submit to servile offices. 
Gifford has a note upon a passage in Ben Jonson's 
" Every Man out of his Humour," where Puntar- 
volo, wanting his dog held, exclaims, " Here comes 
one that will carry coals," in which note he clearly 
enough shows the origin of the reproach of carrying 
coals : — " In all great houses, but particularly in 
the royal residences, there were a number of mean 
and dirty dependants, whose office it was to attend 
the wood-yard, sculleries, &c. Of these (for in the 
lowest deep there was a lower still) the most 
forlorn wretches seem to have been selected to 
carry coals to the kitchens, halls, &c. To this 
smutty regiment, who attended the progresses, 
and rode iu the carts with the pot3 and kettles, 
which, with every other article of furniture, were 
then moved from palace to palace, the people, in 
derision, gave the name of black guards, a term 
since become sufficiently familiar, and never pro- 
perly explained." In the passage here quoted from 
Ben Jonson, we find the primary meaning of the 
expression — that of being fit for servile offices ; 
but in a subsequent passage of the same play we 
abo have the secondary meaning — that of tamely 
submitting to an affront. Puntarvolo, having lost 
his dog, iasults Shift, who he supposes Lis taken 
it ; upon which another character exclaims, — 
"Take heed, Sir Puntarvolo, what you do, he'll 
bear no coals, I can tell you." Gifford has given a 


quotation in illustration of this meaning (which is 
the sense in which Shakspere here uses it), worth 
all the long list of similar passages in the Shak- 
aperian commentators : — " It remayneth now that I 
take notice of Jaspar's arryvall, and of those letters 
with which the queen was exceedingly well satis- 
fied : saying that you were too like some body in 
the world, to whom she is afrayde you are a little 
kin, to be content to carry coales at any French- 
man's hand." — Secretary Cecyll to Sir Henry Ne- 
ville, March 2, 1559. 

2 Scene I. — "Here comes of the house of the 

How are the Montagues known from the Capu- 
lets ? naturally occurs to us. They wore badges, 
which, in all countries, have been the outward 
manifestations of party spirit. Gascoigne, in " a 
device of a masque," written in 1575, has, 

" And for a further proof he shewed in hys hat 
Thys token which the Mountacutes did beare alwaies, 

for that 
They covet to be knowne from Capels." 

3 Scene I. — "/ will bite my thumb at them." 

Douce has bestowed much laborious investiga- 
tion upon this difficult, and somewhat worthless 
subject. The practice of biting the thumb was 
naturalized amongst us in Shakspere's time ; and 
the lazy and licentious groups that frequented 
"Paul's" are thus described by Decker, in 1608 : — 
" What swearing isthere, what shouldering, what 
justling, what jeering, what biting of thumbs to 
beget quarrels." 

4 Scene I. — " Gregory, remember thy swash ing blow.' 

Sampson and Gregory are described as armed 
with swords and bucklers. The swashing blow is 
a blow upon the buckler; the blow accompanied 
with a noise ; and thus a swasher 'came to be 
synonymous with a quarrelsome fellow, a braggart. 
In Henry V., Bardolph, Pistol, and Nyrn are 
called by the boy three "swashers." Holinshed 
has— "a man may see how many bloody quarrels 
a brawling swash-buckler may pick out of a 
bottle of hay;" and Fuller, iu his "Worthies," 
after describing a swaggerer as one that eudea-, 
vours to make that side to swagger, or weigh 
down, whereon he engages, tells us that a swash- 
buckler is so called from swashing, or making a 
noise en bucklers. 


4 Scene I. — " dubs, bills, and partisans." 

The cry of " clubs " is as thoroughly of English 
origin as the " bite my thumb " is of Italian. Scott 
ha3 made the cry familiar to us in " The Fortunes 
of Nigel ; " and when the citizens of Verona here 
raise it, we involuntarily think of the old watch- 
maker's hatch-door in Fleet-street, and Jin Vin and 
Tunstall darting off for the affray. " The great long 
club," as described by Stow, on the necks of the 
London apprentices, was as characteristic as the flat 
cap of the same quarrelsome body, in the daya of 
Elisabeth and James. The use by Shakspere of 

home phrases, in the mouths of foreign characters, 
was a part of his art. It is the same thing as ren- 
dering Sancho's Spanish proverbs into the corres- 
ponding English proverbs instead of literally trans- 
lating them. The cry of " clubs " by the citizens 
of Verona expressed an idea of popular movement, 
which could not have been conveyed half so em- 
phatically in a foreign phrase. We have given a 
group of ancient bills and partisans, viz., a very 
early form of bill, from a specimen preserved in the 
Town Hall of Canterbury ; — bills of the times of 
Henry VI., VII., and VIII. ; — and partisans of the 
time of Edward IV., Henry VII., and James I 

.- Ss 

e Scene I. — " Underneath lite grove of sycamore.'' 

When Shakspere has to deal with descriptions 
of natural scenery, he almost invariably localizes 

himself with the utmost distinctness. He never 
mistakes the sycamore groves of the south for the 
birch woods of the north. In such cases he was 
not required to employ familiar and conventional 


... _ -*hfu«c 



images for the sake of presenting an idea more 
distinctly to his audience than a rigid adherence 
to the laws of costume (we employ the word iu 
its larger sense of manners) would have allowed. 
The grove of sycamore, 

" That westward rooteth from this city's side," 

takes us at once to a scene entirely different fr<in 
one presented by Shakspere's own experience. The 
sycamore is the oriental plane (little known in Eng- 
land, though sometime? found), spreading its broad 
branches — from which its name, platanus— to sup- 
ply the most delightful of shades under the sun of 
Syria or of Italy. Shakspere might have found 
the sycamore in Chaucer's exquisite tale of the 
"Flower and the Leaf," where the hedge that 

" Closed in alle the green arberc, 

With sycamore was set and eglantere." 

' Scene I. — " braiding love ! loving hate I " 

This antithetical combination of contraries ori- 
ginated in the Provencal poetry, and was assidu- 
ously cultivated by Petrarch. Shakspere, in this 
passage, may be distinctly traced to Chaucer's 
translation of the " Romaunt of the Rose," where 
we have love described as a hateful peace — a truth 
full of falsehood — a despairing hope — avoid reason 
— a sick heal, &c. 

9 Scene I. — " These hapjiy masks, that kiss fair 

ladies' brout, 

Being black, put xis in mind they hide the fair." 

Steevens says that the masks here meant were 
those worn by female spectators of the play ; but 
it appears scarcely necessary so to limit the use of 
a lady's mask. In the Two Gentlemen of Verona 
we have the "sun-expelling mask." In Love's 
Labour's Lost the ladies wear masks in the first 


interview between the king and the princess: — 
" Now fair befall your mask," says Biron to Rosa- 

line. We subjoin a representation of an Italian 
lady in her black mask. The figure (without the 
mask) is in Vicellio's Habiti Antichi e Modern! 

'Scene II. — " This night I hold an old accustom'd 
J< att." 

In the poem of " Romeus and Juliet " the season 
of Cr.pulet's feast is winter : — 

"The wery winter nightes restore the Christmas games, 
And now t lie season doth invite to banquet townish dames. 
And fyrst in Cappel's house, the chief of all the kyn 
Sparth for no cost, the wonted use of banquets to begin." 

Shakspere had, perhaps, this in his mind when, at 
the ball, old Capulet cries out — 

" And quench the fire, the room is grown too hot ; *' 

but in every other instance the season is unques- 
tionably summer. " The day is hot," says Ben- 
volio. The Friar is up iu his garden, 

" Now ere the sun advance his burning eye." 

Juliet hears the nightingale sing from the pome- 
granate-tree. During the whole course of the 
poem, the action appears to move under the 
" vaulty heaven " of Italy, with a soft moon 

" That tips with silver all these fruit-tree tops," 
and " day's pathway " made lustrous by 
" Titan's fiery wheels." 

10 Scene II.—" Such comfort as do lusty young 
men feel," d-c. 

Dr. Johnson would read yeomen, and make Ca- 
pulet compare the delight of Paris " among fresh 
female buds" to the joy of the farmer on the return 
of spring. But the spirit of Italian poetry was upon 
Shakspere when he wrote these lines ; and he 
thought not of the lusty yeoman in his fields, 

" While the plow-man near at hand 
Whistles o'er the furrow'd land," 

but of such gay groups as Boccaccio has painted, who 

" Sat down in the high grass, and in the shade 
Of many a tree sun proof." 

Shakspere has, indeed, explained his own idea of 
"well-apparelled April" in that beautiful sonnet 

" From you have I been absent in the spring, 
When proud pied April, drcss'd in all his trim, 
Hath put a spirit of youth in everything." 

Douce has well observed, that, in this passage d 
Romeo and Juliet, Shakspere might "have had in 
view the decorations which accompany the above 
month in some of the manuscript and printed calen- 
dars, where the young folks are represented as 
sitting together on the grass; the men ornamenting 
the girls with chaplets of flowers." Wehave adapted 
one of these representations from a drawing in the 
t'nl manuscript of the "Roman delaRoBe"in 
the British Museum. 



*~ ■, • - 

- "„ v -:■ ■ 

J1 Scene II. — " Your plantain-leaf is excellent for 

The keif of the broad-leafed plantain was used 
as a blood-stancher. Of course, Shakspere did 
not allude to the tropical fruit-bearing plant, but 
to the common plantain of our English marshy 
grounds and ditches. The plantain was also con- 
sidered as a preventive of poison ; and to this 
supposed virtue Romeo first alludes. 

12 Scene III. — " 'Tis since the earthquake now 
eleven years." 

We have shown in our Introductory Notice the 
importance of this line, as affording a probable 
date for the composition of Romeo and Juliet. 
The earthquake that was within the recollection 
of Shakspere's audience happened in the year 
1580. The principle of dating from an earthquake, 
or from any other remarkable phenomenon, is a 
very obvious one. We have an example as old as 
the days of the prophet Amos : — " The words of 
Amos, who was among the herdmen of Tekoa, 
which he saw concerning Israel in the days of 
Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam, 
the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before 
the earthquake." Tyrwhitt says, " But how comes 
the Nurse to talk of an earthquake upon this 
occasion? There is no such circumstauce, I be- 
lieve, mentioned in any of the novels from which 
Shakspere may be supposed to have drawn his 
story." But it appears to us by no means impro- 
bable that Shakspere might have been acquainted 
with some description of the great earthquake 
which happened at Verona iu 1348, when Petrarch 
was sojourning in that city ; and that wilh some- 
thing like historical propriety, therefore, he made 
the Nurse date from that event, while at the same 
time the supposed allusion to the earthquake iu 
England of 1580 would be relished by his 


13 Scene III. — " Head o'er the volume of young 
Paris' f 

This passage furnishes a very remarkable I \- 
amplc of the correctness of the principle 
down in Mr. Winter's very able tract — "An 
Attempt t-i explain and illustrate various Passage? 
of Shakspere, on a new Principle of Criticism, 
derived from Mr. Locke's Doctrine of the Asso- 
ciation o( Ideas." Mr. Winter's most ingenious 
theory would lose much in being presented in 
any other than his own words. We may just 
mention that his leading doctrine, as applied to 
Shaksperej K that the exceeding warmth of his 
imagination often Bupplied him, by the power of 
association, with words, and with ideas, suggested 
to the mind by a principle of union unperceived 
by himself, and independent of the subject to 
which they are applied. We readily agree with 
Mr. Whiter that " this propensity in the mind to 
associate subjects so remote in their meaning, and 
so heterogeneous in their nature, must, of neces- 
sity, sometimes deceive the ardour of the writer 
into whimsical or ridiculous combinations. As 
the reader, however, is not blinded by this fascina- 
ting principle, which, while it creates the asso- 
ciation, conceals likewise its effects, he is instantly 
impressed with the quaintness or the absurdity of 
the imagery, and is inclined to charge the writer 
with the intention of a foolish quibble, or an 
impertinent allusion." It is in this spirit of a 
cold and literal criticism, here so well described, 
that Mr. Monck Mason pronounces upon the 
passage before us — "this ridiculous speech is 
full of abstruse quibbles." But the principle of 
association, as explained by Mr. Whiter, at once 
reconciles us to the quibbles. The " volume " of 

young Paris' face suggests the "beauty's pen" 
which hath "writ" there. Then, the obscurities 
of the fair " volume" are written in the " margin 
of his eyes," as comments of ancient books are 
always printed in the margin. Lastly, this " book 
of love" lacks "a cover" — the "golden story" 
must be locked in with "golden clasps." The 
ingenious management of the vein of imagery is 
at least as remarkable as its " abstruse quibbles." 

14 Scene IV. — " We'll have vo Cupid hoodsunnWd 
with a scarf," d-c. 

The masque of ladies, or amazons, in Shakspere's 
Timon, is preceded by a Cupid, who addresses the 
company in a speech. This " device " was a prac- 
tice of courtly life, before and during the time of 
Shakspere. But here he says, 

" The date is out of such prolixity." 

The " Tartar's painted bow of lath " is the bow of 
The Asiatic nations, with a double curve; and 
Shakspere employed the epithet to distinguish the 
bow of Cupid from the old English long bow. 
The " crow-keeper," who scares the ladies, had 
also a bow : — he is the shuffle or mawkin — the 
scarecrow of rags and straw, with a bow and arrow 
in his hand. " That fellow handles his bow like 
a crow-keeper," says Lear. The " without-book 
prologue, faintly spoke after the prompter," is 
supposed by Warton to allude to the boy-actors 
that we afterwards find so fully noticed in Hamlet. 

15 Scene IV. — " We'll measure them a measure." 
wa-i the courtly dance of the 




days of Elizabeth ; not so solemn as the pavan — 
the "doleful pavan," as Davenant calls it, iu which 
princes in their mantles, and lawyers in their long 
robes, and courtly dame3 with enormous trains, 
swept the rushes like the tails of peacocks. From 
this circumstance came its name, the pavan — the 
dance of the peacock. The " measure " may be 
best described in Shakspere's own words, in the 
mouth of the lively Beatrice, in Much Ado about 
Nothing : — " The fault will be in the music, cousin, 
if you be not wooed in good time ; if the prince 
be too important, tell him there is measure in 
everything, and so dance out the answer. For 
hear me, Hero : wooing, wedding, and repenting, 
is as a Scotch jig, a measure, and a cinque-pace : 
the first suit is hot and hasty, like a Scotch jig, 
and full as fantastical : the wedding, mannerly- 
modest, as a measure full of state and ancientry ; 
and then comes repentance, and, with his bad legs, 
falls into the cinque-pace faster and faster, till he 
sink into his grave." 

10 Scene IV. — " Give me a torch." 
Romeo declares that he will not dance : 
" I am not for this ambling." 
He subsequently says, 

" I'll be a candle-holder, and look on." 

Anciently, all rooms of state were lighted by 
waxen torches borne in the hands of attendants. 
Froissart thus describes the feasting of Gaston de 
Foix : — " At midnight when he came out of his 
chamber into the hall to supper, he had ever 
before him twelve torches brennyng, borne by 
twelve varlettes standing before his table all 
supper." To hold the torch was not, however, a 
degrading office in England; for the gentlemen 
pensioners of Elizabeth held torches while a play 
was acted before her in the chapel of King's 
College, Cambridge. 

17 Scene IV. — " Tickle the senseless rushes with 
their heels." 

Carpets, though known in Italy, were not 
adapted to the English habits in the time of 
Elizabeth ; and even the presence-chamber of that 
queen was, according to Hentzner, strewed with 
hay, by which he meant rushes. The impurities 
which gathered on the floor were easily removed 
with the rushes. But the custom of strewing 
rushes, although very general in England, was 
not peculiar to it. Mr. Brown, in his work on 
Shakspere's autobiographical poems, has this 
observation: "An objection has been made, im- 
puting an error, in Grumio's question, ' Are the 
rushes strewed ? ' But the custom of strewing 
rushes in England belonged also to Italy; this 
may be seen in old authors, and their very word, 
giuncare, now out of use, is a proof of it." 

19 Scene IV. — " Tut! dun's the mouse." 

We have a string of sayings here which have 
much puzzled the commentators. When Borneo 
exclaims, " I am done," Mercutio, playing upon 
the word, cries " dun 's the mouse." This is a 
proverbial phrase, constantly occurring in the old 
comedies. It is probably something like the other 

cant phrase that occurs in Lear, " the cat is grey." 
The following line, 

" If thou art dun, we'll draw thee from the mire," 

was fully as puzzling, till Gifford gave us a solution . 
— *' Dun is in the mire! then, is a Christmas 
gambol, at which I have often played. A log of 
wood is brought into the midst of the room : this 
is dun (the cart-horse), and a cry is raised, that he 
is stuck in the mire. Two of the company advance, 
either with or without ropes, to draw him out. 
After repeated attempts, they find themselves 
unable to do it, and call for more assistance. — 
The game continues till all the company take part 
in it, when dun is extricated of course ; and the 
merriment arises from the awkward and affected 
efforts of the rustics to lift the log, and from 
sundry arch contrivances to let the ends of it fall 
on one another's toes. This will not be thought 
a very exquisite amusement ; and yet I have seen 
much honest mirth at it, and have been far more 
entertained with the ludicrous contortions of 
pretended struggles, than with the real writhing, 
the dark scowl of avarice and envy exhibited by 
the same description of persons, in the genteeler 
amusement of cards, the universal substitute for 
all our ancient sports." — (Ben Jonson's Works, 
vol. vii. page 282.) 

10 Scene IV. — "Sir reverence." 

This was the old mode of apology for the intro- 
duction of a free expression. Mercutio says, he 
will draw Romeo from the " mire of this love," and 
uses, parenthetically, the ordinary form of apology 
for speaking so profanely of love. Gifford has given 
us a quotation from an old tract on the origin of 
tobacco, which is exactly in point : — " The time 
hath been when if we did speak of this loathsome 
stuff, tobacco, we used to put a ' Sir reverence ' 
before, but we forget our good manners." In 
another note on the same word, Gifford says, 
" There is much filthy stuff on this simple inter- 
jection, of which neither Steevens nor Malone 
appears to have known the import, in the notes to 
Romeo and Juliet." — (Ben Jonson's Works, vol. vi. 
page 149 ; vol. vii. page 337.) 

20 Scene IV.—" This is that very Mab 

That plats the manes of horses in the night." 

We extract the following amusing note from 
Douce's Illustrations : — 

" This line alludes to a very singular superstition, 
not yet forgotten in some parts of the country. 
It was believed that certain malignant spirits, 
whose delight was to wander in groves and pleasant 
places assumed occasionally the likenesses of women 
clothed in white ; that in this character they some- 
times haunted stables in the night-time, carrying 
in their hands tapers of wax, which they dropped 
on the horses' manes, thereby plaiting them in 
inextricable knots, to the great annoyance of the 
poor animals, and the vexation of their masters. 
These hags are mentioned iu the works of William 
Auveigne, Bishop of Paris, in the thirteenth cen- 
tury. There is a very uncommon old print by 
Hans Burgmair, relating to this subject. A witch 
enters the stable with a lighted torch ; and pre- 



viously to the operation of entangling the horse's 
inane, practises her enchantments ou the groom, 
who is lying asleep on his back, and apparently 
influenced by the night-mare. The belemnites, 

or elf-stones, were regarded as charms against the 

. and against evil spirits of 

all kinds ; but the cerauniac, or boctuli, and all 

perforated llint-.-tmn ■-, were not only used for the 

same purpose, but more particularly for the pro- 

m of horses and other cattle, by suspending 

them in stables, or tying them round the necks of 

the animals." 

The next line, 

" And bakes the elf-locks in foul sluttish hairs," 

seems to be' unconnected with the preceding, and 
to mark a superstition, which, as Dr. Warburton 
has observed, may have originated from the plica 
P'jlonica, which was supposed to be the operation 

of the wicked elves, whence the clotted hair was 
called elf-locks, and elf-knots. Thus Edgar talks 
of " elfing all his hair in knots." 

21 Scene V. — " Remove the court cupboard." 

The court cupboard was the ornamental side- 
board, set out with salvers and beakers on days of 
festivity. We have in a play of 1599, "accom- 
plished the court cupboard;" and in another by 
Chapman, in 1006, " Here shall stand my court 
cupboard with its furniture of plate." In Italy, 
the art of Benveuuto Cellini was lavished upon 
the exquisite ornaments of the court cupboard. 
In the following engraving is exhibited one of the 
rich court cupboards of the period of Elizabeth, 
set out with many of those vessels of antique 
Italian workmanship which had found their way 
into this country. 


SK3B>c - _ - ^".=> = ■^BB- 



SCENE I. — An open Place adjoining Capulet 's 

Enter Roaieo. 

Rom. Can I go forward, when my heart is 
Turn back, dull earth, and find thy centre out. 
[He climbs the wall, and leaps down within it. 

Enter Benvolio and Mercutio. 

Ben. Romeo ! my cousin Romeo ! 

Mer. He is wise ; 

And, on my life, hath stolen him home to bed. 

Ben. He ran this way, and leapt this orchard 
Call, good Mercutio. 

Mer. Nay, I'll conjure too. 

Romeo! humours! madman! passion! lover! 
Appear thou in the likeness of a sigh, 
Speak but one rhyme, and I am satisfied. 
Cry but— Ah me ! pronounce a but love and dove ; 
Speak to my gossip Yenus one fair word, 
One nick-name for her purblind son and heir, 
Young Abraham b Cupid, he that shot so trim, 

a (A) has pronounce; the subsequent quartos and the 
first folio, provaunt; the second folio, couply. Steevens 
desired to retain proiant, to provide, from the noun provant, 
provision. . __ . , . 

b All the old copies have "Abraham." Upton changed 
it to "Adam," which modern editors have adopted, sup- 
posing the allusion, "he that shot so trim," was to the 
Adam Bell of the old Ballad, to whom Shakspere has also 
alluded in Much Ado about Nothing : " he that hits me, let 
him be clapped on the shoulder and called Adam. But the 

When king Cophetua lov'd the beggar-maid. 1 — 
He heareth not, he stirreth not, he moveth not ; 
The ape a is dead, and I must conjure him. — 
I conjure thee by Rosaline's bright eyes, 
By her high forehead, and her scarlet lip, 
By her fine foot, straight leg, and quivering thigh, 
And the demesnes that there adjacent lie, 
That in thy likeness thou appear to us. 

Ben. An if he hear thee, thou wilt anger him. 

Mer. This cannot anger him: 'twould anger 
To raise a spirit in his mistress' circle 
Of some strange nature, letting it there stand 
Till she had laid it, and conjur'd it down; 
That were some spite : my invocation 
Is fair and honest, and, in his mistress' name, 
I conjure only but to raise up him. 

Ben. Come, he hath hid himself among these 
To be consorted with the humorous b night : 

word " trim," which is the reading of the first quarto (the 
subsequent editions giving us " true"), is distinctly derived 
from the " Ballad of King Cophetua and the Beggar-maid. 
" The blinded boy, that shoots so trim, 

From heaven down did hie, 
He drew a dart, and shot at him, 

In place where he did lie." 
With all submission to the opinion otPttey.jho^ov^ttve 
readin" of Upton, we think that the change of Abraham into 
Adam°was uncalled for. Abraham conveys another idta 
fh d an m thIt a of "Cupid's archery, which is strongly enough .con- 
veyed. The " Abraham " Cupid is the cheat-the ADranam 

""a" rL°U-an d exprtslon of kind.y familiarity, applied 
to a voting man. 
b Humorous, dewy,— vaporous. 


&< r II.] 



Blind is Lis love, and best befits the dark. 

'/ r. If love be blind, love cannot hit the 
Now will he sit under a medlar tree, 
And wish his mistress wore that kind of fruit, 
As maids call medlars, when they laugh 

alone. a — 
Romeo, good night : — 1 11 to my truckle-bed ; ; 
This field-bed is too cold for me to sleep : 
Come, shall we go ? 

Ben. Go, theu ; for 't is in vain 

To seek him here, that means not to be found. 


SCENE II.— Capulct '* Garden. 

Enter Romeo. 

Rom. He jests at scars, that never felt a 

wound. — 

[Juliet appears above, at a window. 
But, soft ! what light through yonder window 

breaks ! 
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun ! — 
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon, 
"Who is already sick aud pale with grief, 
That thou her maid art far more fair than she : 
Be not her maid, b since she is envious ; 
Her vestal livery is but sick aud green, 
And none but fools do wear it ; cast it off. — 
It is my lady : O, it is my love : 
O, that she knew she were ! — 
She speaks, yet she says nothing ; What of that ? 
Her eye discourses, I will answer it. — 
I am too bold, 't is not to me she speaks : 

a There are two lines here omit ted in the text of Steeveus' 
edition, which Malone has restored to the text. Tlieiinesare 
gross, — but the crossness is obscure, and, if it were under- 
stood, could scarcely be called corrupting. The freedoms of 
Mercutio arise out of his dramatic character ; — his exuberant 
spirits lietray him into levities which are constantly opposed 
to the intellectual refinement which rises above such baser 
matter. But P'pe rejected these lines— Pope, who, in the 
Rape of the Lock, has introduced one couplet, at least, that 
would have disgraced the age of Elizabeth. We do not print 
the two lines of Shakspere. for they can only interest the 
rerbal critic. But we distinctly record their omission. As 
far as we have been able to trace — and we have gone through 
the old editions with an especial reference to this m 
these two lines constitute the only passage in the original 
editions which has been om I n editors. With 

this exception, there is not a passage in Shukspere which 
is not reprinted in every edition except that of Mr. Bowdler. 
And yet the writer in Lardner's Cyclopaedia (Lives of Lite- 
rary and Scientific Men), has ventured to make the follow- 
ing assertion : " Whoever hot looked into the original editions 
of his dramas will be disgusted with the obscenity of his allu- 
sions. They absolutely teem with the grossest improprieties 
— more gross by far than can be found in any contempo- 
rary dramatist." The insinuation that the original editions 
contain improprieties that are not to he found in modern edi- 
tion', is difficult to characterise without using expressions 
that had better be avoided. 

b Be not a votary to Diana, — the 

" Queen and huntress, chaste and fair," 
of Ben Jon6on's beautiful hymn. 


Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven, 
Having some business, do entreat her i 
To twinkle in their spheres till they return. 
What if hex eyes wore there, they in her head ? 
The brightness of her cheek woidd shame those 

As daylight doth a lamp ; her eye in heaven 
Would through the airy region stream so bright, 
That birds would sing and think it were not 

See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand ! 
0, that I were a glove upon that hand, 
That I might touch that cheek ! 

Jul. Ah me ! 

Rom. She speaks : — 

0, speak again, bright angel ! for thou art 
As glorious to this night, being o'er my head, 
As is a winged messenger of heaven 
Unto the white-upturned wond'ring eyes 
Of mortals, that fall back to gaze on hhn, 
When he bestrides the lazy-pacing a clouds, 
And sails upon the bosom of the air. 

Jul. Romeo, Romeo ! wherefore art thou 
Romeo ? 
Deny thy father, and refuse thy name ; 
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, 
Aud I '11 no longer be a Capulet. 

Rom. Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this? 


Jul. 'T is but thy name that is my enemy ; — 
Thou art thyself, though b not a Montague. 
What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot, 
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part 
Belonging to a man. 0, be some other name ! ' 
What 's in a name ? that which we call a rose, 
By any other name d would smell as sweet ; 
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd, 
Retain that dear perfection which he owes, 
Without that title : — Romeo, doff thy name ; 
And for thy e name, which is no part of thee, 
Take all myself. 

Rom. I take thee at thy word : 

Call me but love, and I '11 be new baptiz'd ; 
Henceforth I never will be Romeo. 

Jul. What man art thou, that thus bcscrecn'tl 
in night, 
So stumblcst on my counsel ? 

Rom. By a name 

I know not how to tell thee who I am ; 

■ So {A ). The folio and (C), puffing. 

b Juliet p'.aces his personal qualities in opposition to what 
she thought evil of his family. 

c There is a confusion in the folio and (C), which Malone 
here appears to have put right, by making out a line, witli 
the aid of (A). The folio omits " O, be some other name." 

ilSo(.t). The folio and (C), t 

o So (C) and folio. (A), thit. 



[Scene 11 

My name, dear saint, is hateful to myself, 

Because it is an enemy to thee ; 

Had I it written I would tear the word. 

Jul. My ears have yet not drunk a hundred 
Of thy tongue's uttering," yet I know the sound ; 
Art thou not Romeo, and a Montague ? 

Rom. Neither, fair maid, b if either thee dislike. 
Jul. How cam'st thou hither, tell me ? and 
wherefore ? 
The orchard walls are high and hard to climb ; 
And the place death, considering who thou art, 
If any of my kinsmen find thee here. 

Rom. With love's light wings did I o'er-perch 
these walls ; 
for stony limits cannot hold love out : 
And what love can do, that dares love attempt ; 
Therefore thy kinsmen are no stop d to me. 
Jul. If they do see thee, they will murder thee. 
Rom. Alack! there lies move peril in thine 
Than twenty of then swords; look thou but sweet, 
And I am proof against their enmity. 

Jul. I would not for the world they saw thee 

Rom. I have night's cloak to hide me from 
their eyes ; e 
And, but thou love me/ let them find me here : 
My life were better ended by then hate, 
Than death prorogued, wanting of thy love. 
Jul. By whose direction found'st thou out 

this place ? 
Rom. By love, that first did prompt me to 
He lent me counsel, and 1 lent him eyes. 
I am no pilot ; yet, wert thou as far 
As that vast shore vvash'd with the farthest sea, 
I would g adventure for such merchandise. 
Jul. Thou know'st the mask of night is on my 
Else would a maiden blush bepaint my cheek, 
Eor that which thou hast heard me speak to- 


Fain would I dwell on form, fain, fain deny 
What I have spoke. But farewell compliment ! h 
Dost thou love me? I know thou wilt say— Ay ; 
And I will take thy word : yet, if thou swear'st, 
Thou may'st prove false; at lovers' perjuries, 
They say, Jove laughs. 0, gentle Romeo, 
If thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully : 

a The folio and (C), thy tongues uttering. [A), "»*< 
tongue's utterance. 

b In (A), saint. , ., ... 

c DisHfce— displease, d In (A), let. e In [A), sight. 

( But thou love me.— So thou do but love me. 
eSo{A). In folio and (C), should. 
h Farewell compliment— farewell respect for forms. 

Tragedies. — Vol. L D 

Or, if thou thiuk'st I am too quickly won, 
I '11 frown, and be perverse, and say thee nay, 
So thou wilt woo ; but, else, not for the world. 
In truth, fair Montague, I am too fond ; 
And therefore thou may'st think my havioiu 

But trust me, gentleman, I '11 prove more true 
That those that have more cunning 51 to be 

I should have been more strange, I must confess, 
But that thou overheard' st, ere I was ware, 
My true love's passion: therefore pardon me; 
And not impute this yielding to light love, 
Which the dark night hath so discovered. 

Rom. Lady, by yonder blessed moon I swear, b 
That tips with silver all these fruit-tree tops, — 
Jul. 0, swear not by the moon, the inconstant 
That monthly changes in her circled orb, 
Lest that thy love prove likewise variable. 
Rom. What shall I swear by ? 
Jul. Do not swear at all ; 

Or, if thou wilt, swear by thy gracious self, 
Which is the god of my idolatry, 
And I '11 believe thee. 

Rom. If my heart's dear love — 

Jul. Well, do not swear : 3 although I joy in 
I have no joy of this contract to-night : 
It is too rash, too unadvis'd, too sudden; 
Too like the lightning, which doth cease to be 
Ere one can say— It lightens. Sweet, good 

night ! 
This bud of love, by summer's ripenitg breath, 
May prove a beauteous flower when next we 

Good night, good night ! as sweet repose and 

Come to thy heart, as that within my breast ! 
Rom. 0, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied ? 
Jul. What satisfaction canst thou have to- 
night ? 
Rom. The exchange of thy love's faithful vow 

for mine. 
Jul. I gave thee mine before thou didst 
request it : 
And yet I would it were to give again. 

Rom. Wouldst thou withdraw it? for what 

purpose, love ? 
Jul. But to be frank, and give it thee again. 
And yet I wish but for the thing I have : 
My bounty is as boundless as the sea, 
My love as deep ; the more I give to thee, 

a So {A). 
b S3 {A). 

In folio and ((.'), coymg. 
In folio and (C), vow. 

Act ri.] 


[Scene III. 

The more I have, for both arc infinite. 

[Nurse call* within. 
I hear some noise within ; Dear love, adieu ! 
Anon, good nurse ! — Sweel Montague, be true. 
S J hut a little, I will come again. [Exit. 

• » blessed, blessed night ! I am afcani. 
Bciug in night, all this is but a dream, 
Too flattering-sweet to be substantial. 

nter Juliet, above. 

Jul. Three words, dear Romeo, and good 
night, indeed. 
If that thy bent of love be honourable, 
Thy purpose marriage, send me word to-morrow, 
By one that I '11 procure to come to thee, 
"Where, aud what time, thou wilt perform the rite; 
And all my fortunes at thy foot I '11 lay, 
And follow thee my lord throughout the world. 
Nurse. {Within^ Madam. 
////. I come, anon : — But if thou mean'st not 
I do beseech thee — 

Nurse. [777*7//;/.] Madam. 
Jul. By aud by, I come : — 

To cease thy strife and leave me to my grief: 
To-morrow will I send. 

Bom. So thrive my soul, — 

Jul. .A thousand times good night ! [Exit, 
Rom. A thousand times the worse to want 
thy light- 
Love goes toward love, as schoolboys from their 

books ; 
But love from love, toward school with heavy 
looks. [^Retiring slowly. 

Re-enter Juliet, abc 

Jul Hist ! Romeo, hist ! — 0, for a falconer's 
To lure this tassel-gentle back again ! 4 
Bondage is hoarse, and may not speak aloud ; 

would I tear the cave where echo lies, 
And make her any tongue more hoarse than mine 
With repetition of my Romeo. a 

. It is my soul, that calls upon my name : 
silver-sweet sound lovers' tongues by night, 
Like softest music to attending ears ! 
R' My — 

me. [Within!] Madam. 
J/'t. What o'clock to-morrow b 

Shall I send to tl 

"■ In {A), my llomrn't name. 
•> This passage is ordinarily printed thus : — 
Jul. Romeo. 
Horn. My ■ 

Jul. Al what o'clock to-morrow — 

ily :u-ret was substituted by the editor of the second folio 

m. By the hour of nine. 

I will not fail; 'tis twenty years till then. 
I have forgot why I did call thee back. 

fi n. Let me stand here till thou remember it. 
. I shall forget, to have thee still stand there, 
Remem'bring how I love thy company. 

22 . And I'll still stay, to have thec still 
Forgetting any other home but this. 

Jul. 'Tis almost morning, I would have thee 
gone : 
And yet no further than a wanton's bird ; 
Who lets it hop a little from her hand, 
Like a poor prisoner in his twisted gyves, 
And with a silk thread plucks it back again, 
So loving-jealous of his liberty. 
Rom. I would I were thy bird. 
Jul. Sweet, so would I : 

Yet I should kill thee with much cherishing. 
Good night, good night ! partiug is such sweet 

That I shall say good night, till it be morrow. 


Rom. Sleep dwell upon thine eyes, peace in 

thy breast! — 

'Would I were sleep aud peace, so sweet to rest ! 

Hence will I to my ghostly friar's close a cell ; 

His help to crave, and my dear hap to tell. [Exit. 

SCENE EI.— Friar Laurence's Cell. 

Enter Friar Laurence, with a basket. 

Fri. The grey-ey'd mora smiles on the frown- 
ing night, 
Checkering the eastern clouds with streaks of 

light ; 
And flecked b darkness like a drunkard reels 
From forth day's path, and Titan's fiery wheels : c 
Now ere the sun advance his burning eye, 
The day to cheer, and night's dank dew to dry, 

for My neece, which is the reading of the first folio, and of 
the second and third quarto*. In the first quarto we have 
Madam, which Malone adopts. But in the first quarto 
there is no interruption at all by the Nurse; whilst in the 
second quarto she has twice before used the word Madam : 
— and, consequently, the poet, in his amended copy, avoided 
the use by Roineo of a title which hail just been used l.y 

rse. We believe that the word Neece is altogether a 
mistake, — that the word Nurse was written, as denoting a 
third interruption by her— and that Madam, the use of 
which was the firm of the interruption, was omitted acci 
dentally, or was supposed to be implied by the word Nurse. 

have printed the passage the metre is correct ; and it 
is to be observed that in the second quarto and the subse- 
quent copies, at before "what o'clock," which was in the 
first quarto, is omitted, showing that a word of two syllables 
after my when al was rejected. Zachary Jack- 
son, instead Of nirce, would read novice. 

itaostly father's cell." 

— dappled. 

c So (A). It is remarkable that in the folio and (C) these 

four lines, with a slight alteration, are also introduced before 

the two last lines of Romeo's previous speech. It appears to 

us that the poet was making experiments upon the margin 

Act II.] 


[Scene III. 

I must up-fill this osier cage of ours, 

With baleful weeds, and precious-juiced flowers. 

The earth, that 's nature's mother, is her tomb ; 3 

What is ber burying grave, that is her womb : 

And from her womb children of divers kind 

We sucking on her natural bosom find : 

Many for many virtues excellent, 

None but for some, and vet all different.* 

0, mickle is the powerful grace, that lies 

In herbs, plants, stones, and then- true qualities : 

For nought so vile that on the earth doth live, 

But to the earth some special good doth give ; 

Nor aught so good, but, strain'd from that fair 

Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse : 
Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied ; 
And vice sometime 's bv action di°'nified. 
Within the infant rind of this weak b flower 
Poison hath residence, and med'cine power : 
For this, being smelt, with that part cheers each 

part ; 
Being tasted, slays all senses with the heart. 
Two such opposed kings c encamp them still 
In man as well as herbs, — grace, and rude 

And, where the worser is predominant, 
Full soon the canker death eats up that plant. 

Enter Romeo. 

Rom. Good morrow, father ! 

Fri. Benedicite ! 

What early tongue so sweet saluteth me ? — 
Young son, it argues a distemper 'd head, 
So soon to bid good morrow to thy bed : 
Care keeps his watch in every old man's eye, 
And where care lodges, sleep will never lie ; 
But were unbruised youth with unstuff 'd brain 
Doth couch his limbs, there golden sleep doth 

reign : 
Therefore thy earliness doth me assure, 
Thou art up-rous 'd by some distemp'rature, 
Or if not so, then here I hit it right — 
Our Romeo hath not been in bed to-night. 

Rom. That last is true, the sweeter rest was 

cf the first copy of the change of a word or so, and leaving 
the MS. upon the page, without obliterating the original 
passage, it came to be inserted twice. The lines, as given to 
Romeo, stand thus in the quarto of 1609, and in the folio : — 
" The grey-ey'd morn smiles on the frowning night, 
Checkering the eastern clouds with streaks of light ; 
And darkness fleckel'd, like a drunkard reels 
From forth day's path-way, made by Titan's wheels." 
a Six lines, ending with this line, are not in (A). 
b In (A), small. 

c In (A), foes. In the other ancient editions, 'tings. 
Opposed foes has not the propriety of opposed kings — a 
thoroughly Shaksperean phrase. 


Fri. God pardon sin ! wast thou with Rosa- 
Rom. With Rosaline, my ghostly father? no; 
1 have forgot that name, and that name's woe. 
Fri. That 's my good son : But where hast 

thou been then ? 
Rom. I '11 tell thee, ere thou ask it me again. 
I have been feasting with mine enemy ; 
Where, on a sudden, one hath wounded me, 
That 's by me wounded ; both our remedies 
Within thy help and holy physic lies ; 6 
I bear no hatred, blessed man ; for, lo, 
My intercession likewise steads my foe. 

Fri. Be plain, good son, and homely in thy 
drift ; 
Riddling confession finds but riddling shrift. 
Rom. Then plainly know, my heart's dear love 
is set 
On the fair daughter of rich Capulet : 
As mine on hers, so hers is set on mine ; 
And all combin'd, save what thou must combine 
By holy marriage : When, and where, and how, 
V, e met, we wooed, and made exchange of vow, 
I '11 tell thee as we pass ; but this I pray, 
That thou consent to marry us to-day. 

Fri. Holy Saint Francis ! what a change is 
here ! 
Is Rosaline, that thou didst love so dear, 
So soon forsaken ? young men's love then lies 
Not truly in their hearts, but hi then- eyes. 
Jesu Maria ! what a deal of brine 
Hath wash'd thy sallow cheeks for Rosaline I 
How much salt water thrown away in waste, 
To season love, that of it doth not taste ! 
The sun not yet thy sighs from heaven clears, 
Thy old groans ring yet in my ancient ears ; 
Lo, here upon thy cheek the stain doth sit 
Of an old tear that is not wash'd off yet : 
If e'er thou wast thyself, and these woes thine, 
Thou and these woes were all for Rosaline ; 
And art thou chang'd ? pronounce this sentence 

then — 
Women may fall, when there 's no strength in 
Rom. Thou chidd'st me oft for loving Rosa- 
Fri. For doting, not for loving, pupil mine. 
Rom. And bad'st me bury love. 
Fri, Not in a grave 

To lay one in, another out to have. 

Rom. I pray thee, chide not: she, whom 1 
love now, 
Doth grace for grace and love for love allow ; 
The other did not so. 

Fri O, she knew well, 


A'T II. 


[Scene IV. 

T.v love did read by rote, and could not spell. 
But come, young waverer, come go with me, 
In one respect 1 '11 t li v assistant be ; 
For this alliance may so happy prove, 
I'd turn your households' rancour to pure love. 
Rom. O, let us hence ; I stand on sudden 

/'//. Wisely, and slow ; They stumble, that 
run fast. [Exeunt. 

SCENE IV.- J Street. 

Enter Benyolio and Mercutio. 

. Where the devil should this Romeo 
Came he not home to-night ? 

. Not to his father's ; I spoke with his 

Mer. Why, that same pale hard-hearted 
wench, that Bosaline, 
Torments him so, that he will sure run mad. 

Ben. Tybalt, the kinsman of old Capidet, 
Hath sent a letter to his father's house. 

Mer. A challenge, on my life. 

Ben. Borneo will answer it. 

Mi r. Any man, that can write, may answer a 

Ben. Nay, he will answer the letter's master, 
how he dares, being dared. 

Mt r. Alas, poor Borneo, he is already dead ! 
stabbed with a white wench's black eye ; shot 
thorough the ear with a love-song ; the very pin a 
of his heart cleft with the blind bow-boy's butt- 
shaft ; And is he a man to encounter Tybalt ': 

Ben. Why, what is Tybalt ? 

Mer. More than prince of cats, b I can tell you. 
O, he is the courageous captain of compliments. 
He fights as you sing prick-song c keeps time, 
distance, and proportion; rests me his minim 
rest, one, two, and the third in your bosom : the 
very butcher of a silk button, a duellist, a duel- 
list ; " a gentleman of the very first house, — of 
the first and second cause : Ah, the immortal 
passado ! the puncto reverso ! the hay ! 

Ben. The what ? 

•. The pox of such antic, lisping, affect- 
ing fantasticoes ; these new tuners of accents ! — 
By Jesu, a very good blade ! — a very tall man ! — 
a very good whore ! — Why, is not this a lament- 

m The centre of the target, where the pin fastened the 

'■ Tybert U tiie name given to ihe cat in the story of 
Kcynard the Fox. 

Prick-iong, music pricked, or noted, down, so as to read 
according to rule; in contradistinction to music lear:it by 
the ear, or sung from memory. 


able thing, grandsirc, that wc should be thus 
afflicted with these strange flies, these fashion- 
mongers, these pardon-met, who stand so much 
on the new form, that they cannot sit at ease ou 
the old bench ? O, their bom, their bons ! 

Enter Boueo. 

Ben. Here comes Borneo, here comes Borneo. 

Mer. Without his roe, like a dried herring: — 
0, flesh, flesh, how art thou fishificd ! — Now is 
he for the numbers that Petrarch flowed in : 
Laura, to his lady, was but a kitchen-wench ; — 
marry, she had a better love to be-rhyme her : 
Dido, a dowdy ; Cleopatra, a gipsy ; Helen and 
Hero, hildings and harlots ; Thisbe, a grey eye 
or so, a but not to the purpose. — Signior Borneo, 
bonjour! there's a French salutation to your 
French slop. You gave us the counterfeit fairly 
last night. 

Rom. Good morrow to you both. What coun- 
terfeit did I give you ? 

Mer. The slip, sir, the slip ; 8 Cau you not 
conceive ? 

Rom. Pardon, good Mercutio, my business 
was great ; and, in such a case as mine, a man 
may strain courtesy. 

Mer. That 's as much as to say— such a case 
as yours constrains a man to bow in the hams. 

Rom. Meaning — to court'sy. 

Mer. Thou hast most kindly hit it. 

Rom. A most courteous exposition. 

Mer. Nay, I am the very pink of courtesy. 

Rom. Pink for flower. 

Mer. Bight. 

Rom. Why, then is my pump well flowered b 

Mer. Sure wit. c Follow me this jest now, till 
thou hast worn out thy pump ; that, when the 
single sole of it is worn, the jest may remain, 
after the wearing, solely singular. 

Rom. O single-soled jest, solely singular for 
the singleness ! 

Mer. Come between us, good Benvolio ; my 
wits faint. 

Rom. Switch and spurs, switch and spurs ; or 
I '11 cry a match. 

Mer. Nay, if our wit s run the wild-goose chase,' 
I have done ; for thou hast more of the wild- 
goose in one of thy wits, than, I am sure, I have 
in my whole five : Was I with you there for the 
goose ? 

* The grey eye — the blue eye — was the most beautiful. 
In the Venus and Adonis, Venus says, "Thine eyes are 

n The pump was the shoe. Wc retain the word. The 
rib' ons in the pump were shaped as flowers. 
c In {A], Hell .«, id. 

Act II.] 


[Scene IV. 

Rom. Thou wast never with me for anything, 
when thou wast not there for the goose. 

Mer. I will bite thee by the ear for that jest. 

Rom. Nay, good goose, bite not. 

Mer. Thy wit is a very bitter sweeting ; a it is 
a most sharp sauce. 

Rom. And is it not well served in to a sweet 
goose ? 

Mer. O, here's a wit of cheverel, b that stretches 
from an inch narrow to an ell broad ! 

Rom. I stretch it out for that word — broad : 
which added to the goose, proves thee far and 
wide a broad goose. 

Mer. Why, is not this better now than groan- 
ing for love? 10 now art thou sociable, now art 
thou Romeo ; now art thou what thou art, by art 
as well as by nature : for this drivelling love is 
like a great natural, that rims lolling up and 
down to hide his bauble in a hole. 

Ben,. Stop there, stop there. 

Mer. Thou desirest me to stop in my tale 
against the hair. 

Ben. Thou woiddst else have made thy tale 

Mer. O, thou art deceived, I would have made 
it short : for I was come to the whole depth of 
my tale : and meant, indeed, to occupy the 
argument no longer. 

Rom. Here's goodly gear! 

Enter Nurse and Peter. 

Mer. A sail, a sail, a sail ! 

Ben. Two, two ; a shirt, aud a smock. 

Nurse. Peter! 

Peter. Anon? 

Nurse. My fan, Peter. 11 

Mer. Good Peter, to hide her face ; for her 
fan 's the fairer face. 

Nurse. God ye good morrow, gentlemen. 

Mer. God ye good den, fair gentlewoman. 

Nurse. Is it good den ? 12 

Mer. 'T is no less, I tell you ; for the bawdy 
hand of the dial is now upon the prick of noon. 

Nurse. Out upon you ! what a man are you ! 

Rom. One, gentlewoman, that God hath made 
himself to mar. 

Nurse. By my troth, it is well said ;— Por him- 
self to mar, quoth'a ? —Gentlemen, can any of 
you tell me where I may find the young Romeo ? 

Rom. I can tell you ; but young Romeo will 
be older when you have found Mm, than he was 

;> The name of an apple. 

t> Kid leather — from cheweuill — a roebuck. 

when you sought him : I am the youngest of 
that name, for 'fault of a worse. 

Nurse. You say well. 

Mer. Yea, is the worst well ? very well took, 
i' faith; wisely, wisely. 

Nurse. If you be he, sir, I desire some con- 
fidence with you. 

Ben. She will indite him to some supper. 

Mer. A bawd, a bawd, a bawd ! So ho ! 

Rom. What hast thou found ? 

Mer. No hare, sir ; unless a hare, sir, in a 
lenten pie, that is something stale and hoar eve 
it be spent. 

An old hare hoar, 

And an old hare hoar, 
Is very good meat in lent : 

But a hare that is hoar, 

Is too much for a score, 
When it hoars ere it be spent.— 

Romeo, will you come to your father's ? we '11 
to dinner thither. 

Rom. I will follow you. 

Mer. Parewell, ancient lady; farewell, lady, 
lady, lady. 

[Exeunt Merctjtio and Benvolio. 

Nurse. Marry, farewell! — I pray you, sir, 
what saucy merchant 13 was this, that was so full 
of his ropery ? 

Rom. A gentleman, nurse, that loves to hear 
himself talk ; and will speak more in a minute, 
than he will stand to in a month. 

Nurse. An 'a speak anything against me, I '11 
take him down an 'a were lustier than he is, and 
twenty such Jacks ; and if I cannot, I '11 find 
those that shall. Scurvy knave ! I am none of 
his flirt-gills ; I am none of his skains-mates : — 
And thou must stand by too, and suffer every 
knave to use me at his pleasure ? 

Pet. I saw no man use you at his pleasure : 
if I had, my weapon should quickly have been 
out, I warrant you : I dare draw as soon as 
another man, if I see occasion in a good quarrel, 
and the law on my side. 

Nurse. Now, afore God, I am so vexed, that 
every part about me quivers. Scurvy knave ! — 
Pray you, sir, a word : and as I told you, my 
young lady bade me inquire you out ; what she 
bade me say, I will keep to myself : but first let 
me tell ye, if ye should lead her into a fool's 
paradise, as they say, it were a very gross kind 
of behaviour, as they say : for the gentlewoman is 
young ; and, therefore, if you should deal double 
With her, truly it were an ill thing to be offered 
to any gentlewoman, and very weak dealing. 

Rom. Nurse, commend me to thy lady and 
mistress. I protest unto thee, — 

r -7 

Acr 11.] 



Nurse. Good heart ! and, ['faith, I will tell her 
as much: Lord, lord, she will be a joyful 

. What wilt thou tell her, nurse? thou 
dost not mark me. 

1 will tell her, sir, — that you do pro- 
test ; whieh, as 1 take it, is a gentlemanlike 

B ,./. Bid her devise some means to come to 
This afternoon ; 

And there she shall at friar Laurence' cell 
Be shriv'd, and married. Here is for thy 
rse. No, truly, sir ; not a penny. 
Rom. Go to; 1 say, you shall. 
Nurse. This afternoon, sir ? well, she shall 
be there. 
Rom. And stay, good nurse, behind the abbey- 
wall : ' 
Within this hour my man shall be with thee ; 
And bring thee cords made like a tackled stair: 
Which to the high top-gallant of my joy 
Must be my convoy in the secret night. 
Farewell ! — Be trusty, and I '11 quite thy pains. 
Farewell ! — Commend me to thy mistress. 
Nurse. Now God in heaven bless thee ! — 

Hark you, sir. 
Rom. What say'st thou, my dear muse ? 
Nurse. Is your man secret ? Did you ne'er 
hear say 
Two may keep counsel, putting one away ? 
Rom. I warrant thee; my man's as true as 

Nurse. Well, sir ; my mistress is the sweetest 
lady — Lord, lord ! — when 't was a little prating 
thing, — O, there 's a nobleman in town, one 
Paris, that would fain lay knife aboard ; but she, 
good soul, had as lieve see a toad, a very toad, 
as see him. I anger her sometimes, and tell 
bat Paris is the properer man; but, I'll 
warrant you, when I say so, she looks as 
pale as any clout in the varsal world. Doth 
not rosemary and Romeo begin both with a 
letter r" 
Rom. Ay, nurse ; What of that P both with 
an R. 
rse. Ah, mocker! that's the dog's name. 
R is for the dog." No; I know it begins with 
some other letter: and she hath the prettiest 
sententious of it, of you and rosemary, that it 
would do you good to hear it. a 

2 m. Commend me to thy lady. [Exit. 

a All this diaiosue, bom " Commend me to tliy mis- 
tress," is not in (A) 


Nurse. Ay, a thousand times. — Peter ! 

Pet. Anon ? 

Nurse. Before, and apace. [Exeunt. 

SCENE V.— Capulct's Garden. 
Enter Juliet. 

Jul. The clock struck nine, when I did send 

the nurse ; 
In half an hour she promis'd to return. 
Perchance, she cannot meet him ; — that 's not 

so. — 
0, she is lame ! love's heralds should be 

Which ten times faster glide than the sun's 

Driving back shadows over low'ring hills : 
Therefore do nimble-pinion'd doves draw love, 15 
And therefore hath the wind-swift Cupid wings. 
Now is the sun upon the highmost hill 
Of this day's journey ; and from nine till 

Is three long hours, — yet she is not come. 
Had she affections, and warm youthful blood, 
She'd be as swift in motion as a ball; 
My words would bandy her to my sweet love, 
x\nd his to me : 

But old folks, many feign as they were dead ; 
Unwieldy, slow, heavy and pale as lead. 

Enter Nurse and Peter. 

God, she comes ! — honey nurse, what 

news ? 
Hast thou met with him ? Send thy man away. 
Nurse. Peter, stay at the gate. [Exit Peter. 
Jul. Now, good sweet nurse, — lord ! why 
look'st thou sad ? 
Though news be sad, yet tell them merrily ; 
If good, thou sham'st the music of sweet news 
By playing it to me with so sour a face. 

se. I am aweary, give mc leave a while : — 
Fie, how my bones ache ! What a jaunt have 
I had ! 
Jul. I would thou hadst my bones, and I thy 
news : 

Nay, come, 1 pray thee, speak ; — good, good 

nurse, speak. 
•se. Jesu, What haste? can you not staj 
a while ? 
Do you i I hat I am out of breath ? 

■' In {A), Juliet's soliloquy end) Iter*. 

Act II.] 


[Scene VI. 

Jul. How art thou out of breath, when thou 
hast breath 
To say to me — that thou art out of breath ? 
The excuse that thou dost make in this delay 
Is longer than the tale thou dost excuse. 
Is thy news good, or bad ? answer to that ; 
Say either, and I '11 stay the circumstance : 
Let me be satisfied, Is 't good or bad ? 

Nurse. Well, you have made a simple choice ; 
you know not how to choose a man : Romeo ! 
no, not he ; though his face be better than any 
man's, yet his leg excels all men's; and for a 
hand, and a foot, and a body, — though they be 
not to be talked on, yet they are past compare : 
He is not the flower of courtesy, — but, I'll 
warrant him, as gentle as a lamb. — Go thy ways, 
wench ; serve God. — What, have you dined at 

Jul. No, no : But all this did I know before ; 
What says he of our marriage ? what of that ? 
Nurse. Lord, how my head aches ! what a 
head have I ! 
It beats as it would fall in twenty pieces, 
My back o' t' other side, — O, my back, my 

back !— 
Beshrew your heart, for sending me about, 
To catch my death with jaunting up and 
down ! 
Jul. I' faith, I am sorry that thou art not 
Sweet, sweet, sweet nurse, tell me, what says 
my love ? 
Nurse. Tour love says, like an honest gentle- 
And a courteous, and a kind, and a handsome, 
And, I warrant, a virtuous : — Where is your 
mother ? 
Jul. Where is my mother?— why, she is 
Where should she be ? How oddly thou repliest : 
Your love says, like an honest gentleman, — 
Where is your mother ? 

Nurse. O, God's lady dear ! 

Are you so hot ? Marry, come up, I trow ; 
Is this the poultice for my aching bones ? 
Henceforward do your messages yourself. 

Jul. Here's such a coil, — Come, what says 

Romeo ? 
Nurse. Have you got leave to go to shrift 

to-day ? 
Jul. I have. 

Nurse. Then hie you hence to friar Laurence' 
There stays a husband to make you a wife ; 
Now comes the wanton blood up in your cheeks, 

They '11 be in scarlet straight at any news. 
Hie you to church ; I must another way, 
To fetch a ladder, by the which your love 
Must climb a bird's nest soon, when it is dark : 
I am the drudge, and toil in your delight ; 
But you shall bear the burden soon at night. 
Go, I '11 to dinner ; hie you to the cell. 

Jul. Hie to high fortune ! — honest nurse, 
farewell. [Exeunt. 

SCENE VI.— Friar Laurence's Cell. 

Enter Friar Latjrexce and Roieeo." 

Fri. So smile the heavens upon this holy act 
That after-hours with sorrow chide us not ! 

Rom. Amen, amen! but come what sorrow 
It cannot countervail the exchange of joy 
That one short minute gives me in her sight : 
Do thou but close our hands with holy words, 
Then love-devouring death do what he dare, 
It is enough I may but call her mine. 

Fri. These violent delights have violent ends. 
And in their triumph die ; like fire and powder, 
Which, as they kiss, consume : The sweetest 

Is loathsome in his own delieiousness, 
And in the taste confounds the appetite : 
Therefore, love moderately ; long love doth so ; 
Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow. 

Enter Juliet. 

Here comes the lady ; — O, so light a foot 
Will ne'er wear out the everlasting flint : 
A lover may bestride the gossamer 
That idles in the wanton summer air, 
And yet not fall ; so light is vanity. 

Jul. Good even to my ghostly confessor. 

Fri. Romeo shall thank thee, daughter, for 
us both. 

Jul. As much to him, else are his thanks too 

Rom. Ah, Juliet, if the measure of thy joy 
Be heap'd like mine, and that thy skill be more 
To blazon it, then sweeten with thy breath 
This neighbour air, and let rich music's tongue 
Unfold the imagin'd happiness that both 
Receive in either by this dear encounter. 

Jul. Conceit, more rich in matter than in 
Brags of his substance, not of ornament : 
They are but beggars that can count their worth ; 

•i This scene was entirely re-written, after Hi; firs! 

Act II.] 


[Scene VI. 

But my true love is grown to such excess, 
I cannot sum up half my sum of wealth. 

Fri. Come, come, with me, and we will irmke 
short work ; 

For, by your leaves, you shall not stay alone, 
Till holy church incorporate two in one. 



1 Scene I.— "When King Cophetualov'd the beggar- 

The ballad of King Cophetua and the Beggar- 
maid was amongst the most popular of old Eng- 
lish ballads, allusions to which were familiar to 
Shakspere's audience. Upon the authority of 
learned Master "Moth" in Love's Labour's Lost, 
it was an ancient ballad in Shakspere's day : — 

" Armado. Is there not a ballad, boy, of the King and the 

Moth. The world was very guilty of such a ballad some 
three ages since ; but, I think, now 't is not to be found, or, if 
it were, it would neither serve for the writing nor the tune. 

Arm. I will have that subject newly writ o'er." 

We have two versions of this ballad :— the one pub- 
lished in " A Collection of Old Ballads," quoted by 
Grey, in 1754 ; the other in Percy's Reliques. Both 
of these compositions appear as if they had been 
"newly writ o'er" not long before, or perhaps 
after, Shakspere's time : we subjoin a stanza of 
each : — 

from Percy's reliques. 

" I read that once in Africa 

A princely wight did reign, 
Who had to name Cophetua, 

As poets they did feign : 
From nature's laws he did decline, 
For sure he was not of my mind, 
He cared not for womankind, 

But did them all disdain. 
But mark, what happened on a day, 
As he out of his window lay, 
He saw a beggar all in grey, 

The which did cause him pain. 
The blinded boy, that shoots so trim, 

From heaven down did hie, 
He drew a dart and shot at him, 

In place where he did lie." 


" A king once reigned beyond the seas, 
As we in ancient stories find, 
Whom no fair face could ever please, 
He cared not for womankind. 
He despis'd the sweetest beauty, 
And the greatest fortune too ; 
At length he married to a beggar ; 
See what Cupid's dart can do. 
The blind boy that shoots so trim, 
Did to his closet window steal, 
And made him soon his power feel. 
He that never cared for women, 
But did females ever hate, 
At length was smitten, wounded, swooned, 
For a beggar at his gate." 

2 Scene I. — " / 'II to my trucHe-bed." 

The original quarto has, "I'll to my trundle- 
bed." It appears somewhat strange that Mercutio 
should speak of sleeping in a truckle-bed, or a 
trundle-bed, both which words explain the sort of 
bed — a running-bed. The furniture of a sleeping- 
chamber in Shakspere's time consisted of a standing- 
bed, and a truckle-bed. " There 's his chamber, his 
house, his castle, his standing-bed, and truckle-bed," 
says mine host of the Garter, in the Merry Wives of 
Windsor. The standing-bed was for the master ; 
the truckle-bed, which ran under it, for the servant. 
It may seem strange, therefore, that Mercutio should 
talk of sleeping in the bed of his page ; but the next 
words will solve the difficulty : — 

" This field-bed is too cold for me to sleep." 

The field-bed, in this case, was the ground ; but the 
field-bed, properly so called, was the travelling- 
bed; the lit de champ, called, in old English, the 
" trussyng-bedde." The bed next beyond the luxury 
of the trussyng-bed was the truckle-bed ; and there- 
fore Shakspere naturally takes that in preference to 
the standing-bed. 

3 Scene II. — " Well, do not swear," &c. 

Coleridge has a beautiful remark on this passage, 
and on the whole of the scene, which we extract : — 
" With love, pure love, there is always an anxiety 
for the safety of the object, a disinterestedness, by 
which it is distinguished from the counterfeits of its 
name. Compare this scene with Act III. Scene I. 


of tho Tempest. I do not kn>>w a mi ire wonderful in- 
stance of Shakspere'smastery in playing a distinctly 
rememberable variety on ikr Bame remembered air, 
than iii the transporting love confessions of Borneo 
and Juliet, and Ferdinand and Miranda. There 
Beerus more passion in the one, and more dignity in 
the other ; yet you feel that the sweet girlish linger- 
ing and busy movement of Juliet, and the calmer 
and more maidenly fondness of Miranda, might 
easily pass into each other." 

* Scene II. — " 0, for a falconers voice, 

To lure this tassel-gentle back again ! " 

The falconer's voice was the voice which the hawk 
was constrained by long habit to obey. Gervase 
Markham, in his ''Country Contentments," has pic- 
turesquely described the process of training hawks 
to this obedience, " by watching and keeping them 
from sleep, by a continual carrying them upon your 
fist, and by a most familiar stroking and playing 
with them, with the wing of a dead fowl, or such 
like, and by often gazing and looking them in the 
face, with a loving and gentle countenance." A 
hawk so " manned " was brought to the hire " by 
easy degrees, and at last was taught to know the 
voice and lure so perfectly, that either upon the 
sound of the one, or sight of the other, she will pre- 
sently come in, and be most obedient." There is a 
peculiar propriety in Juliet calling Romeo hi 
sel-gentle ; for this species was amongst the most 
beautiful and elegant of hawks, and was especially 
appropriated to the use of aprinee. Ourpoetalways 
uses tho images which have been derived from his 
own experience, with exquisite propriety. In the 
Merry Wives of Windsor, FalstafFs page is the eyas- 
musket, the smallest unfledged hawk. Othello fears 
that Dcsdemona is haggard — that is, the wild hawk 

which "checks at every feather." The sport with a 
•gentle is spiritedly described by Masainger: — 

" Then, for an evening flight, 

A tiercel gentle, which I call, my masters, 

As he were b< agei to the moon, 

in such a place flics, as he seems to say, 

See me, or see ine not 1 the partridge sprung, 

lie makes his stoop ; but wanting breath, is forced 

ncelier; then, with such speed as if 
He carried lightning In his wings, he strikes 
The trembling bird, who even in death appears 
Proud to be made his quarry." 

5 Scene III. — "The earth, that's nature's mother, i& 
her tomb." 

Milton, in the second book of Paradise Lost, has 
the same idea : — 

" The womb of nature, and, perhaps, her grave." 

The editors of Milton have given a parallel passage 
in Lucretius : — 
" Omniparens, eadem rerum commune sepulchrum." 

We would ask, didShakspere and Milton go to tho 
same common source ? Farmer has not solved this 
question in his "Essay on the Learning of Skak- 

6 Scene III. — " Both our remedies 

Within thy help and holy physic liis." 

"This," says Monck Mason, "is one of the pas- 
sages in which the author has sacrificed grammar to 
rhyme." Mr. Monck Mason's observation is made 
iu the same spirit in which he calls Romeo's impas- 
sioned language " quaint jargon." Before Shak- 
was accused of sacrificing grammar, it ought 
to have been shown that his idiom was essentially 
different from that of his predecessors and his co- 
temporaries. Dr. Percy, who brought to the elu- 


dd&tion of our old authors the knowledge of an 
antiquary and the feeling of a poet, has observed, 
that " in veiy old English the third person plural 
of the present tense endeth in eth as well as the 
singular, and often familiarly in es ;" and it has 
been further explained by Mr. Toilet, that " the 
third person plural of the Anglo-Saxon present 
tense endeth in eth, and of the Dano-Saxon in es." 
Malone, we think, has rightly stated the principle 
upon which such idioms, which appear false con- 
cords to us, should becoi-rected, — that is, "to sub- 
stitute the modern idiom in all places except where 
either the metre or rhyme renders it impossible." 
But to those who can feel the value of a slight 
sprinkling of our antique phraseology, it is pleasant 
to drop upon the instances in which correction is 
impossible. We would not part with the'exquisite 
bit of false concord, as we must now term it, iu 
the last word of the four following lines, for all 
that Shakspere's grammar-correctors have ever 
written : — 

" Hark! hark ! the iark at heaven's gate sings, 
And Phoebus 'gins arise, 
His steeds to water at those springs 
On chalic'd flowers that lies." 

7 Scene IY. — " A duellist, a duellist." 

George Wither, in his obsequies upon the death 
of Prince Henry, thus introduces Britannia lameut- 

" Alas ! who now shait grace my tournaments, 
Or honour me with deeds of chivalrie ? " 

The tournaments and the chivalrie were then, how- 
over, but " an insubstantial pageant faded." Men 
had learnt to revenge their private wrongs, without 
the paraphernalia of heralds and warders. In the 
old chivalrous times they might suppress any out- 
break of hatred or passion, and cherish their malice 
against each other until it could be legally grati- 
fied ; so that, according to the phrase of Richard 
Cour-de-Lion in his ordinance for permitting tour- 
naments, '"'the peace of our land be not broken, 
nor justice kindred, nor damage done to our fo- 
rests." The private contests of two knights was a 
violation of the laws of chivalry. Chaucer has a 
remarkable exemplification of this in his " Knight's 
Tah-," where the duke, coming to the plain, saw 
Arcite and Palamon fighting like two bulls : — 

"This duke his courser with his spurres smote, 
And at a start he was betwixt them two, 
And pulled out a swori and cried, — ' Ho '. 
No more, up pam of losing of your head: 
By mighty Mars, he shall anon be dead 
That smiteth any stroke that I may seen ! 
But telleth me what mistere men ye been, 
That be so hardy for to tighten here 
YVithouten any judge or other officer, 
As though it were in listes really ' " (royally). 

That duels were frequent in England in the reign of 
Elizabeth, we might collect, if there were no other 
evidence, from Shakspere alone. The matter had 
been reduced to a science. Tybalt is the '•' courage- 
ous captain of compliments/' — a perfect master of 

punctilio, one who kills his adversary by rule — 
"one, two, and the third in your bosom." The gen- 
tleman of the '•' first and second cause" is a gentle- 
man who will quarrel upon the very slightest 
offences. The degrees in quarrelling were called 
the causes ; and these have been most happily ridi- 
culed by Shakspere in As You Like It : — 

" Jaques. But for the seventh cause; how did you find 
the quarrel on the seventh cause? 

Touchstone. Upon a lie seven times removed ; as thus, sir, 
I did dislike the cut of a certain courtier's beard; he sent 
me word, if I said his beard was not cut well, he was in the 
mind it was : this is called the Retort courteous. If I sent 
him word again, it was not well cut, he would send me 
word he cut it to please himself: this is called the Quip 
modest. II", again, it was not well cut, he disabled my judg- 
ment : this is called the Reply churlish. If, again, it was 
not well cut, he would answer, I spake not true : this is 
called the Reproof valiant. If, again, it was not well cut, he 
would say, I lie : this is called the Countercheck quarrelsome ; 
and so to the Lie circumstantial and the Lie direct." 

When Touchstone adds, <: sir ! we quarrel in print 
by the book," he alludes to the works of Saviolo 
and Caranza, who laid down laws for the duello. 
The wit of Shakspere is the best commentary upon 
the philosophy of Montaigne : " Inquire why that 
man hazards his life and honour- upon the fortune 
of his rapier and dagger ; let him acquaint ycu with 
the occasion of the quarrel, he cannot do it without 
blushing, 't is so idle and frivolous." — (Essays, 
book iii. ch. 10.) But philosophy and wit were 
equally unavailing to put down the quarrelsome 
spirit of the times, and Henry IY. of France in vain 
declared all duellists guilty of lese-majeste, and 
punishable with death ; and James I. of England 
as vainly denounced them in the Star-chamber. 

The practice of duelling went on with us till the 
civil wars came to merge private quarrels in public 
ones. Burton, in his " Anatomy of Melancholy," 
has a bitter satire against the nobility, when he says, 
they are " like our modern Frenchmen, that had 
rather lose a pound of blood in a single combat, 
than a drop of sweat in any honest labour." 

s Scene IY. — " What counterfeit did I give you ? 
The slip, sir, the sliji." 

A counterfeit piece of money and a slip were 
synonymous ; and in many old dramas we have the 
sime play upon words as here. In Robert Green's 
'•' Thieves falling out," the word slip is defined as in 
a dictionary : " and therefore he went and got him 
certain slips, which are counterfeit pieces of money, 
being brass, and covered over with silver, which the 
common people call slips." 

9 Scene IY. — " The icihl-goose chase." 

Horse racing, and the wild-goose chase, were 
amongst the " disports of great men" in the time of 
Elizabeth. It is scarcely necessary to describe a 
sport, if sport it can be called, which is still used 
amongst us. When the " wits run the wild-goose 
chase," we have a type of its folly ; as the " switch 
and spurs, switch and spurs," is descriptive of its 



10 Scene IV. — " Why, is not this better »<<»■ than 
groaning for love I " 

Coleridge invites us to compare, in this scene, 
" Romeo's half-excited, and half-real ease of mind, 
with his first manner when in love with Rosaline ! 
IIi> will had come to the olenching point." Romeo 
had not only recovered the natural tone of his mind, 
hut he had come back to the conventional gaiety — 
the fives-play of witty words — which was the tone 
of the best society in Shakspere's time. " Now 
art thou what thou art," says Mercutio, " by art as 
well as by nature." 

" Scene IV.— " Mn fan, Peter." 

The fan which Peter had to bear is exhibited in 
the woodcut at the end of this Act. It does not ap- 
pear quite so ridiculous, therefore, when we look at 
the size of the machine, to believe the Nurse should 
have a servant to bear it. Shakspere has given the 
same office to .Arrnado in Love's Labour's Lost: — 

" Oh ! a most dainty man, 
To see him walk before a lady, and to bear her fan." 

12 Scene IV.—" Is it good den ? " 

According to Mercutio's answer, the time was 
noon when the evening salutation "good den" 
began. But Shakspere had here English manners 
in his eye. The Italian custom of commencing the 
day half an hour after sunset, and reckoning through 
the twenty -four hours, is inconsistent with such a 
division of time as this. 

J3 Scene IV. — " Saucy merchant." 

Steevens pointed out that the term merchant was 
anciently used in contradistinction to gentleman ; 
ns we still use the word chap as an abbreviation of 
chapman. Douce has quoted a passage from Whet- 
otone's " Mirour for Magestrates of Cyties" (1584), 

in which he speaks of the usurious practices of the 
citizens of London, which is conclusive upon this 
point: — "The extremity of these men's dealings 
hath been and is so cruell as there is a natural ma- 
lico generally impressed in the hearts of the gentle- 
men of England towards the citizens of London, 
insomuch as if they odiously name a man, they 
forthwith call him a tr'unmc mcrchaunt. In like 
despight the citizen calleth every rascal a joly gen- 

" Scene IV.— " R is for the dog" 

R was called the dog's letter. In his English 
Grammar, Ben Jonson says, " R is the dog's letter 
and hirreth in the sound." In our old writers we 
have a verb f< irmed from the noise of a dog. Thus, 
in Nashe (1G00), 

" They arre and bark at night against the moon ; " 

and in Holland's translation of Plutarch's Morals, 
" a dog is, by nature, fell and quarrelsome, given to 
arre and war upon a very small occasion." Eras- 
mus has a meaning for R being the dog's letter, 
which is not derived from the sound : — " R, litera 
qua) in Y?ixaudo prima est, caniua vocatur." 

1 5 Scene V. — " Therefore do nimble-pinion' d deves 
draiv love." 

The "love " thus drawn was the queen of love ; 
for " the wind-swift Cupid" had " wings." Shak- 
spere had here the same idea which suggested his 
own beautiful description at the close of the Venus 
and Adonis : — 

" Thus weary of the world, away she hies, 
And yokes her silver doves; by whose swift aid, 
Their mistress mounted, through the empty skies 
In her light chariot quickly is convey'd, 
Holding their course to Paphos, where their queen 
Means to immure herself, and not be seen." 


SCENE I.— A public Place. 

Enter Mercutio, Benvolio, Page, and Servants. 

Ben. I pray thee, good Mercutio, let's retire j 
The day is hot, the Capulets abroad. 
And, if we meet, we shall riot 'scape a brawl ; 
Eor now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring. 

Mer. Thou art like one of those fellows, that, 
when he enters the confines of a tavern, claps 
me his sword upon the table, and says, God send 
me no need of thee ! and, by the operation of the 
second cup, draws it on the drawer, when, in- 
deed, there is no need. 

Ben. Am I like such a fellow ? 

Mer. Come, come, thou art as hot a Jack in 
thy mood as any in Italy ; and as soon moved 
to be moody, and as soon moody to be moved. 

Ben. And what to ? 

Mer. Nay, an there were two such, we should 
have none shortly, for one would kill the 
other. Thou! why thou wilt quarrel with a 
man that hath a hair more, or a hah- less, in his 
beard, than thou hast. Thou wdt quarrel with a 
man for cracking nuts, having no other reason 
but because thou hast hazel eyes. What eye, but 
such an eye, would spy out such a quarrel? 
Thy head is as full of quarrels, as an egg is full 
of meat : and yet thy head hath been beaten as 

addle as an egg, for quarrelbng. Thou hast 
quarrelled with a man for coughing in the street, 
because he hath wakened thy dog that hath lain 
asleep in the sun. Didst thou not fall out with a 
tailor for wearing his new doublet before Easter ? 
with another, for tying his new shoes with old 
riband ? and yet thou wilt tutor me from quar- 
relbng ! 

Ben. An I were so apt to quarrel as thou art, 
any man should buy the fee-simple of my life for 
an hour and a quarter. 

Mer. The fee-simple ? simple ! 

Enter Ttbalt and others. 

Ben. By my head, here come the Capulets. 

Mer. By my heel, I care not. 

Ti/b. Follow me close, for I will speak to 
Gentlemen, good den : a word with one of you. 

Mer. And but one word with one of us ? 
Couple it with something ; make it a word and 
a blow. 

l)/b. You shall find me apt enough to that, sir, 
an you will give me occasion. 

Mer. Could you not take some occasion with- 
out giving ? 

Tyb. Mercutio, thou consortest with Romeo, — 

Mt r. Consort ! what, dost thou make us lniu 




[Scene I. 

strels ! an thou make minstrels of us, look to hear 
nothing but discords: lure's my fiddlestick; 
here's that shall make you dance. 'Zounds, 
consort ! 

lh'H. We talk here iu the public haunt of nun : 
Either withdraw unto some private place, 
Or reason coldly of your grievances, 
Or else depart ; here all eyes gaze on us. 

Mer. Men's eyea were made to look, and let 
them gaze ; 
I will not budge for no man's pleasure, I. 

Y.,iter Romeo. 

Tyb. Well, peace be with you, sir ! here comes 

my man. 

•. But I '11 be hang'd, sir, if he wear your 

livery : 

Marry, go before to field, he '11 be your follower ; 

Your worship in that sense, may call him — man. 

Tyb. Romeo, the love a I bear thee can afford 
No better term than this — Thou art a villain. 

Rom. Tybalt, the reason that I have to love 
Doth much excuse the appertaining rage 
To such a greeting : — Villain am I none ; 
Therefore, farewell ; I see thou know'st me not. 

Tyb. Boy, this shall not excuse the injuries 
That thou hast done mc ; therefore turn, and 

Horn. I do protest, I never injur'd thee ; 
But love thee better than thou canst devise, 
Till thou shalt know the reason of my love : 
And so, good Capulet, — which name I tender 
As dearly as mine own, — be satisfied. 

Mer. O calm, dishonourable, vile submission ! 
Alia stoccata h carries it away. [Draws. 

Tybalt, you rat-catcher, will you walk? 

Tyb. What would'st thou have with mc ? 

Mer. Good king of cats, nothing, but one of 
your nine lives, that I mean to make bold withal, 
and, as you shall use me hereafter, dry-beat the 
re9t of the eight. Will you pluck your sword 
out of bis pilchcr c by the cars ? make haste, lest 
mine be about your ears ere it be out. 

Tyb. I am for you. [Bra 

22 m. Gentle Mcrcutio, put thy rapier up. 

Mer. Come, sir, your passado. {They fight. 

/ .v. Draw, Benvolio. Beat down their 
Gentlemen, for shame, forbear this outrage ; 
Tybalt, Mercntio, the prince expressly hath 

f), hate. 
b Alia tloccata—lhc ItaUan term of art for the thrust 
with a rapier. 
« Scabbard. 


Forbidden bandying in Verona streets. 
Hold Tybalt — good Mercntio* — 

[Exeunt Tybalt and his Partisans. 

Mi r. I am hurt. — 
A plague o' both your houses ! — 1 am sped : 
Is he gone, and hath nothing? 

B What, art thou hurt ? 

.1/ /•. Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch ; marry, 't is 
enough. — 
Where is my page ? — go, villain, fetch a sur- 
geon. [Exit Page. 

Rom. Courage man ; the hurt cannot be much. 

Mer. No, 'tis not so deep as a well, nor so 
wide as a church door; but 'tis enough, 't will 
serve : ask for me to-morrow, and you shall find 
mc a grave man. I am peppered, I warrant, for 
this world. — A plague o' both your houses ! — 
What, a dog, a rat, a mouse, a cat, to scratch a 
man to death ! a braggart, a rogue, a villain, that 
fights by the book of arithmetic! — Why, the 
devil, came you between us ? I was hurt under 
your arm. 

Rom. I thought all for the best. 

Mer. Help me into some house, Benvolio, 
Or I shall faint. — A plague o' both your houses, 
They have made worm's meat of me : 
I have it, and soundly too : — Your houses. 

[Exeunt Meuctjtio and Benvolio. 

Rom. This gentleman, the prince's near ally, 
My very friend, hath got his mortal hurt 
In my behalf ; my reputation stain'd 
With Tybalt's slander, Tybalt, that an hour 
Hath been my cousin. b — sweet Juliet, 
Thy beauty hath made me effeminate, 
And in my temper soften'd valour's steeL 

Re-enter Benvolio. 

Ben. Romeo, Romeo, brave Merculio's 
dead ; 
That gallant spirit hath aspir'd the clouds, 
Which too untimely here did scorn the earth. 
Rom. This day's black fate on more days doth 
depend ; 
This but begins the woe, others must cud. 

Re-enter Tybalt. 

Ben. Here comes the furious Tybalt back 

Rom. Ali\e! c in triumph! and Mcrcutio 
slain ! 
Away to luaven. respective lenity, 

n We have restored the metrical arrangement of the pre- 
ceding' five lines, from (C) and the folio. 

b (A), kinsman. e So (A). (C) and folio, he gone. 

Act III. 


[Scene II 

And fire-eyed fury be my conduct now ! — 
Now, Tybalt, take the ■villain back again, 
That late thou gav'st me ; for Mercutio's soul 
Is but a little way above our heads, 
Staying for thine to keep him company ; 
Either thou, or I, or both, must go with him. 
Tyb. Thou, wretched boy, that didst consort 
him here, 
Shalt with him hence. 

Rom. This shall determine that. 

[They fight; Tybalt falls. 
Ben. Romeo, away, be gone ! 
The citizens are up, and Tybalt slain : — 
Stand not amaz'd : — the prince will doom thee 

If thou art taken : — hence ! — be gone ! — away ! 
Bom. Oh ! I am fortune's fool ! 
Ben. Why dost thou stay ? 

[Exit Romeo. 

Enter Citizens, §~c. 

1 Cit. Which way ran he, that kill'd Mcrcutio ? 
Tybalt, that murderer, which way ran he ? 

Ben. There lies that Tybalt. 

I Cit. Up, sir, go with me ; 

I charge thee in the prince's name, obey. 

Enter Prince attended ; Montague, Capulet, 
their Wives, and others. 
Brin. Where are the vile beginners of this fray ? 
Ben. O noble prince, I can discover all 
The unlucky manage of this fatal brawl : 
There lies the man slain by young Romeo, 
That slew thy kinsman, brave Mercutio. 

La. Cap. Tybalt, my cousin ! my brother's 
prince, — O cousin, — husband/ — the blood is 

Of my dear kinsman ! — Prince, as thou art true, 
Por blood of ours, shed blood of Montague. — 
cousin, cousin ! 

Brin. Benvolio, who began this fray ? 
Ben. Tybalt, here slain, whom Romeo's hand 
did slay ; 
Romeo that spoke him fair, bade him bethink 
How nice b the quarrel was, and urg'd withal 
Your high displeasure : — All this — uttered 
With gentle breath, calm look, knees humbly 

bow'd, — 
Could not take truce with the unruly spleen 

(D), " unhappy sight, ah me," and in 
cousin !" in the third line beyond, i-> 

a So (C) and folio, 
that copy, " O cousin, 
omitted. Some modern editors, in this and in other pas- 
sages, have adopted the arbitrary course of making up a text 
out of the first quarto and the quarto of 1599, without regard 
to the important circumstance that this later edition was 
"newly corrected, augmented, and amended," — and that the 
folio, in nearly every essential particular, follows it. 

b Slight. 

Of Tybalt, deaf to peace, but that he tilts 
With piercing steel at bold Mercutio's breast ; 
Who, all as hot, turns deadly point to point, 
And, with a martial scorn, with one hand beats 
Cold death aside, and with the other sends 
It back to Tybalt, whose dexterity 
Retorts it : Romeo he cries aloud, 
Hold, friends ! friends, part ! and swifter than 

his tongue, 
His agile arm beats down their fatal points, 
And 'twixt them rushes ; underneath whose arm 
An envious thrust from Tybalt hit the life 
Of stout Mercutio, and then Tybalt fled : 
But by and by comes back to Romeo, 
Who had but newly entertain'd revenge, 
And to 't they go like lightning ; for, ere I 
Could draw to part them, was stout Tybalt slam ; 
And, as he fell, did Romeo turn and fly ; 
This is the truth, or let Benvolio die. 

La. Cap. He is a kinsman to the Montague, 
Affection makes him false, 1 he speaks not true : 
Some twenty of them fought in this black strife, 
And all those twenty could but kill one bfe : 
I beg for justice, which thou, prince, must give ; 
Romeo slew Tybalt, Romeo must not live. 

Brin. Romeo slew him, he slew Mercutio ; 
Who now the price of his dear blood doth owe ? 

Mon. Not Romeo, prince, he was Mercutio's 
friend ; 
His fault concludes but what the law should end, 
The life of Tybalt. 

Brin. And for that offence, 

Immediately we do exile him hence : 
I have an interest in your hate's 1 proceeding, 
My blood for your rude brawls doth he a bleeding ; 
But I '11 amerce you with so strong a fine, 
That you shall all repent the loss of mine : 
I will be deaf to pleading and excuses ; 
Nor tears, nor prayers, shall purchase out abuses, 
Therefore use none : let Romeo hence in haste, 
Else, when he 's found, that hour is his last. 
Bear hence his body, and attend our will : 
Mercy but murders, pardoning those that kill. 


SCENE II.— A Room in Capulet',? House. 
Enter Juliet. 

Jul. Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds, 
Towards Phoebus' lodging; 15 such a waggoner 
As Phaeton woidd whip you to the west, 
And bring in cloudy night immediately. — 
Spread thy close curtain, love-performing night 

» (A), hales. (C), heart's. b (A), mansion. 

c Juliet's soliloquy ends here in the first quarto. 


Act III.] 


|Sci:.s'I. II 

That, runaway's * eyes may wink ; and Eoinco 
Leap to these anus, uutalk'd of, and unseen ! — 
Lovers can see to do their amorous rites 
By their own beauties : or, if love be blind, 
It best agrees with night. — Come, civil night, 
Thou sober-suited matron, all in black, 
And Kara me how to lose a winning match, 
Play'd for a pair of stainless maidenhoods : 
Hood my unmann'd b blood bating in my checks, 
With thy black mantle; till strange love, grown 

Think true love acted, simple modesty. 
Come, night ! — Come, Romeo ! come, thou day 

in night ! 
For thou wilt lie upon the wings of night 
Whiter than new snow upon a ravens back. — 
Come, gentle night ; come, loving, black-brow'd 

Give me my Romeo : and, when he shall die, 
Take him and cut him out in little stars, 
And he will make the face of heaven so fine, 
That all the world will be in love with night, 
And pay no worship to the garish sun. 
0, I have bought the mansion of a love, 
But not possess'd it ; and, though I am sold, 
Not yet enjoy'd : so tedious is this day, 
As is the night before some festival 
To an impatient child, that hath new robes 
And may not wear them. O, here comes my nurse, 

Enter Nubse, with cords. 

And she brings news; and every tongue, that speaks 
Bat Romeo's name, speaks heavenly eloquence. — 
Now, nurse, what news ? What hast thou there ? 
the cords 

a Tins reading is that of all the old copies. The passage 
has been a perpetual source of contention to the commenta- 
tors. Their difficulties are well represented by Warburton's 
question — " What runaways are these, whose eyes Juliet is 
wishing to have stopped I " Warburton says Phcebus is the 
runaway. Stecvens proves that Night is the runaway. 
Douce thinks that Juliet is the runaway. It has been sug- 
gested to us that in several early poems Cupid is styled 
Runaway. Monck Mason is confident that the passage ought 
to be " Thai Renomy's eyes may wink, "Renomy being anew 
personage, created out of the French Renommee,and answer- 
in};, we suppose, to the "Rumour" of Spenser. Zachary 
Jackson suggests that runaways is a misprint for unawares. 
The word unawares, in the old orthography, is unawayrcs 
(it is so spelt in the Third Part of Henry VI.). and the r, 
having been misplaced, produced this word of puzzle, run- 
aways. Mr. Collier adopts this reading. Uut Mr. Dyce ob- 
jects : " That ways (the last syllable of run-aways) ought to 
be Day's, I feel next to certain; but what word originally 
preceded it I do not pretend to determine. 

»oon/ ^y' 1 e y e ' ma y wink - 

Compare Macbeth : 

'Come seeling niyht 
Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day.' " 
There is much force in this objection. One more conjecture : 
change a letter ; and put a comma instead of the genitives : — 
" Spread thy close curtain, love-performing night ! 
That sun away, eyes may wink, and Romeo 
Leap to these arms, untalk'd of, and unseen ! " 
b Vnmann'd. A term of falconry. To man a hawk is to 
accustom her to the falconer who trains her. 


That Romeo bade thee fetch ? 
Nurse. Ay, ay, the cor da 

[Throws (hem down. 

Jul. Ah me ! what news ! why dost thou 

wring thy hands ? 
Nurse. Ah wcll-a-day ! he's dead, he's dead, 
he 's dead ! 
We are undone, lady, we arc undone ! — 
Alack the day! — he's gone, he's kill'd, he's 
dead ! — 
Jul. Can heaven be so envious ? 
Nurse. Romeo can, 

Though heaven cannot : — Romeo, Romeo ! — 
Whoever would have thought it ? — Romeo ! 
Jul. What devil art thou, that dost torment 
me thus ? 
This torture should be roar'd in dismal hell. 
Hath Romeo slain himself ? say thou but 7," 
And that bare vowel I shall poison more 
Than the death-darting eye of cockatrice : 
I am not I, if there be such an I ; 
Or those eyes shut, that make the answer, I. 
If he be slain, say — I; or if not, no : 
Brief sounds determine of my weal, or woe. 
Nurse. I saw the wound, I saw it with mine 
God save the mark ! ■ — here on his manly breast : 
A piteous corse, a bloody piteous corse ; 
Pale, pale as ashes, all bedaub'd in blood, 
All in gore blood ; — I swoonded at the sight. 
Jul. break, my heart! — poor bankrout, b 
break at once ! 
To prison, eyes ! ne'er look on liberty ! 
Vile earth, to earth resign ; end motion here ; 
And thou, and Romeo, press one heavy bier ! 
Nurse. O Tybalt, Tybalt, the best friend I 
O courteous Tybalt ! honest gentleman ! 
That ever I should live to see thee dead ! 

Jul. What storm is this, that blows so contrary ? 
Is Romeo slaughter'd ; and is Tybalt dead ? 
My dearest cousin, and my dearer lord ? — 
Then, dreadful trumpet, sound the general doom ! 
For who is living, if those two are gone ? 

•se. Tybalt is gone, and Romeo banished ; 
Romeo, that kill'd him, he is banished. 

Jul. God ! — did Romeo's hand shed Ty- 
balt's blood ? 
Nurse. It did, it did ; alas the A 
Jul. serpent heart, hid with a 
face ! 
Did ever dragon keep so fair a cave ? 

» It is here necessary to retain the old spelling of the af- 
firmative particle / (ay). 

I) Bankrout. \\ the old poetical bankrout, in pre 

ferencc to the modern bankrupt. 

c (A), dear-lov'd. 

it did. 

Act lit.] 


[Scene 111 

Beautiful tyrant ! fiend angelical ! 
Dove-feather'd raven ! wolvish-ravening lamb ! 
Despised substance of divinest show ! 
•Just opposite to what thou justly seem'st, 
A damned a saint, an honourable villain ! — 
0, nature ! what hadst thou to do in hell, 
When thou didst bower the spirit of a fiend 
In mortal paradise of such sweet flesh ? — 
Was ever book containing such vile matter 
So fairly bound ? 0, that deceit should dwell 
In such a gorgeous palace ! 

Nurse. There 's no trust, 

No faith, no honesty in men; all perjur'd, 
All forsworn, all nought, all dissemblers. — 
Ah, where 's my man ? give me some aqua vitee :■— 
These griefs, these woes, these sorrows make 

me old. 
Shame come to Romeo ! 

Jul. Blister' d be thy tongue, 

For such a wish ! he was not born to shame : 
Upon his brow shame is asliam'd to sit ; 
For 't is a throne where honour may be crown' d 
Sole monarch of the universal earth. 
0, what a beast was I to chide at him ! 

Nurse. Will you speak well of him that kill'd 

your cousin ? 
Jul. Shall I speak ill of him that is my 

husband ? 
Ah, poor my lord, what tongue shall smooth 

thy name, 
When I, thy three-hours' wife, have mangled 

But, wherefore, villain, didst thou kill my 

cousin ? 
That villain cousin would have kill'd my hus- 
band : 
Back, foolish tears, back to your native spring ; 
Your tributary drops belong to woe, 
Which you, mistaking, offer up to joy. 
My husband lives, that Tybalt would have slain ; 
And Tybalt dead, that would have slain my 

husband : 
All this is comfort : Wherefore weep I then ? 
Some word there was, worser than Tybalt's death, 
That murder'd me : I would forget it fain ; 
But, ! it presses to my memory, 
Like damned guilty deeds to sinners' minds. 
Tybalt is dead, and Romeo — banished ; 
That — banished, that one word — banished, 
Hath slain ten thousand Tybalts. Tybalt's death 
Was woe enough, if it had ended there : 
Or, — if sour woe delights in fellowship, 
And needly will be rank'd with other griefs, — 
Why follow'd not, when she said— Tybalt 's dead, 

a Thus (D). (C), dimme. 
Tragedies. — Vol. I. E 

Thy father, or thy mother, nay, or both, 
Which modern lamentation might have mov'd ? 
But with a rear-ward following Tybalt's death, 
Romeo is banished, — to speak that word, 
Is father, mother, Tybalt, Romeo, Juliet, 
All slain, all dead : — Romeo is banished, — 
There is no end, no limit, measure, bound, 
In that word 's death ; no words can that woe 

sound. — 
Where is my father, and my mother, nurse ? 
Nurse. Weeping and waning over Tybalt's 

corse : 
Will you go to them ? I will bring you thither. 
Jul. Wash they his wounds with tears : mine 

shall be spent, 
When theirs are dry, for Romeo's banishment. 
Take up those cords : — Poor ropes, you are be- 

Both you and I ; for Romeo is exil'd : 
He made you for a highway to my bed ; 
But I, a maid, die maiden-widowed. 
Come, cord; come, nurse; I'll to my wedding 

And death, not Romeo, take my maidenhead ! 

Nurse. Hie to your chamber : I '11 find Romeo 
To comfort you : — I wot well where he is. 
Hark ye, your Romeo will be here at night ; 
I '11 to him ; he is hid at Laurence' cell. 

Jul. find him ! give this ring to my true 

And bid him come to take his last farewell. 


SCENE ILL— Friar Laurence'* Cell. 

Tinier Friar Laurence and Romeo. 

Fri. Romeo, come forth; come forth, thou 
fearful man ; 
Affliction is enamour' d of thy parts, 
And thou art wedded to calamity. 

Rom. Father, what news ? what is the prince's- 
What sorrow craves acquaintance at my hand, 
That I yet know not ? 

Fri. Too familiar 

Is my dear son with such sour company : 
I bring thee tidings of the prince's doom. 
Rom. What less than dooms-day is the prince's 

doom ? 
Fri. A gentler judgment vanish'd from his lips, 
Not body's death, but body's banishment. 
Rom. Ha! banishment? be merciful, say- 
For exile hath more terror in his look, 
Much more than death : do not sav— banishment 


Act III.l 



Fri. Here* from Verona art thou banished : 
Be patient, for the world is broad and wide. 

Rom. There is no world without Verona walls, 
But purgatory, torture, hell itself. 
Hence-banished is banish'd from the world, 
And world's exile is death : — then banished 
Is death mis-term'd. Calling death banishment, 
Thou cut'st my head off with a golden axe, 
And smil'st upon the stroke that murders me. 

Fri. O deadly sin ! rude unthankfulness ! 
Thy fault our law calls death ; but the kind prince, 
Taking thy part, hath rush'd aside the law, 
And turn'd that black word death to banishment. 
This is dear mercy, and thou seest it not. 

Rom. 'T is torture, and not mercy : heaven is 
"Where Juliet lives ; and every cat, and dog, 
And little mouse, every unworthy thing, 
Live here in heaven, and may look on her, 
But Borneo may not. — More validity, 
More honourable state, more courtship lives 
In carrion flies, than Romeo : they may seize 
On the wliite wonder of dear Juliet's hand, 
And steal immortal blessing from her lips ; 
Who, even in pure and vestal modesty, 
Still blush, as thinking their own kisses sin ; 
This may flies do, when I from this must fly — 
(And say'st thou yet, that exile is not death)— 
But Borneo may not, he is bauished. b 
Hadst thou no poison mix'd, no sharp-ground 

No sudden mean of death, though ne'er so mean, 
But — banished — to kill me ; banished ? 
friar, the damned use that word in hell ; 
Howlings attend it : How hast thou the heart, 
Being a divine, a ghostly confessor, 
A sin-absolver, and my friend profess' d, 
To mangle me with that word — banished ? 

Fri. Thou fond mad man, hear me a little 

Rom. O, thou wilt speak again of banishment. 

Fri. I'll give thee armour to keep off that 
Adversity's sweet milk, philosophy, 
To comfort thee, though thou art banished. 

Rom. Yet banished? — Hang up philosophy ! 
Unless philosophy can make a Juliet, 

« (A), Hence. 

b We have restored this passage to the reading of the folio. 
The lines were transposed by Steevens, without regard to 
any copy. In the first quarto the passage is altogether dif- 
ferent. In that of 1009 it runs thus :— 

" This may flies do, when I from this must fly ; — 
(And say'st thou yet that exile is not death) — 
Hut Romeo may not, he is banished. 
Flies may do this, but I from this must (ly, 
They are free men, but I am banished." 

« Thus (D). 


Displant a town, reverse a prince's doom ; 
It helps not, it prevails not, talk no more. 

/ '. O, then I sec that madmen have no ears. 
Rom. How should they, when that wise men 

have no eyes ? 
Fri. Let me dispute with thee of thy estate. 
Rom. Thou canst not speak of that thou dost 
not feel : 
Wert thou as young as I, Juliet thy love, 
An hour but married, Tybalt murdered, 
Doting like me, and like me banished, 
Then might'st thou speak, then might'st thou 

tear thy hair, 
And fall upon the ground, as I do now, 
Taking the measure of an unmade grave. 

Fri. Arise ; one knocks ; good Borneo, hide 
thyself. [Knocking within. 

Rom. Not I ; unless the breath of heart-sick 
Mist-like, infold me from the search of eyes. 

Fri. Hark, how they knock ! — Who 's there ? 
— Borneo, arise; 
Thou wilt be taken : — Stay a while ; — stand up ; 

Bun to my study : — By and by : — God's will ! 
What simpleness a is this ? — I come, I come. 

Who knocks so hard ? whence come you ? what 's 
your will ? 
Nurse. [Within?\ Let me come in, and you 
shall know my errand ; 
I come from lady Juliet. 

Fri. Welcome then. 

Fnier Nuhse. 

Nurse. holy friar, 0, tell me, holy friar, 
Where is my lady's lord, where 's Borneo ? 

Fri. There on the ground, with his own tears 
made drunk. 

Nurse. 0, he is even in my mistress' case, 
Just in her case ! 

Fri. woeful sympathy ! 

Piteous predicament ! 

Nurse. Even so lies she, 

Blubbering and weeping, weeping and blubber- 
ing :— 
Stand up, stand up ; stand, an you be a man : 
For Juliet's sake, for her sake, rise and stand ; 
Why should you fall into so deep an ? 

Rom. Nurse ! 

Nurse. Ah sir! ah sir!— Well, death's the 
end of all. 

Rom. Spak'stthouof Juliet? how is it with her? 

• (A), tcil/ulnrst. 

Act III.] 


[Scene IV 

Doth not she think me an old murderer, 
Now I have stain'd the childhood of our joy 
With blood remov'd but little from her own ? 
Where is she? and how doth she? and what 

My conceal'd lady to our cancell'd love ? 

Nurse. 0, she says nothing, sir, but weeps 

and weeps ; 
And now falls on her bed ; and then starts up, 
And Tybalt calls ; and then on Romeo cries, 
And then down falls again. 

Rom. As if that name, 

Shot from the deadly level of a gun, 
Did murder her ; as that name's cursed hand 
Murder' d her kinsman. — tell me, friar, tell me, 
In what vile part of this anatomy 
Doth my name lodge ? tell me, that I may sack 
The hateful mansion. [Draws his sword. 

Fri. Hold thy desperate hand : 

Art thou a man ? thy form cries out thou art ; 
Thy tears are womanish ; thy wild acts denote 
The unreasonable fury of a beast : 
Unseemly woman, in a seeming man ! 
And ill-beseeming beast, in seeming both ! 
Thou hast amaz'd me : by my holy order, 
I thought thy disposition better temper'd. 
Hast thou slain Tybalt ? wilt thou slay thyself ? 
And slay thy lady that in thy Ufe lives, 0. 
By doing damned hate upon thyself ? 
Why rail'st thou on thy birth, the heaven, and 

earth ? 
Since birth, and heaven, and earth, all three 

do meet 
In thee at once ; which thou at once wouldst 

Fie, fie ! thou sham'st thy shape, thy love, thy 

wit ; 
Which, Hke an usurer, abound' st in alL 
And usest none in that true use indeed 
Which should bedeck thy shape, thy love, thy 

Thy noble shape is but a form of wax, 
Dkressins: from the valour of a man : 
Thy dear love sworn, but hollow perjury, 
Killing that love which thou hast vow'd to 

cherish : 
Thy wit, that ornament to shape and love, 
Mis-shapen in the conduct of them both, 
Like powder in a skill-less soldier's flask, 3 
Is set a-fire by thine own ignorance, 
And thou dismember' d with thine own defence. 
What, rouse thee, man ! thy Juliet is alive, 
For whose dear sake thou wast but lately dead ; 

a [A) reads — 

" And slay thy lady, too, that, lives in thee." 
E 2 

There art thou happy : Tybalt would kill thee, 
But thou slew'st Tybalt ; there art thou happy : a 
The law, that threaten'd death, became thy 

And turn'd it to exile ; there art thou happy : 
A pack of blessing lights upon thy back ; 
Happiness courts thee in her best array ; 
But, like a misbehav'd b and sullen wench, 
Thou puttest up ° thy fortune and thy love : 
Take heed, take heed, for such die miserable. 
Go, get thee to thy love, as was decreed, 
Ascend her chamber, hence and comfort her ; 
But, look thou stay not till the watch be set, 
For then thou canst not pass to Mantua ; 
Where thou shalt Hve, till we can find a time 
To blaze your marriage, reconcile your friends, 
Beg pardon of thy prince, and call thee back 
With twenty hundred thousand times more joy 
Than thou went'st forth in lamentation. 
Go, before, nurse : commend me to thy lady ; 
And bid her hasten all the house to bed, 
Which heavy sorrow makes them apt unto : 
Romeo is coming. 

Nurse. O Lord, I could have staid here all 
the night, 
To hear good counsel : O, what learning is ! — 
My lord, I '11 tell my lady you will come. 

Rom. Do so, and bid my sweet prepare to 

Nurse. Here, sir, a ring she bid me give you, 
sir : 
Hie you, make haste, for it grows very late. 

[Exit Nurse. 

Rom. How well my comfort is reviv'd by this ! 

Fri. Go hence : Good night ; and here stands 
all your state ; 
Either be gone before the watch be set, 
Or by the break of day disguis'd from hence ; 
Sojourn in Mantua : I '11 find out your man, 
And he shall signify from time to time 
Every good hap to you, that chances here : 
Give me thy band ; 't is late : farewell ; good 

Rom. But that a joy past joy calls out on me, 
It were a grief so brief to part with thee : 
Farewell. [Exeunt 

SCENE IV.— A Room in CapuletYflbw*. 
Enter Capulet, Lady Capulet, and Paris. 
Pap. Things have fallen out, sir, so unluckily, 

a [A), which modem editors have followed, gives " happy 


\> Thus {A). The folio, mis-shaped. 

c pattest up. So the folio. (O) reads pouts thy fortur," 
Is lo ]>itt up used as to put a 

Act III.] 



That \vc have had no time to move our daughter : 
Look you, she lcVd her kinsman Tybalt dearly, 
And so did I ; — Well ; we were born to die. — 
'Tis very late, sTTe '11 not come down to-night : 
I promise you. but for your company, 
I would have been a-bed an hour ago. 
Par. These times of woe afford no tin 
woo ; 
Madam, good night : commend mc to your 
La. Cap. I will, and know her mind early to- 
morrow ; 
To-night she 's mew'd » up to her heaviness. 

Cap. Sir Paris, I will make a desperate tender 
Of my child's love : I think she will be rul'd 
In all respects by me ; nay more, I doubt it not. 
"Wife, go you to her ere you go to bed ; 
Acquaint her here of my son Paris' love ; 
And bid her, mark you me, on Wednesday 

next — 
But, soft ; "What day is this ? 
Par. Monday, my lord. 

Cap. Monday ? ha ! ha ! Well, Wednesday- 
is too soon, 
0' Thursday let it be ;— o' Thursday, tell her, 
She shall be married to this noble earl : — 
Will you be ready ? do you like this haste ? 
"We'll keep no great ado ; — a friend, or two : — 
For hark you, Tybalt being slain so late, 
It may be thought we held him carelessly, 
Being our kinsman, if we revel much : 
Therefore we '11 have some half a dozen friends, 
And there an end. But what sav vou to Thurs- 
day ? 
Par. My lord, I would that Thursday were 

Cap. "Well, get you gone : — 0' Thursday be it 
then : — 
Go you to Juliet ere you go to bed, 
.Prepare her, wife, against this wedding-day. — ■ 
Farewell, my lord. — Light to my chamber, ho ! 
Afore me, it is so very late, that we 
May call it early by and by : — Good night. 


SCENE V.— -Loggia to Juliet'* Chamber* 
Eater Romeo and Juliet. 

Jul. Wilt thou be gone? it is not yet near 
day : 
It was the nightingale, and not the lark, 
That piere'd the fearful hollow of thine car ; 
Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate 
Believe me, love, it was the lie. 

a Another tern; of falconr 


Rom. l\ was the lark, the herald of the morn,' 
ingale : look, love, what envious streaks 
Do lace the severing clouds in yonder < 
Night's candles are burnt out, and jocund day 
Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain's tops ; 
I must be gone and live, or stay and die. 

Jul. Yon light is not day-light, 1 know it, I: 
It is some meteor that the sun exhales, 
To be to thee this night a torch-bearer, 
And light, thee on thy way to Mantua: 
Therefore stay yet, thou need's not to be gone. 

Rom. Let me be ta'en, let me be put to death ; 
I am content, so thou wilt have it so. 
I'll say, yon grey is not the morning's eye, 
'Tis but the pale reflex of Cynthia's brow ; 
Nor that is not the lark, whose notes do beat 
The vaulty heaven so high above our heads : 
I have more care to stay than will to go ; — 
Come, death., and welcome ! — Juliet wills it so. — 
How is't, my soul? let's talk, it is not day. 

Jul. It is, it is, hie hence, be gone, away ; 
It is the lark that sings so out of tune, 
Straining harsh discords, and unpleasing sharps. 
Some say, the lark makes sweet division ; a 
This doth not so, for she divideth us : 
Some say, the lark and loathed toad change 

eyes ; 
O, now I would they had chang'd voices too ! 
Since arm from arm that voice doth us affray, 
Hunting thee hence with hunts-up to the day. 7 
O, now be gone ; more light and light it grows 


dark our woes. 

More light and light ? — more dark and 

Lute* Nuese. 

Nurse. Madam ! 
Jul. Nurse ? 

Nurse. Your lady mother's coming to your 
chamber : 
The day is broke ; be wary, look about. 

[Exit Nurse. 
Jul. Then, window, let day in, and let life 

Rom. Farewell, farewell ! one kiss, and I '11 
descend. [Romeo descends. 

Jul. Art thou gone so ? love ! lord ! ay — hus- 
band, friend ! b 
I must hear from llice every day in the hor.r. 
For in a minute there are many days : 

a Swrl division. A division in music is a number of 
quick notes sung to one syllable j a kind of warbling, r i 

continued lo prevail in vocal music till rattier recently. 
Handel, governed by custom ratht r than by his own better 
taste, introduces divisions In many of his air- and clu 
note on this word, mistakes the m 
i> [A\ reads "ray love, my lord, my Out. j." 

Act 111 ] 



! by this count I shall be much in years, 
Ere I again behold my Romeo. 

Rom. Farewell ! I will omit no opportunity 
That may convey my greetings, love, to thee. 
Jul. O, think'st thou, we shall ever meet 

asrain ? 
Rom. I doubt it not ; and all these woes shall 
For sweet discourses in our time to come. 

Jul. O God ! I have an ill-divining soul ; s 
Methinks, I see thee, now thou art so low, a 
As one dead in the bottom of a tomb : 
Either my eyesight fails, or thou look'st pale. 
Rom. And trust me, love, in my eye so do 
Dry sorrow drinks our blood. Adieu ! adieu ! 

[Exit Roheo. 
Jul. fortune, fortune ! all men call thee 
fickle : 
If thou art fickle, what dost thou with him 
That is renown' d for faith ? Be fickle, fortune ; 
For then, I hope, thou wilt not keep him long, 
But send him back. 

La. Cap. [Within.'] Ho, daughter ! are you 

Jul. Who is 't that calls ? is it my lady mo- 
ther ? 
Is she not down so late, or up so early ? 
What uuaccustom'd cause procures her hither ? 

Enter Lady Captjlet. 

La. Cap. Why, how now, Jubet ? 
Jul. Madam, I am not well. 

La. Cap. Evermore weeping for your cousin's 
death ? 
What, wilt thou wash him from his grave with 

tears ? 
An if thou eouldst, thou coiddst not make him 

live : 
Therefore, have done : some grief shows much 

of love ; 
But much of grief shows still some want of wit. 
Jul. Yet let me weep for such a feeling loss. 
La. Cap. So shall you feel the loss, but not 
the friend 
Which you weep for. 

Jul. Feeling so the loss, 

1 cannot choose but ever weep the friend. 

La. Cap. Well, girl, thou weep'st not so much 
for his death, 
As that the villain lives which slaughter'd him. 
Jul. What villain, madam ? 
La. Cap. That same villain, Borneo. 

a {A), below, so low in folio--, 

Jul. Villain and he be many miles asunder. 
God pardon him ! I do, with all my heart ; 
And yet no man, like he, doth grieve my heart. 

La. Cap. That is, because the traitor fives. 

Jul. Ay, madam, from the reach of these my 
'Would, none but I might venge my cousin's 
death ! 

La. Cap. We will have vengeance for it, fear 
thou not : 
Then weep no more. I '11 send to one in 

Mantua, — 
Where that same banish'd runagate doth live, — 
Shall give him such an unaccustom'd dram,' 1 
That he shall soon keep Tybalt company : 
And then I hope thou wilt be satisfied 

Jul. Indeed, I never shall be satisfied. 
With Romeo, till I behold him — dead — 
Is my poor heart, so for a kinsman vex'd : 
Madam, if you could find out but a man 
To bear a poison, I would temper it ; 
That Romeo should, upon receipt thereof, 
Soon sleep in quiet. 0, how my heart abhors 
To hear him nam'd, — and canuot come to him, — 
To wreak the love I bore my cousin 
Upon his body that hath slaughter'd him ! 

La. Cap. Find thou the means, and I'll find 
such a man. 
But now I '11 tell thee joyful tidings, girl. 

Jul. And joy comes well in such a needy l 
time : 
What are they, I beseech your ladyship ? 

La. Cap. Well, well, thou hast a careful 
father, child; 
One, who, to put thee from thy heaviness, 
Hath sorted out a sudden day of joy, 
That thou expect' st not, nor I look'd not for. 

Jul. Madam, in happy time, what day is that ? 

La. Cap. Marry, my child, early next Thurs- 
day morn, 
The gallant, young, and noble gentleman, 
The county Paris, at St. Peter's church, 
Shall happily make thee a joyful bride. 

Jul. Now, by St. Peter's church, and Peter too, 
He shall not make me there a joyful bride. 
I wonder at this haste ; that I must wed 
Ere he, that should be husband, comes to woo. 
I pray you tell my lord and father, madam, 
I will not marry yet ; and, when I do, I swear, 
It shall be Romeo, whom you know I hate, 
Rather than Paris : — These are news indeed ! 

a A ) (the other lines beiug different) has, 

■• Tli stow on him so sure a draught." 

A(T I1I.1 



Im. Cap. Here conies your father; tell him 
so yourself, 
And see how he will take it at your hands. 

r La it let and Nurse. 

Cap. When tic sun sets, the earth" doth 

drizzle dew ; 
But for the sunset of my brother's son, 
It rains downright. — 

1 [ow now P a conduit, girl? what, still in tears ? 
Evermore showering? In one little body 
Thou oounterfeit'st a bark, a sea, a wind: 
Tor still thy eves, which 1 may call the sea, 
Do ebb and flow with tears ; the bark thy body is, 
Sailing in this salt flood ; the winds, thy sighs ; 
Who, — raging with thy tears, and they with 

them, — 
Without a sudden calm, will overset 
Thy tempest-tossed body. — How now, wife? 
Have you debvered to her our decree ? 
La. Cap. Ay, sir ; but she will none, she gives 
you thanks. 
I would the fool were married to her grave ! 
Cap. Soft, take me with you, take me with 
you, wife. 
How! will she none? doth she not give us 

thanks ? 
Is she not proud ? doth she not count her bless'd, 
Unworthy as she is, that we have wrought 
So worthy a gentleman to be ber bridegroom ? 
Jul. Not proud, you have ; but thankful, that 
you have : 
Proud can I never be of what I hate ; 
But thankful even for hate, that is meant love. b 
Cap. How now ! bow now, chop-logic ! "What 
is this ? 
Proud, — and, I thank you,— and, I thank you 

not ;— c 
Thank me no thaukings, nor proud me no 

But fettle your fine joints 'gainst Thursday next, 
Togo with Paris to St. Peter's church, 
Or I will drag thee on a hurdle thither. 
Out, you green-sickness carrion ! out, you bag- 
gage ! 
You tallow face ! 

I '■ . fie ! what arc you mad ? 

Jul. Good father, I beseech you on my ki 
Hear me with patience but to speak a word. 

i : t lice, young baggage ! disobedient 
wretch ! 

» (D) frires us c'r. 

t as love, 
c (C) has this line, which is nut in the folio : — 
" And yet not proud ;— Mistress, minion, you. 
5 4 

1 tell thee what,— get thee to church o" Thursday, 
Or never after look me in the face : 

•k not, reply not, do not answer me ; 
.My lingers itch.— Wife, we scarce thought us 

That God had lent" us but this only child; 
But now I sec this one is one too much, 
And that we have a curse in having her; 
Out on her, hildhig ! 

Nurse. God in heaven bless her ! — 

You are to blame, my lord, to rate her so. 
Cap. And why, my lady wisdom ? hold your 
Good prudence ; smatter witli your gossips, go. 
Nurse. I speak no treason. 
Q*P- O, God ye good den ! 

Nurse. May riot one speak ? 
Cap. Peace, you mumbling fool ! 

Utter your gravity o'er a gossip's bowl, 
For here we need it not. 

La. Cap. You are too hot. 

Cap. God's bread • it makes me mad. 
Day, night, hour, tide, time, work, play, 
Alone, in company, 15 still my care hath been 
To have her match'd ; and having now provided 
A gentleman of noble parentage, 
Of fair demesnes, youthful, and nobly train'd, 
Stuff'd (as they say.) with honourable parts, 
Proportion'd as one's thouaht would wish a man — 
And then to have a wretched puling fool, 
A whining mammct, in her fortune's tender, 
To answer — I'll not wed,— I cannot love, 
I am too young, — I pray you, pardon me ; — 
But, an you will not wed, I '11 pardon you : 
Graze where you will, you shall not house with me : 
Look to't, think on 't, I do not use to jest. 
Thursday is near ; lay hand on heart, advise : 
An you be mine, I '11 give you to my friend ; 
An you be not, hang, beg, starve, die i' the streets, 
Tor, by my soul, I'll ne'er acknowledge thee, 
Nor what is mine shall never do thee good : 
Trust to 't, bethink you, I '11 not be forsworn. 


Jul. Is there no pity sitting in the clouds, 
That sees into the bottom of my grief? 
0, sweet my mother, cast me not away ! 
Delay this marriage for a month, a week : 
Or, if you do not, make the bridal bed 
In that dim monument where Tybalt lies. 

* (.4), sent. 

*> Thus (C) and folio. (A), which has been partial)} fol- 
lowed, has 

" God's blessed mother! Wife, it mads me. 
Day, night, early, late, at home, abroad, 
Alone, in company, waking or Bleeping. 
Still my care hath been to see her match'd." 
c (A) gives Irain'd. (C) and folio, allied. 

-»CT III."! 


[Scene V. 

La. Cap. Talk not to me, for I '11 not speak a 
Do as thou -wilt, for I have done with thee. [Exit. 
Jul. God ! — O nurse ! how shall this be 
prevented ? 
My husband is on earth, my faith in heaven ; 
How shall that faith return again to earth, 
Unless that husband send it me from heaven 
By leaving earth ?— comfort me, counsel me. — 
Alack, alack, that heaven should practise stra- 
Upon so soft a subject as myself ! 
What say'st thou ? hast thou not a word of joy ? 
Some comfort, nurse. 

Nurse. 'Faith, here 't is : Romeo 

Is banished ; and all the world to nothing, 
That he dares ne'er come back to challenge you ; 
Or, if he do, it needs must be by stealth. 
Then, since the case so stands as now it doth, 
I think it best you married with the county. 
O, he 's a lovely gentleman ! 
Romeo 's a dishciout to him ; an eagle, madam, 
Hath not so green, so quick, so fair an eye, 
As Paris hath. Beshrew my very heart, 

I think you are happy in this second match, 
For it excels your first : or if it did not, 
Your first is dead ; or 'twere as good he were, 
As living here and you no use of him. 

Jul. Speakest thou from thy heart ? 

Nurse. From my soid too ; 

Or else beshrew them both. 

Jul. Amen ! 

Nurse. What ? 

Jul. Well, thou hast comforted me marvellous 
Go in ; and tell my lady I am gone, 
Having displeas'd my father, to Laurence' cell, 
To make confession, and to be absolv'd. 

Nurse. Marry, I will; and this is wisely 
done. [Exit. 

Jul. Ancient damnation! most wicked fiend ! 
Is it more sin — to wish me thus forsworn, 
Or to dispraise my lord with that same tongue 
Which she hath prais'd him with above compare 
So many thousand times ? — Go, counsellor ; 
Thou and my bosom henceforth shall be twain. — 
I '11 to the friar, to know his remedy ; 
If all else fail, myself have power tc die. [Exit. 


1 SCENE I.—" 

Tur.isr is a Bligbl particle of untruth inBenvouVs 
at, which, to a certain justifies this 

chaj I ady Capulet. Tyhalt was bent upon 

quarrelling with Romeo, hut Mercutio forced on 
his own with Tybalt. Dr. Johusun's remark 

upon this circumstance is worthy his character 
as a moralist : — " The charge of falsehood on Ben- 
volio, though produced at hazard, is very just. 
The author, who Beams to intend the character of 
Benvolio as good, meant, perhaps, to show how the 
1 . -r minds, in a Btate of faction and discord, are 
detorted to criminal partiality." 

- Scene II.—" God save the marl J" 

This expression occurs in the First Part of Henry 
IV., in Hotspur's celebrated speech defending the 
denial of his prisoners. In Othello, we have God 
bless the mark. In these cases, as in the instance 
before us, the commentators leave the expression 
in its original obscurity. May we venture a con- 
jecture ? The mark which persons who are unable 
to write are required to make, instead of their 
signature, is in the form of a cross ; but anciently 
the use of this mark was not confined to illiter 
persons, for, amongst the Saxons, the mark of the 
cross, as an attestation of the good faith of the 
person signing, was required to be attached to the 
signature of those who could write, and to stand 
in the place of the signature of those who could 
not write. (See Blackstone's Commentaries.) The 
ancient use of the mark was universal ; and the 
word mark was, we believe, thus taken to signify 
the cross. God save the mark was, therefore, a form 
of ejaculation approaching to the character of an 
oath ; in the same manner as assertions were made 
emphatic by the addition of " by the rood," or, 
'■ by the holy rood." 

3 Scene III. — " I >der in a skill-less soldier's 


The force and propriety of this comparison are 
manifest; but, fully to understand it, we must know 
how the soldier of Shakspere's time was accoutred. 
His heavy gun was tired with a match, his powder 
s carried in a liask ; and the match and the pow- 
der, in unskilful hands, were - sometin 
productive of accidents; so that the man-at-arms 
wis, like Komeo in his passion "dismembered with 
his own defence." 

1 Scexh V. — '* Jvlieta chamber" 

Tli • ■_-■• direction in the folio edition of 1628 
\a, - lv Juliet aloft" Iu the fir-t 

quarto, 1597, the dir " Enter Romeo and 

Juliet at the window." To understan I these di- 
rections, we must refer to the construction of the 

old theatres. "Towards the rear of the bI 
Bays Malone, " there appears to have been a balcony 
or upper stage ; the platform of which was pro- 
bably eight or nine feet from the ground. 1 sup 
it to have been supported by pillars. From hence, 
in many of our old plays, part of the dialogue was 
spoken ; and in the front of it curtains likewise 
were hung, so as occasionally to conceal the persons 
in it from the view of the audience. At each side 
of this balcony was a box very inconveniently 
situated, which was sometimes called the private 
box. In these boxes, which were at a lower price, 
some persons sate, either from economy or sin- 
gularity." The balcony probably served a variety 
of purposes. Malone says, " When the citizens of 
Angiers are to appear on the walls of their town, 
and young Arthur to leap from the battlements, 
I Buppose our ancestors were contented with teeing 
them in the balcony already described ; or, perhaps, 
a few boards tacked together, and painted so as to 
resemble the rude discoloured walls of an old 
town, behind which the platform might have been 
placed near the top, on which the citizens stood." 
It appears to us probable that even in these cases 
the balcony served for the platform, and that a 
few painted boards in front supplied the illuBJi n of 
wall and tower. There was still another use of 
the balcony. According to Malone, when a play 
was exhibited within a play, as in Hamlet, the 
court, or audience, before whom the interlude was 
performed, sate in the balcony. To Malone's 
historical account of the English stage, and to Mr. 
Collier's valuable details regarding theatres (Annals 
of the Stage, vol. iii.), the reader is referred for 

' i , Jukl I J 


fuller details upon this and other points which 
bear upon the economy of our ancient drama. We 
prefix a representation of the old stage, with its 
balcony, which we have been fortunate in finding 
engraved in the title-page to Dr. William Ala- 
baster's Latin tragedy of "Roxana," 1632. 

'Scene V. — "Nightly site sings on yon pomegmnate- 

In the description of the garden in Chaucer's 
translation of the "Romaunt of the Rose," the 
pomegranate is first mentioned amongst the fruit- 
trees : — 

" There were (and that wot I full well) 
Of pomegranates a full great deal." 

The "orchard of pomegranates with pleasant fruits" 
was one of the beautiful objects described by Solo- 
man in his Canticles. Amongst the fruit-bearing 
trees, the pomegranate is in some respects the most 
beautiful ; and, therefore, in the south of Europe 
and in the East it has become the chief ornament 
of the garden. But where did Shakspere find that 
the nightingale haunted the pomegranate-tree, 
pouring forth her song from the same bough, week 
after week? Doubtless in some of the-old travels 
with which he was familiar. Chaucer puts his 
nightingale "in a fresh green laurel-tree;" but the 
preference of the nightingale for the pomegranate 
is unquestionable. "The nightingale sings from 
the pomegranate-groves in the day-time," says 
Russel in his account of Aleppo. A friend, whose 
observations as a traveller are as acute as his de- 
scriptions are graphic and forcible, informs us that 
throughout his journeys in the East he never heard 
such a choir of nightingales as in a row of pome- 
granate-trees that skirt the road from Smyrna to 
Boudjia. In the truth of details such as these the 
genius of Shakspere is as much exhibited as in his 
wonderful powers of generalization. 

Scene Y—"It tvas the lark, the herald of the 

Shakspere's power of describing natural objects 
is unequalled in this beautiful scene, which, as we 
think, was amongst his very early productions. 
The Venus and Adonis, published in 1593, is also 
full of this power. Compare the following passage 
with the description of morning in the scene 
before us : — 

" Lo ! here the gentle lark, weary of rest, 

From his moist cabinet mounts up on high, 
And wakes the morning, from whose silver breast 
The sun ariseth in his majesty ; 
Who doth the world so gloriously behold, 
That cedar-tops and hills seem burnish'd gold." 

7 Scene V. — "Hunting thee hence with hunts-up to 
the day." 

There was one Gray, a maker of "certain merry 
ballads," who, according to Puttenham in his "Art 
of English Poesy" (1589), grew into good estimation 
with Henry VIII., and the Protector Somerset, for 
the said merry ballads, " whereof one chiefly was, 
The hunte is up, the hunte is up." Douce thinks he 
has recovered the identical song, which he reprints. 
( )ne stanza will, perhaps, satisfy our readers :— 

" Chorus I The hunt is up, the hunt is up, 
I Sing merrily wee, the hunt la up; 
The birds they sing, 
The dear they fling, 

Hey, nony nony — no : 
The hounds they crye, 
The hunters flye, 

Hey trolilo, trololilo. 

The hunt is up, the hunt is up." 

8 Scene V. — " God! I have an ill-divining soul.' 1 

Coleridge has some remarks upon that beautiful 
passage in Richard II., where the queen says — 

" Some unborn sorrow, ripe in sorrow's womb." 
Is coming toward me ; " 

which we may properly quote here: "Mark in this 
scene Shakspere's gentleness in touching the tender 
superstitions, the terra incognita of presentiments, 
in the human mind ; and how sharp a line of dis- 
tinction he commonly draws between these obscure 
forecastings of general experience in each individual, 
and the vulgar errors of mere tradition. Indeed, 
it may be taken, once for all, as the truth, that 
Shakspere, in the absolute universality of his 
genius, always reverences whatever arises out of 
our moral nature ; he never profanes his muse with 
a contemptuous reasoning away of the genuine 
and general, however unaccountable, feelings of 
mankind."— (Literary Remains, vol. ii. page 174.) 
— Shakspere has himself given us the key to his 
philosophy of presentiments. Venus, dreading the 
death of Adonis by the boar, says— 

" The thought of it doth, make my faint heart bleed ; 
And fear doth teach it divination; 
I prophesy thy death." 

Such presentiments, which may or may not be rea- 
lised, appertain to the imagination when in a highly 
excited state. Our poet has exhibited the feeling 
under three different aspects in Romeo and Juliet ; 
when Romeo, before going to the masquerade, ex- 
claims — 

•my mind misgives 

Some consequence, yet hanging in the stars, 
Shall bitterly begin his fearful date 
With this night's revels ;" 

he is under the influence of his habitual melan- 
choly, — the sentiment of unrequited love, which 
colours all his imagination with a gloomy fore- 
shadowing of coming events. In the passage 
before us, when Juliet sees her husband 

" As one dead in the bottom of a tomb," 

we have " the fear " which doth " teach" her heart 
'•' divination." But Romeo, in the fifth Act, has a 
presentiment directly contrary to the approaching 
catastrophe : and this arises out of his " unaccus- 
tomed " animal spirits : — 

" My losom's lord sits lightly in his throne." 

All these states of mind are common to the 
imagination deeply stirred by passionate emotion-. 
Nothing, in all Shakspere's philosophy, appears to 
us finer than the deceiving nature of Romeo's 
presages in the last Act, as comprred with the 
tiue-divining fears of Juliet. 



SCENE I.— Friar Laurence's Cell. 

Filter Friar Laurence and Paris. 

Fri. On Thursday, sir? the time is very short. 

Par. My father Capulet will have it so : 
And I am nothing slow, to slack his haste." 

Fri. You say, you do not know the lady's mind; 
Uneven is the course, I like it not. 

Par. Immoderately she weeps for Tybalt's 
And therefore have I little talk'd of love : 
For Venus smiles not in a house of tears. 
Now, sir, her father counts it dangerous 
That she doth give her sorrow so much sway , 
And in his wisdom, hastes our marriage, 
To stop the inundation of her tears ; 
Which, too much minded by herself alone, 
May be put from her by society ; 
Now do you know the reason of this haste. 

Fri. I would I knew not why it should be 
slow'd. [Aside. 

Look, sir, here comes the lady towards my cell. 

» In (A) the passage is 

" And I am nothing slack to slow hU !. 
Jackson conjectures that the In of all the editions should be 
■oo. Rut the meaning is obvious as it stands: — 

" I am nothing slow, (so as) to slack his haste.'' 

Enter Juliet. 

Par. Happily met, my lady, and my wife ! 
Jul. That may be, sir, when I may be a wife. 
Par. That may be, must be, love, on Thurs 

day next. 
Jul. What must be shall be. 
Fri. That 's a certain text. 

Par. Come you to make confession to this 

father ? 
Jul. To answer that, I should confess to you. 
Par. Do not deny to him, that you love me. 
Jul. I will confess to you, that I love him. 
Par. So will you, I am sure, that you love me. 
Jul. If I do so, it will be cf more price, 
Being spoke behind your back, than to your face. 
Par. Poor soul, thy face is much abus'd with 

Jul. The tears have got small victory by that; 
For it was bad enough, before their spite. 

Par. Thou wrongest it, more than tears, with 

thai report. 
Jul. That is no slander, sir, which is a truth; 
And what I spake, I spake it to my face. 

Par. Thy face is mine, and thou hast slan- 

der'd it. 
Jul. It may be so, for it is not mine own. — 

Act IV.] 



Are you at leisure, holy father, now ; 
Or shall I come to you at evening mass ? 

Fri. My leisure serves me, pensive daughter, 
now: — 
My lord, we must entreat the time alone. 

Par. God shield, I should disturb devotion ! — 
Juliet, on Thursday early will I rouse you : 
Till then, adieu ! and keep this holy kiss. 

[Exit Paris. 
Jul. 0, shut the door! and when thou hast 
done so, 
Come weep with me : Past hope, past care, past 
Fri. Juliet, I already know thy grief; 
It strains me past the compass of my wits : 
I hear thou must, and nothing may prorogue it, 
On Thursday next be married to this county. 
Jul. Tell me not, friar, that thou hear'st of 
Unless thou tell me how I may prevent it : 
If, in thy wisdom, thou canst give no help, 
Do thou but call my resolution wise, 
And with this knife I '11 help it presently. 
God join'd my heart and Romeo's, thou our 

hands ; 
And ere this hand, by thee to Romeo seal'd, 
Shall be the label to another deed, 
Or my true heart with treacherous revolt 
Turn to another, this shall slay them both : 
Therefore, out of thy long-experienc'd time, a 
Give me some present counsel ; or, behold, 
'Twist my extremes and me this bloody knife 
Shall play the umpire ; arbitrating that 
"Which the commission of thy years and art 
Could to no issue of true honour bring. 
Be not so long to speak ; I long to die, 
If what thou speak'st speak not of remedy. 
Fri. Hold, daughter; I do spy a kind of 
Which craves as desperate an execution 
As that is desperate which we would prevent. 
If, rather than to marry county Paris, 
Thou hast the strength of will to slay thyself, 
Then is it likely, thou wilt undertake 
A thing like death to chide away this shame, 
That cop'st with death himself to 'scape from it ; 
And, if thou dar'st, I '11 give thee remedy. 

Jul. 0, bid me leap, rather than marry Paris, 
From off the battlements of yonder b tower ; 
Or walk in thievish ways ; or bid me lurk 
Where serpents are; chain me with roaring 

bears ; 
Or hide me nightly in a charnel-house, 

ft Nine lines, ending with this, are not in (A). 
1> In (.-/), yonder. In (C) and folio, any. 

O'er-cover'd quite witli dead men's rattling 

With reeky shanks, and yellow chapless skulls ; 
Or bid me go into a new-made grave, 
And hide me with ?. dead man in his shroud ; a 
Things that, to hear them told, have made me 

tremble ; 
And I wili do it without fear or doubt, 
To live an unstain'd wife to my sweet love. 
Fri. Hold, then; go home, be merry, give 

To marry Paris : Wednesday is to-morrow ; 
To-morrow night look that thou lie alone, 
Let not thy nurse lie with thee in thy chamber : 
Take thou this phial, being then in bed, 
And this distilled liquor drink thou off: 
When, presently, through all thy veins shall run 
A cold and drowsy humour ; for no pulse 
Shall keep his native progress, but surcease. b 
No warmth, no breath, shall testify thou liv'st ; 
The roses in thy lips and cheeks shall fade 
To paly ashes; thy eyes' windows fall, 
Like death, when he shuts up the day of life ; 
Each part, depriv'd of supple government, 
Shall stiff, and stark, and cold, appear like death : 
And in this borrow'd likeness of shrunk death 
Thou shalt continue two-and-forty hours, 
And then awake as from a pleasant sleep. 
Now when the bridegroom in the morning comes 
To rouse thee from thy bed, there art thou dead : 
Then (as the manner of our country is,) 
In thy best robes uncover'd on the bier, 1 
Be borne to burial in thy kindreds' grave ; d 
Thou shalt be borne to that same ancient vault. 
Where all the kindred of the Capulets lie. 
In the mean time, against thou shalt awake, 
Shall Romeo by my letters know our drift : 
And hither shall he come ; and he and I 
Will watch thy waking, and that very night 
Shall Romeo bear thee hence to Mantua. 
And this shall free thee from this present shame; 
If no inconstant toy, nor womanish fear, 
Abate thy valour in the acting it. 

a In (D), shroud. In folio, grave, 
h (A) gives this passage thus : — 

" A dull and heavy slumber, which shall saize 
Each vital spirit ; for no pulse shall keep 
His natural progress, hut surcease to beat." 

We give the text of (C) and the folio. This speech of the 
friar, in the author's "amended " edition (B). is elaborated 
from thirteen lines to thirty-three; and yet the variorum 
editors have been bold enough even here, to give us a text 
made up of Shakspere's first thoughts and his last. 

« In (D), pel;/. In (C), many. 

d This line, which is in all the ancient copies, has been 
left out in all the modern. The editors have here gone far 
beyond their office; — nor can we understand why the more 
particular working out of the idea in the next two lines 
should have given them offence. " Be borne," means " to 
be borne." 


Aci IV] 


[Scenes II., 111. 

Jul. Give me, give me ! tell net me of fear. 
Fri. Hold; get you gone, be strong and 
hi this resolve : 1 "11 send a friar with speed 
Mantua, with my letters to thy lord. 
Jul. Love, give me strength! and strength 
shall help afford. 
Farewell, dear father! [Ex 

Bl ENE ll.—.i Boom in Capulet'* House. 

i ■ Capulet, lady Capulet, Nurse, and 

Ctip. So many guests invite as here are writ. — 

Sirrah, go hire me twenty cunning cooks. 3 

You shall have none ill, sir; for I '11 
try if they can lick their fingers. 

Cap. How canst thou try them so ? 

2 Sen. Marry, sir, 't is an ill cook that cannot 
lick his own fingers : therefore he that canni t 
lick his fingers goes not with me. 

Cap. Go, begone. — [Exit Servant. 

We shall be much unfuruish'd for this time. — 
What, is my daughter gone to Friar Laurence ? 

Nurse. Ay, forsooth. 

Cap. Well, he may chance to do some good on 
her : 
A peevish sclf-wilPd harlotry it is. 

Enter Juliet. 

Nurse. See, where she comes from shrift with 

merry look. 
Cap. How now, my headstrong ? where have 

you been gadding ? 
Jul. Where I have leam'd me to repent the sin 
Of disobedient opposition 
To you, and your behests ; and am enjoin'd 
By holy Laurence to fall prostrate here, 
To beg your pardon: — Pardon, I beseech you ! 
Henceforward I am ever rul'd by you. 

Cap. Send for the county; go tell him of 
I'll have this knot knit up to-morrow morning. 
Jul. I met the youthful lord at Laurence' cell; 
And gave him what becomed" love 1 might, 
Not stepping o'er the bounds of mod. 

. Why, I am glad on 't ; this is well, — 
stand up •- 
This is as't should lie. — Let me see the county; 
A; marry, '_ r ". 1 say, and fetch him hither. — 

this reverend holy friar, 
All our who! ih bound to him. 



Jul. Nurse, will you go with me into my 
To help me sort such needful ornaments 
As you think fit to furnish me to-morrow : 
La. Cap. No, not till Thursday; there is time 

Cap. Go, nurse, go with her: — we'll to church 

[Exeunt Juliet and Nuiise. 
la. Cap. We shall be short in our provision ; 
'T is now near night. 

Cap. Tush ! I will stir about, 

And all things shall be well, I warrant thee, 

wife : 
Go thou to Juliet, help to deck up her; 
1 '11 not to bed to-night ; — let me alone ; 
I'll play the housewife for this once. — What, 

ho !— 
They arc all forth : Well, I will walk myself 
To county Paris, to prepare him up 
Against to-morrow : my heart is wond'rous 

Since this same wayward girl is so reclaim'd. 


SCENE III.— Juliet's Chamber. 
Enler Juliet ami Nukse. 

Jul. Ay, those attires are best : — But, gentle 

I pray thee, leave me to myself to-night ; 
For I have need of many orisons 
To move the heavens to smile upon my state, 
Which, well thou know'st, is cross and full of 


Enter lady Capulet. 

La. Cap. What, are you busy, bo? Need you 11 

my help ? 
Jul. No, madam ; we have cull'd such neces- 
As are behoveful for our state to-morrow : 
So please you, let me now be left alone. 
And let the nurse this night sit up with you; 
For, I am sure, you have your hands full all, 
In this so sudden business. 

La. Cap. Good nig 

Get thee to bed, and rest ; for thou h. 

[Exi -'ill Lady Capi i it an i Nukse. 
Jul. Farewell! — God knows, when we shall 
meel again. 
I have a faint cold fear thrills through my veins, 
Thai almost freezes up the heat of life: 
1 '11 call them back again to comfort me ; — 

» {A), Do you need my help t 

Alt IV. 



Nurse ! — What should she do here ? 
My dismal scene I needs must act alone. — 
Come, phial. — - 

What if this mixture do not work at all ? 
Shall I be married then to-morrow morning ? a 
No, no ; — this shall forbid it : — lie thou there. — 

[Laying down a dagger. 
What if it be a poison, which the friar 
Subtly hath minister' d to have me dead; 
Lest in this marriage he should be dishonour'd, 
Because be married me before to Romeo ? 
I fear, it is : and yet, metbinks, it should not, 
For he hath still been tried a holy man : 
How if, when I am laid into the tomb, 
I wake before the time that Romeo 
Come to redeem me ? there's a fearful point ! 
Shall I not then be stifled in the vault, 
To whose foul mouth no healthsome ah breathes 

And there die strangled ere my Romeo comes ? 
Or, if I hve, is it not very like, 
The horrible conceit of death and night, 
Together with the terror of the place, — 
As in a vault, 3 an ancient receptacle, 
Where, for these many hundred years, the 

Of all my buried ancestors are pack'd ; 
Where bloody Tybalt, yet but green in earth, 
Lies fest'ring in his shroud ; where, as they say, 
At some hours in the night spirits resort ; — 
Alack, alack ! it is not like, that I, 
So early waking, — what with loathsome smells ; 
And shrieks like mandrakes' torn out of the earth, 

a This speech of Juliet, like many others of the great 
passages throughout the play, received the most careful 
elaboration and the most minute touching. In the first 
edition it occupies only eighteen lines ; it extends to forty- 
five in the "amended" edition of 1599. And yet it was a 
recent custom to make a patchwork of the two. This line 
in [A) is thus: — 

" Must I Tjf force be married to the county ? " 
The line which follows lower down— 

" I will not entertain so bad a thought"— 

Steevens says he has recovered from the quarto. We print 
the eighteen lines of the original, that the reader may see 
with what consummate skill the author's corrections have 
been made. 

" Farewell, God knows when we shall meet again. 
Ah, I do take a fearful thing in hand. 
What if this potion should not work at all, 
Must I of force be married to the county I 
This shall forbid it. Knife, lie thou there. 
What if the friar should give me this drink 
To poison me, for fear I should disclose 
Our former marriage ? Ah, I wrong him much, 
He is a holy and religious man : 
I will not entertain so bad a thought. 
What if I should be stifled in the tomb ? 
Awake an hour before the appointed time : 
Ah, then I fear I shall be lunatic : 
And playing with my dead forefathers' hones, 
Dash out my frantic brains. Methinks I see 
My cousin Tybalt weltering in his blond. 
Seeking for Romeo: Stay, Tybalt, stay. 
"Romeo i come, this do 1 drink to thee." 

That living mortals, hearing them, run mad ; — • 
O ! if I wake, shall I not be distraught, 
Environed with all these hideous fears ? 
And madly play with my forefathers' joints? 
And pluck the mangled Tybalt from his shroud? 
And, in this rage, with some great kinsman's bone. 
As with a club, dash out my desperate brains ? 
0, look ! methinks, I see my cousin's ghost 
Seeking out Romeo, that did spit his body 
Upon a rapier's point :— Stay, Tybalt, stay ! — 
Romeo, Romeo, Romeo, I drink to tbee. a 

[She throws herself on the led. 

SCENE IV.— Capulet'-s Hall. 

Enter Lady Capulet and Nurse. 

La. Cap. Hold, take these keys, and fetch 

more spices, nurse. 
Nurse. They call for dates and quinces in the 

Enter Capulet. 
Cap. Come, stir, stir, stir! the second cock 
hath crow'd. 
The curfeu bell hath rung, 't is three o'clock :— 
Look to the bak'd meats, good Angelica : 
Spare not for cost. 

Nurse. Go, you cot-quean, go, 

Get you to bed ; 'faith, you'll be sick to-morrow 
For this night's watching. 

Cap. No, not a whit ; What ! I have watch'd 
ere now 
All night for lesser cause, and ne'er been sick. 
La. Cap. Ay, you have been a mouse-huut in 
your time ; 
But I will watch you from such watching now. 
[Exeunt Lady Capulet and Nukse. 
Cap. A jealous-hood, a jealous-hood !— Now, 
What's there? 
Enter Servants, with spits, logs, and baskets} 

1 Serv. Things for the cook, sir ; but I know 

not what. 
Cap. Make haste, make haste. [Exit 1 Serv.] 
— Sirrah, fetch drier logs ; 
Call Peter, he will show thee where they are. 

2 Serv. I have a head, sir, that will find out logs, 
And never trouble Peter for the matter. [Exit. 

Cap. 'Mass, and well said; A merry whore- 
son ! ha, 

a The ordinary reading is that of [A): 

" Romeo, I come ! this do I drink to thee " 
In the subsequent quartos, and the folio, we have, 
" Romeo, Romeo, Romeo !— here's drink— I drink to thee.' 
We think with Mr. Dyce that " here's drink," was the stage- 
direction of here drink. We do not adopt the fust reading, 
because " I come " would seem to imply that Romeo was 
dead, and Juliet was about to meet him in another world. 




[Scene V. 

Thou shalt be logger-head. — Good father, 'tis 

The county will be here with music straight, 

[Music within. 
For so he said he would. I hear him near : — 
Norse I — Wife! — what, ho! — what, nurse, I 


Enter Nurse. 

Go, waken Juliet, go, and trim her up ; 

I '11 go and chat with Paris : — Hie, make 

Make haste ! the bridegroom he is come al- 
ready : 

Make haste, 1 say. Exeunt. 

SCENE Y. — Juliet'* Chamber; Juliet on the 

Enter Nurse. 

Nurse. Mistress .'—what, mistress! — Juliet ! — 
fast, I warrant her, she : — 

Why, lamb ! — Why, lady ! — fie, vou sluga- 
bed !- 

Why, love, I say ! — madam ! sweetheart ! — why, 
bride ! — 

What, not a word? — you take your pennyworths 

Sleep for a week; for the next night, I war- 

The county Paris hath set up his rest 

That you shall rest but little. —God forgive 

(Marry, and amen!) how sound is she asleep ! 

I must needs wake her : — Madam, madam, ma- 
dam ! 

Ay, let the county take you in your bed ; 

He '11 fright you up, i' faith.— Will it not be ? 

What, dress'd ! and in your clothes ! and down 
again ! 

I must needs wake you : Lady ! lady ! lady ! 

Alas ! alas ! — Help ! help ! my lady 's dead ! — 

0, well-a-day, that ever I was born ! — 

Some aqua-vitae, ho ! — my lord ! my lady ! 

Enter Lady CaFULBT. 

La. Cap. "What noise is here ? 
Nurse. lamentable day ! 

Lm. Cap. What is the matter? 
Nurse. Look, look ! heavy dav ! 

La. Cap. me, me!— my child, my only 
Revive, look up, or I will die with thee ! — 
Help, help ! — call help. 

Enter Capulet. 

Cap. Tor shame, bring Juliet forth; her lord 

is come. 
Nurse. She's dead, deceas'd, she's dead; 

alack the day ! 
La. Cap. Alack the day ! she 's dead, she' s 

dead, she 's dead. 
Cap. Ha! let me see her :— Out, alas ! she's 
Her blood is settled, and her joints are stiff; 
Life and these lips have long been separated : 
Death lies on her, like an untimely frost 
Upon the sweetest flower of all the field." 
Nurse. lamentable day ! 
La. Cap. woeful time! 

Cap. Death, that hath ta'en her hence to 
make me wail, 
Ties up my tongue, and will not let me speak. 

Enter Friar Laurexce and Paris, with 

Fri. Come, is the bride ready to go to church ? 

Cap. Ready to go, but never to return : 
son, the night before thy wedding-day 
Hath death lain with thy wife :— There she lies, 
Flower as she was, deflowered by him. 
Death is my son-in-law, death is my heir ; 
My daughter he hath wedded ! I will die, 
And leave him all ; Ufe leaving, all is death's. 

Par. Have I thought long to see this morn- 
ing's face, 
And doth it give me such a sight as this ? 

La. Cap. Accurs'd, unhappy, wretched, hate- 
ful day ! 
Most miserable hour, that e'er time saw 
In lasting labour of his pilgrimage ! 
But one, poor one, one poor and loving child, 
But one thing to rejoice and solace in, 
And cruel death hath catch'd it from my sight. 

Nurse. woe ! woeful, woeful, woeful day ! 
Most lamentable day ! most woeful day, 
That ever, ever, I did yet behold ! 
O day ! day ! O day ! hateful day ! 
Never was seen so black a day as this : 
woeful day, woeful day ! 

Pur. Beguil'd, divorced, wronged, spited, slain ! 
Most detestable death, by thee beguil'd, 
By cruel cruel thee quite overthrown ! — 
O love ! O life ! not life, but love in death ! 

» In the original we want these four exquisite lines. Am! 
yet the variorum editors have thrust in the single line which 
they Tound in (A): — 

"Accused time, unfortunate old man." 
l> The original text is life, livinrj, all it death's. Ti.c sub- 
stitution of life leaving was Capili's. 

Act IV.] 


Cap. Despis'd, distressed, hated, martyr'd, 

Uncomfortable time ! why caiu'st thou now 
To murder, murder our solemnity ? — 
child! O child! — my soul, and not my child ! — 
Dead art thou ! — alack ! my child is dead ! 
And, with my child, my joys are buried ! 

Fri. Peace, ho, for shame! confusion's cure 

lives not 
In these confusions. Heaven and yourself 
Had part in this fair maid; now heaven hath 

And all the better is it for the maid : 
Your part in her you could not keep from 

death ; 
But heaven keeps his part in eternal life. 
The most you sought was her promotion ; 
For 't was your heaven, she should be advanc'd : 
And weep ye now, seeing she is advanc'd, 
Above the clouds, as high as heaven itself? 
O, in this love, you love your child so ill, 
That you run mad, seeing that she is well : 
She 's not well married that lives married long ; 
But she 's best married that dies married young. 
Dry up your tears, and stick your rosemary 
On this fair corse ; and, as the custom is, 
In all her bsst array bear her to church: 
For though some a nature bids us all lament, 
Yet nature's tears are reason's merriment. 

Cap. All things that we ordained festival, 
Turn from their office to black funeral : 
Our instruments to melancholy bells ; 
Our wedding cheer to a sad burial feast; 
Our solemn hymns to sullen dirges change ; 
Our bridal flowers serve for a buried corse, 
And all things change them to the contrary. 
Fri. Sir, go you in, — and, madam, go with 

him ; — 
And go, sir Paris ; — every one prepare 
To follow this fair corse unto her grave. 
The heavens do low'r upon you, for some ill ; 
Move them no more, by crossing their high 
[Exeunt Capulet, Lady Capulet, Paris, 
and Friar. 

1 Mus. 'Faith, we may put up our pipes, and 
be gone. 
Nurse. Honest good fellows, ah, put up, put 
For, well you know, this is a pitiful case. 

[Exit Nurse. 

a Some nature. Fond nature has been introduced into the 
text from the second folio. The difficulty of some is not 
manifest. Some nature — some impulses of nature — some 
part of our nature. "The idea may have suggested the 
" Some natural tears" of Milton. 

1 Mus. Ay, by my troth, the case may be 

Enter Peter. 

Pet. Musicians, O, musicians, 5 Heart's ease, 
heart's ease ; O, an you will have me live, play 
heart's ease. 

1 Mas. Why heart's ease ? 

Pet. 0, musicians, because my heart itself 
plays — My heart is full : O, play me some merry 
dump," to comfort me. 

2 Mus. Not a dump we ; 't is no time to play 

Pet. You will not then? 

Mus. No. 

Pet. I will then give it you soundly. 

1 Mus. What will you give us ? 

Pet. No money, on my faith ; but the gleek : 
I will give you the minstrel. 

1 Mus. Then will I give you the serving- 

Pet. Then will I lay the serving-creature's 
dagger on your pate. I will carry no crotchets : 
I '11 re you, I 'Ufa you ; b Do you note me ? 

1 Mus. An you re us, and fa us, you note 

2 Mus. Pray you, put up your dagger, and 
put out your wit. 

Pet. Then have at you with my wit ; I will 
dry-beat you with an iron wit, and put up my 
iron dagger : — Answer me like men : 

When griping griefs the heart doth wound, 
And doleful dumps the mind oppress, 
Then music, with her silver sound; c 

Why, silver-sound ? why music with her silver 
sound ? 
What say you, Simon Catling ? d 

1 Mus. Marry, sir, because silver hath a sweet 

Pet. Pretty ! e What say you, Hugh Rebeck ? ' 

2 Mus. I say — silver sound, because musicians 
sound for silver. 

Pet. Pretty too ! What say you, James Sound- 
post ? 

3 Mus. 'Faith, I know not what to say. 

Pet. 0, I cry you mercy ! you are the singer : 

a Dump was not originally a burlesque term, but it 
generally implied somewhat sorrowful or mournful. 

b I'll he you, I 'II fa you. lie and fa are the syllables, 
or names, given in solmization, or sol-faing to the sounds c 
and f in the musical scale. 

c See Illustrations to this Act. 

d Catling — a lute-string. 

e (C), protest. 

f Rebeck— the three-string'd violin. 


A.CT IV ] 


|SC£NS V. 

I will say for you. It is— music with her silver 
sound, because musicians have no gold for 
sounding: — ft 

Then music with her silver sound, 
With speed; help doth lend redress, 

[Exit, singing. 

- ir: [A) we have "such fellows as you have seldom gold 

tot sounding; " and then the servant calls them "flddtars." 

1 Mus. What a pestilent knave is tliis same ? 

2 Mux. Hang him, Jack ! Come, we '11 in 
here; tarry for the mourners, and stay dinner. 


It is Interesting to maik the change in the corrected copy 
Shakspere would not put offensive, words to the skilled ir> 
music even into the mouth of a clownish servant. 


1 Scene I. — "In thy best robes, uncover'cl on the bier." 

In the adaptation of Bandello's talc, in " Painter's 
Palace of Pleasure," we have, "they will judge 
you to be dead, and, according to the custom 
of our city, you shall be carried to the church- 
yard hard by our churcli." The Italian mode of 
interment is given in the poem of Ronieus and 
Juliet :- — 

" Another use there is, that whosoever dyes, 
Borne to their church with open face uj on the heere he lyes 
In wonted weede attyrde, not wrapt in winding-sheet." 

Painter has no description of this custom: but 
Shakspere saw how beautifully it accorded with 
the conduct of his story, and he therefore empha- 
tically repeats it in the directions of the Friar, 
after Juliet's supposed death : — 

" Dry up your tears, and stick your rosemary 
On this fair corse ; and, as the custom is, 
In all her best array bear her to church." 

Ancient customs survive when they are built 
upon the unaltering parts of national character, 
and have connexion with unalterable local cir- 
cumstances. Juliet was carried to her tomb as 
the maids and the matrons of Italy are still carried. 
Rogers has most accurately described such a 
scene : — 

" But now by fits 
A dull and dismal noise assail'd the ear, 
A wail, a chant, louder and louder yet ; 
And now a strange fantastic troop appear'd ! 
Thronging, they came — as from the shades below ; 
All of a ghostly white 1 ' Oh ! say,' I cried, 
' Do not the living here bury the dead ? 
Do spirits come and fetch them? What are these, 
That seem not of this world, and mock the day; 
Each with a burning taper in his hand?' 
■ It is an ancient brotherhood thou seest. 
Such their apparel. Through the long, long line, 
Look where thou wilt, no likeness of a man ; 
The living mask'd, the dead alone uncover'd. 
But mark ' — And, lying on her funeral couch, 
Like one asleep, her eyelids closed, her hands 
Folded together on her modest breast, 
As 'twere her nightly posture, through the crowd 
She came at last — and richly, gaily clad, 
As for a birthday feast ! " 

2 Scene II. — ' ; Sirrah, go hire me twenty cunning 

The " cunning cook," in the time of Shakspere, 
was, as he is at present, a great personage. Accord- 
ing to an entry in the books of the Stationers' Com- 
pany for 1560, the preacher was paid six shillings 
and two pence for his labour ; the minstrel twelve 
shillings ; and the cook fifteen shillings. The rela- 
tive scale of estimation for theology, poetry, and 
gastronomy, has not been much altered during three 
centuries, either in the city generally, or in. the 
Company which represents the city's literature. 

Tragedies. — Vol. I. F 

Ben Jonson has described a master cook in Lia 
gorgeous style : — 

" A master cook ! why, he is the man of men, 
For a professor; he designs, he draws, 
He paints, he carves, he builds, he fortifies, 
Makes citadels of curious fowl and fish. 
Some he dry-ditches, some moats round with broths, 
Mounts marrow-bones, cuts fifty angled custards, 
Rears bulwark pies ; and, for his outer works, 
He raiseth ramparts of immortal crust, 
And teacheth all the tactics at one dinner — 
What ranks, what files, to put his dishes in, 
The whole art military ! Then he knows 
The influence of the stars upon his meats, 
And all their seasons, tempers, qualities, 
And so to fit his relishes and sauces. 
He has nature in a pot, 'bove all the chemists, 
Or bare-breech'd brethren of the rosy cross. 
He is an architect, an engineer, 
A soldier, a physician, a philosopher, 
A general mathematician." 

Old Capulet, in his exuberant spirits at his 
daughter's approaching marriage, calls for " twenty" 
of these artists. The critics think this too large a 
number, llitson says, with wonderful simplicity, 
" Either Capulet had altered his mind strangely, 
or our author forgot what he had just made him 
tell us." This is, indeed, to understand a poet 
with admirable exactness. The passage is entirely 
in keeping with Shakspere's habit of hitting off a 
character almost by a word. Capulet is evidently 
a man of ostentation ; but his ostentation, as is 
most generally the case, is covered with a thin veil 
of affected indifference. In the first Act he says 
to his guests, 

" We have a trifling foolish banquet toward." 

In the third Act, when he settles the day of Paris' 
marriage, he just hints, — 

" We '11 keep no great ado— a friend or two." 

But Shakspere knew that these indications of the 
" pride which apes humility " were not inconsistent 
with the " twenty cooks," the regret that 

" We shall be much unfurnish'd for this time," 

and the solicitude expressed in 

" Look to the bak'd meats, good Angelica." 

Steevens turns up his nose aristocratically at 
Shakspere, for imputing " to an Italian nobleman 
and his lady all the petty solicitudes of a private 
house, concerning aprovincial entertainment;" and 
he adds, very grandly, " To such a bustle our 
author might have been witness at home; bat the 
like anxieties could not well have occurred in the 
family of Capulet." Steevens had not well read 
the history of society, either in Italy or in England, 
to have fallen into the mistake of believing that 
the great were exempt from such " anxieties." 
The baron's lady overlooked the baron's kitchen 
from her private chamber ; and the still-room and 
the spicery not unfrecpiently occupied a largo 
portion of her attention. 



3 SCENE III.— "At in a rault." 

It has been conjectured that the charnel-house 
under the church ;it Stratford, which contains a 
v i-t collection of human bones, suggested to Shak- 

• this description of" the ancient recepl 
of the Capuli 

' So MB IV. — ■■Enter Servants, with sjiits, logs, and 

Vecellio has given us the costume of the menial 
servants and porters of Italy, which we here copy. 

5 Scant V. — "Musicians, 0, musicians .'" 

Juliet is held to be dead. Capulet's joys are 
buried with his child. The musicians that came 
to accompany her to church remain in the hall. 
The scene which follows between Peter and the 
musicians has generally been considered ill-placed. 
Even Coleridge says, " As the audience know that 
Juliet is not dead, this scene is, perhaps, excus- 
able." Rightly understood, it appears to us that 
the scene requires no apology. It was the custom 
of our ancient theatre to introduce, in the irregu- 
lar pauses of a play that stood in the place of a 
division into acts, some short diversion, such as a 

song, a dance, or the extempore buffoonery of a 
ii. At this point of Komeo and Juliet there 
' is a natural pause in the action, and at this point 
such an interlude would, probably, have been 
presented whether Shakspere had written one or 
not. The stage direction in the second quarto 
puts this matter, as it appears to us, beyond a 
doubt. That direction .-ays, " Ent( r Will Kempt ," 
and the dialogue immediately begins between Peter 
and the musicians. "Will Kempe was the Listen of 
his day ; and was as great a popular favourite as Tar- 
leton had been before him. It was wise, therefore, 
in Shakspere to find some business for Will Kempe, 
that should not be entirely out of harmony with 
the great business of his play. This scene of the 
musicians is very short, and, regarded as a neces- 
sary part of the routine of the ancient stage, is 
excellently managed. Nothing can be more natu- 
rally exhibited than the indifference of hirelings, 
without attachment, to a family-scene of grief. 
Peter and the musicians bandy jokes; and, although 
the musicians think Peter a " pestilent knave," 
perhaps for his inopportune sallies, they are 
ready enough to look after their own gratification, 
even amidst the sorrow which they see around 
them. A wedding or a burial is the same to them. 
■■ » 'ome, we'll in here — tarry for the mourners, and 
stay dinner." So Shakspere read the course of the 
world — and it is not much changed. The quotation 
beginning — 

" When griping grief the heart doth wound " — 

is from a short poem in The Paradise of Dainlie 
Denises, by Richard Edwards, master of the chil- 
dren of the chapel to Queen Elizabeth, This was 
set as a four-part song, by Adrian Batten, organist 
of St. Paul's in the reign of Charles L, and is thus 
printed, but without any name, in Hawkins's His- 
tory of Music, vol. v. The question of Peter, " Why 
silver sound, why music with her silver sound ? " 
is happily enough explained by Percy : " This 
ridicule is not so much levelled at the song itself 
(which, for the time it was written, is not inele- 
gant) as at those forced and unnatural explanations 
often given by us painful editors and expositors 
of ancient authors." — (Reliques, vol. i.) Had Shak- 
spere a presentiment of what he was to receive 
at the hands of his own commentators? 


SCENE L— Mantua. 1 A Street. 

Enter Romeo. 

Rom. If I may trust the flattering truth a of 

My dreams presage some joyful news at hand : 
My bosom's lord sits lightly in his throne ; 
And, all this day, an unaecustom'd spirit 
Lifts me above the ground -with cheerful thoughts. 
I dreamt, my lady came and found me dead ; 
(Strange dream ! that gives a dead man leave to 

And breath'd such life with kisses in my lips, 
That I revived, and was an emperor. 
Ah me ! how sweet is love itself possess 'd, 
When but love's shadows are so rich in joy ! 

Enter Balthasar. 

News from A r erona ! — How now, Balthasar ? 
Dost thou not bring me letters from the friar ? 
How doth my lady ? Is my father well ? 
How doth my lady b Juliet ? That I ask again ; 
For nothing can be ill, if she be well. 

Bal. Then she is well, and nothing can be ill. 

a [A) eye. This word has been retained by some modern 
editors. But it is not difficult to see the growth of that 
philosophical spirit in Shakspere which suggested the sub- 
stitution of the word " truth," which opens to the mind a 
deep volume of metaphysical inquiry. 

b (A), How fares my Juliet! 


Her body sleeps in Capels' monument, 
Aud her immortal part with angels lives. 
I saw her laid low in her kindred's vault, 
Aud presently took post to tell it you : 
O pardon me for bringing these ill news, 
Since you did leave it for my office, sir. 

Horn. Is it even so ? then I defy you, stars !— 
Thou know'st my lodging : get me ink and papei, 
And hire post-horses ; I will hence to-night. 

Bal. I do beseech you, sir, have patience. a 
Your looks are pale and wild, and do import 
Some misadventure. 

Rom. Tush, thou art deceiv'd ; 

Leave me, and do the thing I bid thee do : 
Hast thou no letters to me from the friar ? 

Bal. No, my good lord. 

Rom. No matter : get thee gone, 

Aud hire those horses ; I '11 be with thee straight. 

[Exit Balthasar. 
Well, Juliet, I will lie with thee to-night. 

" The first quarto has 

" Pardon me, sir, I will not leave you thu*." 

But then all the remaining dialogue in the early play differs 
from the amended text of the author, and the changes show 
his accurate judgment. For example : — 

" Hast thou no letters to me from the friar '. " 

that most important repetition, is omitted in the original 
play. Are we not to trust to this. .' Recent editois 

have not f jllowed the example ol some of their predecessors 
in dealing with his corrections according to their o« n caprice. 


Act V.] 


[SCKKE 11 

Let 's sec for means : — 0, mischief ! thou art 

To enter in the thoughts of desperate men ! 
I do remember an apothecary, — 2 
And hereabouts he dwells, — which late I noted 
In tatter' d weed-, with overwhelming brows, 
Culling of simples ; meagre were his looks, 
Sharp misery had worn him to the bones : 
And in his needy shop a tortoise hung, 
An alligator stuff'd, and other skins 
Of ill-shap'd fishes ; and about bis shelves 
A beggarly account of empty boxes, 
Green earthen pots, bladders, and musty seeds, 
Remnants of packthread, and old cakes of roses, 
Were thinly scatter'd to make up a show. 
Noting tliis penury, to myself I said — 
An if a man did need a poison now, 
Whose sale is present death in Mantua, 3 
Here lives a caitiff wretch would sell it him. 
0, this same thought did but forerun my need ; 
And this same needy man must sell it me. 
As I remember, this should be the house : 
Being holiday, the beggar's shop is shut. — 
What, ho ! apothecary ! a 

Enter Apothecary. 

Ap. Who calls so loud ? 

Rom. Come hither, man. — I see that thou art 
poor ; 
Hold, there is forty ducats ; let me have 
A drain of poison; such soon-speeding g<;ir 
As will disperse itself through all the veins, 
That the life-weary taker may fall dead ; 
And that the trunk may be discharg'd of breath 
As violently as hasty powder fir'd 
Doth hurry from the fatal cannon's womb. 

Ap. Such mortal drugs I have ; but Mantua's 
Is death to any he that utters them. 

Bom. Art thou so bare, and full of wretch- 

* We are tempted once more to trespass upon our limited 
space by Riving the speech descriptive of the apothecary, 
from the first edition. The studies in poetical art, which 
Shakspere's corrections of himself supply, are amongst ihe 
most instructive in the whole compass of literature : — 

" Well, Juliet, I will lie with thee to-night. 
see for means. As I do remi 
Here dwells a pothecary whom oft I noted 
A- I put by. whose needy shop is stvilft 
With xes: 

And in the same an alligator 1, 
Old ends of packthread, and cakes of roses, 
Are thinly strewed to make up a show. 
Him as I noted, thus with myself I the. 
An if a man should need a poison now 
[Whose present sale is death in Mantua). 

ne might buy it. This thought of mine 
Did hut forerun ray need: and hereabout he dwells. 
Being holiday the hugTar's shop is thut. 
What, hoi apothecary I come fort); I saw" 


And fear'st to die ? famine is in thy cheeks, 
Need andoppressionstarveth in thy eyes, 
Contempt and beggary hang upon thy back," 
The world is not thy friend, nor the world's law ; 
The world affords no law to make thee rich ; 
Then be not poor, but break it, and take this. 

Ap. My poverty, but not my will, consents. 

Rom. I pray b thy poverty, and not thy will. 

Ap. Put this in any liquid thing you will, 
And drink it off; and, if you had the strength 
Of twenty men, it would despatch you straight. 

Rom. There is thy gold ; worse poison to men's 
Doing more murther in this loathsome world, 
Than these poor compounds that thou may'st 

not sell : 
I sell thee poison, thou hast sold me none. 
Farewell : buy food, and get thyself in flesh. — 
Come, cordial, and not poison ; go with me 
To Juliet's grave, for there must I use thee. 


SCENE II.— Friar Laurence's Cell. 
Enter Friar Johx. 
John. Holy Franciscan friar ! brother, ho ! 

Enter Friar Laurexce. 

Lau. This same should be the voice of friar 
John. — 
Welcome from Mantua : What says Romeo ? 
Or, if his mind be writ, give me his letter. 

John. Going to find a bare-foot brother out, 4 
One of our order, to associate mc, 
Here in this city visiting the sick, 
And finding him, — the searchers of the town, 
Suspecting that we both were in a house 
Where the infectious pestilence did reign, 
Seal'd up the doors, and would not let us forth ; 
So that my speed to Mantua there was stay'd. 

Lau. Who bare my letter then to Romeo ? 

John. I could not send it, — here it is again,— 
Nor get a messenger to bring it thee ; 
So fearful were they of infection. 

Lau. Unhappy fortune ! by my brotherhood, 
The letter was not nice, but full of charge 
Of dear import ; and the neglecting it 
May do much danger : Friar John, go hence ; 
Get me an iron crow, and bring it straight 
Unto my cell. 

John. Brother, I '11 go and bring it thec. [Exit. 

* Stccvcns again! who has "recovered " from the fir»t 
quarto the line in our common texts, 

" Upon thy hack hangs ragged misery." 
t> (A), pa;/. (C/ and folio, pray 
e Sice — trivia]. 

Act V.] 



Lav. Now must I to the monument alone ; 
Within this three hours will fair Juliet wake. 
She will beshrew me much, that Romeo 
Hath had no notice of these accidents ; 
But I will write again to Mantua, 
And keep her at my cell till Romeo come. 
Poor living corse, clos'd in a dead man's tomb ! 


SCENE III. — A Church-yard; in it, a Monu- 
ment belonging to the Capulets. 

Enter Paris, ami his Page, bearing floiccrs and 
a torch. 

Par. Give me thy torch, boy: Hence, and 
stand aloof ; — 
Yet put it out, for I would not be seen. 
Under yon yew-trees a lay thee all along, 
Holding thine ear close to the hollow ground ; 
So shall no foot upon the church -yard tread 
(Being loose, unfirin, with diggiug up of graves), 
But thou shalt hear it : whistle then to me, 
As signal that thou hear'st something approach. 
Give me those flowers. Do as I bid thee, go. 

Page. I am almost afraid to stand alone 
Here in the church-yard ; yet I will adventure. 


Par. Sweet flower, with flowers thy bridal-bed 
I strew : 
woe, thy canopy is dust and stones, 
Which with sweet water nightly I will dew, 
Or wauting that, with tears distilled by moans ; 
The obsequies that I for thee will keep, 
Nightly shall be, to strew thy grave and we.ep b 

[The Boy whistles. 
The boy gives warning, something doth approach. 
What cursed foot wanders this way to-night, 
To cross my obsequies, and true-love's rite ? 
What, with a torch '.—muffle me, night, a while. 


Enter Romeo and Balthasar with a torch, 
mattock, 8fc. 

Rom. Give me that mattock, and the wrench- 
ing iron. 

a This passage is different in (A)— but an " Ew " tree is 
mentioned. In (C) we have ymtng-irees-yerhaps a typogra- 
phical error ; but it occurs again. 

b The six lines which Paris here speaks are those of the 
quarto of 1599, and of the folio. Pope manufactured a pas- 
sUe from both quarto editions, and Steevens and Malone 
restored that of the elder quarto. The first copy is thus :— 
" Sweet flower, with flowers I strew thy bridal bed : 
Sweet tomb, that in thy circuit dost contain 
The perfect model of eternity; 
Fair Juliet, that with angels dost remain, 
Accept this latest favour at my hands ; 
That living honour'd thee, and, being dead, 
With funeral praises do adom thy tomb." 

Hold, take this letter ; early in the morning 

See thou deliver it to my lord and father. 

Give me the light ; Upon thy life I charge thee, 

Whate'er thou hear'st or secst, stand all aloof, 

And do not interrupt me in my course. 

Why I descend into this bed of death, 

Is, partly, to behold my lady's face : 

But, chiefly, to take thence from her dead finger 

A precious ring ; a ring, that I must use 

In dear employment : therefore hence, be 

gone : — ■ 
But if thou, jealous, dost return to pry 
In what I further shall intend to do, 
By heaven, I will tear thee joint by joint, 
And strew this hungry church-yard with tliy 

limbs : 
The time and my intents are savage-wild ; 
More fierce, and more inexorable far, 
Than empty tigers, or the roaring sea. 

Bal. I will be gone, sir, and not trouble you. 
Rom. So shalt thou show me friendship.- - 
♦ Take thou that : 
Live and be prosperous ; and farewell, good 
Bal. For all this same, I '11 hide me hereabout ; 
His looks I fear, and his intents I doubt, 

Rom. Thou detestable maw, thou womb of 
Gorg'd with the dearest morsel of the earth, 
Thus I enforce thy rotten jaws to open, 

[Breaking open the door of the monument. 
And, in despite, I'll cram thee with more food ! 
Par. This is that banish' d haughty Montague, 
That murder'd my love's cousin ;— with which 

It is supposed the fair creature died, — ■ 
And here is come to do some villainous shame 
To the dead bodies : I will apprehend him.— - 

Stop thy unhallow'd toil, vile Montague. 
Can vengeance be pursu'd further than death? 
Condemned villain, I do apprehend thee : 
Obey, and go with me ; for thou must die. 
Rom. I must, indeed; and therefore came I 
Good gentle youth, tempt not a desperate man, 
Fly hence and leave me ;— think upon these 

gone ; 
Let them affright thee.— I beseech thee, youth, 
Put a not another sin upon my head, 
By urging me to fury :— 0, be gone ! 
By heaven, I love thee better than myself ; 
For I come hither arnvd against myself : 

a (,/), Heap. 


Act V.] 



not, be gone ; — live, ami hereafter Bay— 
A madman's mercy bade thee run away. 
Par. I do defy thy commiseration,* 

And apprehend thee for b a felon 1 

/.'■ i. Wilt thou provoke me? thru have at 
thee, boy. [They fight. 

1' e. O lord! they fight: I will go call the 

Par. O, 1 am slain! [Falls.'] — If thou be 

Open the tomb, lay me with Juliet. [Di 

l; <. In faith, 1 will: — Let mc peruse this 
■ : — 
Mereutio's kinsman, noble county Paris :— 
"What said my man, when my betossed soul 
Did not attend him as we rode ? I think, 
lie told mc Taris should have married Julie! : 
Said he not so ? or did I dream it so ? 
Or am I mad, hearing him talk of Juliet, 
To think it was so ? — O, give me thy hand, 
One writ with me in sour misfortune's book ! 
1 "11 bury thee in a triumphant grave, — 
A grave? O, no : a lantern, slaughtered youth, 
For here lies Juliet, and her beauty makes 
This vault a feasting presence full of light. 
Death, He thou there, by a dead man interr'd. 

{Laying Paris in the monument. 
How oft when men arc at the point of death, 
Have they been merrv ! which their keepers 

A lightning before death : 0, how may I 
Call this a li?htnin<? ? — 0, mv love ! mv wife ! 
Death, that hath suck'd the honey of thy 

Hath had no power yet upon thy beauty : 
Thou art not conquer'd ; beauty's ensign yet 
Is crimson in thy lips, and in thy check 3, 
And death's pale flag is not advanced there. — 
Tybalt, liest thou there in thy bloody sheet ? 
O, what more favour can I do to thee, 
Than with that hand that cut thy youth in 

To sunder his that was thine enemy ? 
Forgive me, cousin! — Ah, dear Juliet, 
Why art thou yet so fair P Shall I believe 
That unsubstantial death is amorous ; 
And that the lean abhorred monster keep-, 
Thee here in dark to be his paramour ? 
i • fear of that, I still will stay with thee; 
And never from this palace of dim night 
Depart again;" here, here will I remain 
With worms that are thy chamber-maids; 0, 


* (A), conjuration*. 

t> (.1 h the* as. 

■- The following lines arc here introduced in (C) an 


| Will I set up my everlasting rest ; 
And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars 
Prom this world-wearied flesh. — Eyes, look your 

last ! 
rVrms, take your last embrace ! and lips, you 
The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss 
A dateless bargain to engrossing death ! — 
Come, bitter conduct, conic, unsavoury truidc ! 
Thou desperate pilot, now at once run on 
The dashing rocks thy sea-sick weary bark ! 
Here's to my love! — [prinks."] O, true apo- 
thecary ; 
Thy drugs are epiick. — Thus with a kiss I die. 


at the other end of the church-yard, Friar 
Laukkxck with a lantern, croir, and spade. 

Fri. Saint Francis be my speed ! how oft to- 
Have my old feet stumbled at graves ! — Who 's 
' there : a 
Bal. Here 's one, a friend, and one that knows 

you well. 
Fri. Bliss be upon you ! Tell me, good my 
What torch is yond', that vainly lends his light 
To grubs and eyeless sculls ; as I discern, 
It burnetii in the Capels' monument. 

Bal. It doth so, holy sir; and there's my 
One that you love. 
Fri. "Who is it ? 

Bal. Romeo. 

Fri. How long hath he been there ? 
Bal. Full half an hour. 

Fri. Go with me to the vault. 
Bal. I dare not, sir; 

My master knows not but I am gone hence ; 
And fearfully did menace mc with death, 
If I did stay to look on his intents. 

Fri. Stay then, I'll go alone: — Fear comes 
upon me ; 
0, much I fear some ill unlucky thing. 

folio. Malone lins very rationally conjectured that they are 
interpolation! of a compositor. The printer hail, probably, 
-nine imperfectly erased notes of the poet on his copy. We 
give them as we find them : 

" Come, lie thou in my arm-- , 
II r '- to thy health, where'er thou tumblest in. 
o true apothecary ; 

Thy drills are quick. Thus with a kiss I die. 

i. as it stands in our text, occupies forty 

! only to twenty-three lines in the original 

-, in his text, has wrested a 1 ne iiiit of tin- 
first quarto : 

" Who is it that consorts, s (1 1 ne, the lead .' " 

Act V.] 


[ III. 

Bal. As I did sleep under this yew-tree a 
I dreamt my master and another fought, 
And that my master slew him. 

Fri. Romeo ! — [Advances. 

Alack, alack, what blood is this, which stains 
The stony entrance of this sepulchre ? — 
What mean these masterless and gory swords 
To lie discolour'd by this place of peace ? 

[Enters the monument. 
Romeo ! O, pale ! — Who else ? what, Paris too ? 
And steep'd in blood? — Ah, what an unkind 

Is guilty of this lamentable chance ! — 
The lady stirs. [Juliet wakes and stirs. 

Jul. 0, comfortable friar ! where is my lord ? 
I do remember well where I should be, 
And there I am :— Where is my Romeo ? 

[Noise within. 
Fri. I hear some noise. — Lady, come from 
that nest 
Of death, contagion, and unnatural sleep ; 
A greater Power than we can contradict 
Hath thwarted our intents ; come, come, away : 
Thy husband in thy bosom there lies dead ; 
And Paris too ; come, I TL dispose of thee 
Among a sisterhood of holy nuns : 
Stay not to question, for the watch is coming ; 5 
Come, go, good Juliet, — [Noise again.'] I dare 
no longer stay. [Exit. 

Jul. Go, get thee hence, for I will not 
away. — ■ 
What 's here ? a cup, clos'd in my true love's 

Poison, I see, hath been his timeless end :— 
churl! drink all; and left no friendly 

To help me after ?— I will kiss thy lips ; 
Haply, some poison yet doth hang on them, 
To make me die with a restorative. [Kisses Mm. 
Thy lips are warm ! 

1 Watch. [Within.] Lead, boy:— Which 

Jul. Yea, noise?— then I'll be brief— O 
happy dagger ! 

[Snatching Romeo's dagger. 
This is thy sheath ; [Stabs herself.] there rust, 
and let me die. 

[Falls on Romeo's body, and dies. 

Enter Watch, with the Page of Paris. 

Page. This is the place; there, where the 
torch doth burn. 

a Again young-tree in (C) and folio. 

1 Watch. The ground is bloody ; Search about 

the ch urch-yard : 
Go, some of you, whoe'er you find, attach. 

[Exeunt some. 
Pitiful sight ! here lies the county slain ; — 
And Juliet bleeding ; warm, and newly dead, 
Who here hath lain these two days buried. 
Go, tell the prince, — run to the Capulels, — 
Raise up the Montagues, — some others search; — 
[Exeunt other Watchmen. 
We see the ground whereon these woes do lie ; 
But the true ground of all these piteous woes, 
We cannot without circumstance descry. 

Enter some of the Watch, with Balthasah. 

2 Watch. Here 's Romeo's man, we found him 

in the church-yard. 
1 Watch. Hold him in safety till the prince 
come hither. 

Enter another Watchman, with Friar Laurence. 

3 Watch. Here is a Mar, that trembles, sighs, 

and weeps : 
We took this mattock and this spade from nim, 
As he was coming from this church-yard side. 
1 Watch. A great suspicion; Stay the friar 


Enter the PniNCE and Attendants. 

Prince. What misadventure is so early up, 
That calls our person from our morning's rest ? 

Enter Capulet, Lady Capulet, and others. 

Cap. What should it be, that they so shriek 

abroad ? 
La. Cap. The people in the streets cry — 
Some — Juliet, and some — Paris ; and all run, 
With open outcry, toward our monument. 
Prince. What fear is this, which startles in 

your ears ? 
1 Watch. Sovereign, here lies the county 
Paris slain ; 
And Romeo dead ; and Juliet, dead before, 
Warm and new kill'd. 

Prince. Search, seek, and know how this foul 

murder comes. 
1 Watch. Here is a friar, and slaughter 'd Ro- 
meo's man; 
With instruments upon them, fit to open 
These dead men's tombs. 

Cap. O, heaven!— 0, wife! look how our 
daughter bleeds ! 
This dagger hath mista'en,— for, lo ! his house 


Act V.] 



Is empty on the back of Montague,' — 
And is mis-sheathed in my daughter's bosom. 

La. Cup. O me! this sigM of death is as a 
That warns my ohl age to a sepulchre. 

Enter Montague and others. 
Prince. Come, Montague; for thou art early 
To sec thy son and heir now early down. 

V t. Alas, my liege, my wife is dead to- 
Grief of my son's exile hath stopped her breath : 
What further woe conspires against my age ? 
Prince. Look, and thou shalt see. 
Mo*. thou untaught ! what manners is in 
To press before thy father to a grave ? 

Prince. Seal up the mouth of outrage for a 
Till we can clear these ambiguities, 
And know their spring, their head, their true 

descent ; 
And then will I be general of your woes, 
And lead you even to death: Meantime for- 
And let mischance be slave to patience. — 
Bring forth the parties of suspicion. 

/.'. I am the greatest, able to do least, 
Yet most suspected, as the time and place 
Doth make against me, of this direful murder ; 
And here I stand, both to impeach and purge 
Myself condemned and myself excus'd. 

Prince. Then say at once what thou dost 

know in this. 
Fri. I will be brief, for my short dati 
Is not so long as is a tedious tale. 
Romeo, there dead, was husband to that Juliet, 
And she, there dead, that Romeo's faithful 

wife : 
I married them; and their stolen marriage-day 
Was Tybalt's doomsday, whose untimely death 
Banish'd the new-made bridegroom from this 

city ; 
For whom, and not for Tybalt, Juliet pin'd. 

ivc that ief from her, 

Betroth' (1 and would have married her perforce 
T county Paris : — Then comes she to me ; 
And, with wild looks, hid me devise some 

To rid her from this second man i 
Or, in my cell there would she kill her 
Then gave I her, bo tuf-n'd by my art, 

" The dagger was worn at the back. 

A sleeping potion ; which so took effect 
As 1 intended, for it wrought on her 
The form of death : meantime I writ to Romeo, 
That he should hither come as this dire night, 
To help to take her from her borrow'd grave, 
Being the time the potion's force should cease. 
But be which bore my letter, friar John, 
Was sfay'd by accident; and yesternight 
Return'd my letter back : Then all alone, 
At the prefixed hour of her waking, 
Came I to take her from her kindred's vault ; 
Meaning to keep her closely at my cell, 
Till I conveniently could send to Romeo : 
But when I came (some minute ere the time 
Of her awaking), here untimely lay 
The noble Paris, and true Romeo, dead. 
She wakes ; and I entreated her come forth, 
And bear this work of heaven with patience : 
But then a noise did scare me from the tomb ; 
And she, too desperate, would not go with me, 
But (as it seems) did violence on herself. 
All this I know ; and to the marriage 
Her nurse is privy : And, if aught in this 
Miscarried by my fault, let my old life 
Be sacrifie'd, some hour before the time, 
Unto the rigour of severest law. 

Prince. We still have known thee for a holy 

man. — 
Where 's Romeo's man ? what can he say to 

Bah I brought my master news of Juliet's 

death ; 
And then in post he came from Mantua, 
To this same nlacc, to this same monument. 
This letter be early bid me give his father ; 
And threatcn'd mc with death, going in 

If I departed not, and left him there. 

I', -ince. Give me the letter, I will look 

Where is the county's page, that rais'd 

watch? — 
Sirrah, what made your master in this place ? 
Page. He came with flowers to strew 

lady's grave ; 
And bid me stand ah ml', and so 1 did : 
Anon, euines one with light to ope the tomb; 
And, by and by, my master drew on him ; 
And then 1 ran away to fall the watch. 

"Prince. This letter doth make good the friar's 

r l heir course of love, the tidings of her death ; 
And here he writes — that he did buy a poi 
( )f a ppor 'pothecary, and therewithal 
( lame to this vault to die, and lie with Juliet. 






Act V.] 



Where be these enemies ? Capulet ! Mon- 
tague ! — 

See, what a scourge is laid upon your hate, 

That heaven finds means to kill your joys with 
love ! 

And I, for winking at your discords too, 

Have lost a brace of kinsmen : — all are punish'd. 
Cap. O, brother Montague, give me thy 

This is my daughter's jointure, for no more 

Can I demand. 

Moa. But I can give thee more : 

For I will raise her statue in pure gold ; 

That whiles Verona by that name is known, 
There shall no figure at that rate be set, 
As that of true and faithful Juliet. 

Cap. As rich shall Romeo by his lady lie ; 
Poor sacrifices of our enmity ! 

Prince. A glooming peace this morning with 

it brings ; 

The sun for sorrow will not show his head : 

Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things ; 

Some shall be pardon' d, and some punished ; e 

For never was a story of more woe 

Than this of Juliet and her Romeo. [Exeuni. 


1 To the traveller it would be difficult to 
pay whether Mantua would excite the greater inte- 
3 the birth-place of Virgil or as the scene of 
Rome »'s exile. Surely, an Englishman cannot walk 
through the streets of that city without thinking 
of the apothecary in whose 

■ needy shop a tortoise hung, 

An alligator stutTd, and other skins 

Of ill-shap'd fishes; and about his shelves 

A beggarly account of empty boxes." 

Any description of the historical events connected 
with Mantua, or any account of its architectural 
monuments, would here be out of place. 

S exe I. — " I do remember an apothecary." 

The criticism of the French school has not - 
spared this famous passage. Joseph Warton, an 
elegaut scholar, but who belonged to this school, 
has the following observations in his Virgil (1763, 
vol. i. page 301) : — 

" It may not be improper to produce the 
following glaring instance of the absurdity of 
introducing long and minute descriptions into ; 
tragedy. When Romeo receives the dreadful and 
unexpected news of Juliet's death, this fond hus- 
band, in an agony of grief, immediately resolves 
to poison himself. But his sorrow is interrupted, 
while he gives us an exact picture of the apothe- 
cary's shop from whom he intended to purchase 
the poison. 

' I do remember an apothecary,' Src. 
" I appeal to those who know anything of the 
human heart, whether Romeo, in this distressful 
situation, could have leisure to think of the 
tor, empty boxes, and bladders, and other 
furniture of this beggarly shop, and to point them 
out so distinctly to ths audience. The description 
is, indeed, very lively and natural, but very im- 
properly put into the mouth of a person agitated 
with - as Romeo is repi-esented to be." 

The criticism of Warton, ingenious as it may 
appear, and true as applied to many "long and 
minute descriptions in tragedy," is here '• 
upon a wrong principle. He says that Romeo, in 
buation, had not "leisure" to 
think of the furniture of the apothecary's shop. 
What then had he leisure to do I Sad he I 
to run off into declamations against fate, and into 
tphea and generalizations, aa a less 
skilful artist than Shakspere would have made 
him indulge in ? From the moment he had said, 

" Well, Juliet, I will lie with you to-night,— 
Let 's sec fur means," 

the apothecary's shop became to him the object of j 
the most intense interest. Great passions, when 

they have shaped themselves into firm resolves, 
attach the most distinct importance to the mini.' 
objects connected with the execution of their 
purpose. He had seen the apothecary's shop in 
his placid moments as an object of common 
curiosity. He had hastily looked at the tortoise 
and the alligator, the empty boxes, and the earthen 
pots ; and he had looked" at the tattered weeds 
and the overwhelming brows of their needy owner. 
•Cut he had also said, when he first saw these 

" An if a man did need a poison now, 
Whose sale is present death in Mantua, 
Here lives a caitiff wretch would sell it him." 

When he did need a poison, all these documents 
of the misery that was to serve him came with a 
double intensity upon his vision. The shaping of 
these things into words was not for the audience. 
It was not to produce "along and minute descrip- 
tion in tragedy " that had no foundation in the 
workings of nature. It was the very cunning of 
nature which produced this description. Mischief 
was, indeed, swift to enter into the thoughts of 
the desperate man ; but the mind once made up, 
it took a perverse pleasure in going over every 
item of the circumstances that had suggested the 
means of mischief. All other thoughts had passed 
out of Romeo's mind. He had nothing left but 
to die ; and everything connected with the means 
of his death was seized upon by his imagination 
with an energy that could only find relief in 

Shakspere has exhibited the same knowledge of 
nature in his sad and solemn poem of "The Rape 
of Lucrece," where the injured wife, having 
resolved to wipe out her stain by death, 

" calls to mind whore hangs a piece 

Of skilful painting, made for Priam's Troy." 

She sees in that painting some fancied resemblance 
to her own position, and spends the heavy hours 
till her husband arrives in its contemplation. 

" So Lucrece set a-work, sad tales doth tell 
To pencill'd pensivenesa and colour'd sorrow; 
She lends them words, and she their looks doth borrow.' 

It was the intense interest in his own resolve 
which made Romeo so minutely describe hie apo- 
thecary. But that stage past, came the abstraction 
of his sorrow : — 

" What siid my mar., when my In-tossed soul 
Did not attend him as we rode? I think 
He told me I'aris should bave married Juliet." 

Juliet v. and what mattered it to his " be- 

tossed soul " who she should have married ? 
" Well, Juliet, I will lie with you to-night," 
was the sole thought that made him remember au 


"apothecary," and treat what his servant said as 
a " dream." Who but Shakspere could have given 
us the key to these subtle and delicate workings 
of the human heart ? 

3 Scene I. — " Whose sale is present deathin Mantua." 

Sir Walter Raleigh, in his "Discourse of Te- 
nures," says, " By the laws of Spain and Portugal 
it is not lawful to sell poison." A similar law, if 
we are rightly informed, prevailed in Italy. There 
is no such law in our own statute-book ; and the 
circumstance is a remarkable exemplification of 
the difference between English and continental 

4 Scene II. — " Going to find a hare-foot hrother out." 

In the old poem of Romeus and Juliet we have 
the following lines : — 

" Apace our friar John to Mantua hies ; 
And, for because in Italy it is a wonted guise, 
That friars in the tovrn should seldom walk alone, 
Hut of their convent aye should be accompanied with one 
Of his profession." 

Friar Laurence and his associates must be supposed 
to belong to the Franciscan order of friars. The 
good friar of the play, in his kindliness, his learn- 
ing, and his inclination to mix with, and perhaps 
control, the affairs of the world, is no unapt repre- 
sentative of one of this distinguished order in 
their best days. Warton, in his " History of 
English Poetry," has described the learning, the 
magnificence, and the prodigious influence of this 

remarkable body. Friar La-.reuce was able to 
give to Romeo 

" Adversity's sweet milk — philosophy." 

He wa3 to Romeo 

" a divine, a ghostly confessor, 
A sin absolver, and my friend profess'd; " 

but he was yet of the world. He married Romeo 
and his mistress, partly to gratify their love, and 
partly to secure his influence in the reconciliation 
of their families. Warton says the Franciscans 
" managed the machines of every important opera- 
tion or event, both in the religious and political 

* Scene III. — " The watch is coming" 

Malone maintains, here and elsewhere, that there 
is no such establishment as the watch in Italj-. 
Mr. Charles Armitage Brown, who, to an intimate 
knowledge of Shakspere in general, adds a par- 
ticular knowledge of Italian customs, says, "If 
Dogberry and Verges should be pronounced 
nothing else than the constables of the night in 
London, before the new police was established, I 
can assert that I have seen those very officers in 

6 Scene III. — "Some shall he punished." dec. 

The government of the Scaligers, or Scabs, 
commenced in 1259, when Mastiuo de la Scala was 
elected Podesta of Verona; and it lasted 113 
years in the legitimate descendants of the first 
Podesta. The following is a representation of the 
tomb of this illustrious family at Verona, from 
an original sketch. 


" Of the truth of Juliet's story, they (the Veronese) seem tenacious to a degree, insisting on 
the fact — giving a date (1303), and showing a tomb. It is a plain, open, and partly decayed 
sarcophagus, with withered leaves in it, in a wild and desolate conventual garden, once a cemetery, 
now ruined to the very graves. The situation struck me as very appropriate to the legend, being 
blighted as their love." Byron thus described the tomb of Juliet to his friend Moore, as he saw it 
at the close of autumn, when withered leaves had dropped into the decayed sarcophagus, and the 
vines that are trailed above it had been stripped of their fruit. His letter to Moore, in which this 
passage occurs, is dated the 7th November.* But this wild and desolate garden only struck Byrou. 
as appropriate to the legend — to that simple tale of fierce hatreds and fatal loves which tradition 
has still preserved, amongst those who may never have read Luigi da Porto or Bandello, and 
who, perhaps, never heard the name cf Shakspere. To the legend only is the blighted place 
appropriate. For who that has ever been thoroughly imbued with the story of Juliet, as told by 
Shakspere, — who that has heard his "glorious song of praise on that inexpressible feeling which 
ennobles the soul and gives to it its highest sublimity, and which elevates even the senses themselves 
into soul," + — who that, in our great poet's matchless delineation of Juliet's love, has perceived 
'• wlntever is most intoxicating in the odour of a southern spring, languishing in the song of 
the nightiug ale, or voluptuous on the first opening of the rose,"J — who, indeed, that looks upon the 
tomb of the Juliet of Shakspere, can see only a shapeless ruin amidst wildness and desolation ? 

" A grave ? O, no: a lantern, 

Foi here lies Juliet, and her beauty makes 
This vault a feasting presence full of light." 

Wordsworth has a philosophical remark upon Slinkspeie which is applicable to all his tragedies: 

"Shakspere's writings, in the most pathetic scenes, never act upon us as pathetic beyond the 

bounds urc." Wordsworth adds, that thi "in a much greater degree than 

might at first be imagined, is to be ascribed to small, but continual and regular, impulses of 

• Moore '3 Life of Byron, 8vo. 1838, p. 327. i A. \V. BcMegel'a Lectures, Llack's translation, vol. ii. p. 1S7. J Ibid. 



pleasurable surprise from the metrical arrangement."* In Eomeo and Juliet the principle of 
limiting the pathetic according to the degree in which it is calculated to produce emotions of 
pleasure, is interwoven with the whole structure and conduct of the play. The tragical part of the 
story, from the first scene to the last, is held in subjection to the beautiful. It is not only that the 
beautiful comes to the relief of the tragic, as in Lear and Othello, but here the tragic i3 only a 
mode of exhibiting the beautiful under its most striking aspects. Shakspere never intended that 
the story of Romeo and Juliet should lacerate the heart. When Mrs. Inchbald, therefore, said 
in her preface to the acted play, " Roraeo aud Juliet is called a p.-.thetic tragedy, but it is not so 
in reality — it charms the understanding and delights the imagination, without melting, though it 
touches, the heart," — she paid the highest compliment to Shakspere's skill as an artist, for he had 
thoroughly worked out his own idea. " Otway," Mrs. Inchbald adds, " would have rendered it 
more effective." Otway did render it " more effective." It is quite sufficient to refer to his ' Caius 
Marius,' to show his success in converting beauty into what is called force. He did exactly what 
Garrick's less skilful hand ventured to do— to make Juliet wake before Romeo dies. It is marvellous 
how acute and ingenious men, such as Thomas Warton, for example, should be betrayed into criticism 
which deals with such a poem as Romeo and Juliet as if there were no unity of feeling, no homo- 
geneousness, in its entire construction. Warton says, "Shakspere, misled by the English poem, missed 
the opportunity of introducing a most affecting scene by the natural and obvious conclusion of the 
story. In Luigi's novel, Juliet awakes from her trance in the tomb before the death of Romeo." + 
Shakspere misled ! Shakspere missing the opportunity ! Shakspere working in the dark ! Let us 
see what has been done by those who were not "misled," aud who seized upon "the opportunity." 
Garrick has written sixty lines of good, orthodox, commonplace dialogue between Romeo and Juliet in 
the tomb, in which Romeo, before he begins to rave, talks very much in the style of one of Shensto^e's 
shepherds, — as, for example, — 

" And all my mind was happiness and thee." 

Garrick, moreover, has omitted all such Sbaksperian images as would be offensive to superfine 
ears, auoh as — 

" here, here will I remain, 

With worms that are thy chamber-maids.'' 

And yet, with all his efforts to destroy the beautiful, and all his managerial skill to thrust forward 
that species of pathetic which the actor delights in, for the purpose of exhibiting himself and 
bringing down the galleries, Romeo and Juliet, according to Mrs. Inchbald, " seldom attracts an 
elegant audience. The company that frequent the side-boxes will not come to a tragedy, unless 
to weep in torrents ; and Romeo and Juliet willl not draw even a copious shower of tears." 
Why, no ! The vulgar pathos that Garrick has daubed over Shakspere's catastrophe, with the 
same skill with which a picture-dealer would mend a Correggio, only serves to make the beauty, 
that he has been constrained to leave untouched, more unintelligible to " the company that 
frequent the side-boxes." The whole thing has become out of keeping. Instead of the sweetness 
that " ends with a long deep sigh, like the breeze of the evening," £ we have a rant about 
"' cruel, cursed fate," which shrieks like the gusty wind in the chinks of a deserted and 
poverty-stricken hut. Instead of that beautiful close in which " the spring and the winter 
meet, winter assumes the character of spring, and spring the sadness of winter," || we have 
here a fierce storm, — " such sheets of fire, such bursts of horrid thunder," — which produces 
the effect of mere physical terror. Instead of " the flower that is softly shed on the earth, yet 
putting forth undying odours," § we have the rank and loathsome weeds of the charnel-house. 
It is some praise to our age that any new attempts to " improve " Shakspere would not be tolerated. 
It is a higher praise that the endeavour to revive upon the stage what the greatest master of the 

* Observations prefixed to the second eJition of Lyrical Ballads. ■>«.,», -1 

t History of English Poetry, vol. iv. p. 301 (1824). t Coleridge, Drake s Memorials. 

II Coleridge. Literary Remains. § Retrospective Review. 



dramatic art really wrote, his, iu Borne few instances, received adequate encouragement. But we 
have yet a great deal to learn, and a great deal to unlearn, before the principle upon which 
Romeo and Juliet was written would be thoroughly appreciated by an audience. With the 
millions that ikspere throughout the civilized world there is no difficulty. 

C ileridge has described the homogeneousness — the totality of interest — which is the great 
characteristic of this play, by one of those beautiful analogies which could only proceed from the 
if a true ] oet : — 

'• Whence arises the harmony that strikes us in the wildest natural landscapes. — in the relative 
shapes of rocks, the harmony of colours in the heaths, ferns, and lichens, the leaves of the beech 
and the oak, the stems and rich brown branches of the birch and other mountain trees, varying 
from verging autumn to returning spring, — compared with the visual effect from the gr> 
number of artificial plantations? — From this, that the natural landscape is effected, as it were, 
by a single energy modified ab intra in each component part And as this is the particular 
excellence of the Shaksperiau drama generally, so is it especially characteristic of the Romeo r.nd 

Schlegel carried out the proofs of this assertion in an Essay on Romeo and Juliet; t in which, 
to use his own words, he " went through the whole of the scenes in their order, and demonstrated 
the inward necessity of each with reference to the whole ; showed why such a particular circle of 
characters and relations was placed around the two lovers ; explained the signification of the mirth 
here and there scattered ; and justified the use of the occasional heightening given to the poetical 
colours." + Schlegel wisely did this to exhibit what is more remarkable in Shakspere than in any 
other poet, " the thorough formation of a work, even in its minutest part, according to a leading 
idea— the dominion of the animating spirit over all the means of execution." II The general 
criticism of Schlegel upon Romeo and Juliet is 1 ased upon a perfect comprehension of this great 
principle upon which Shakspere worked. Schlegel, we apprehend, succeeded Coleridge in giving 
a genial tone to criticism upon Shakspere — for Coleridge first lectured on the drama in 1S02, 
and Schlegel in 1808 ; and Schlegel may also have owed something indirectly to Coleridge, — to 
that master-mind who filled other minds as if they were conduits from his exhaustless fountain. 
Rut he in himself is a most acute and profound critic ; and what he has done to make Shakspere 
properly known, even in this country, where our perception of his greatness had long been 
obscured amidst the deep gloom of the critical fog that had hung over us for more than a century, 
ought never to be forgotten. The following is the close of a celebrated passage from Schlegel, upon 
Romeo and Juliet, which has often been quoted ; — but it is altogether so time and so beautiful, 
that we cannot resist the pleasure of circulating it still more widely T : — 

" Whatever is most intoxicating in the odour of a southern spring, languishing in the song of 
the nightingale, or voluptuous on the first opening of the rose, i3 breathed into this poem. But, 
even more rapidly than the earliest blossoms of youth and beauty decay, it hurries on from the 
first timidly-bold declaration of love and modest return, to the most unlimited passion, to an 
irrevocable union; then, amidst alternating storms of rapture and despair, to the death of the two 
lovers, who still appear enviable as their love survives them, and as by their death they 
have obtained a triumph over every separating power. The sweetest and the bitterest, love 
and hatred, festivity and dark forebodings, tender embraces and sepulchres, the fulness of life and 
self-annihilation, are all here brought close to each other; and all these contrasts are so blended 
iu the harmonious and wonderful work into a unity of impression, that the echo which the whole 
leaves behind in the mind resembles a single but end a." § 

In selecting these passages to establish in the minds of our readers the great principle of the unity 
of feeling which so thoroughly pervades the R>meo.and Juliet, and which constitutes the "particular 
excellence of the Shaksperian drama," we have indirectly furnished the proof of the assertion 
with which we set out, that the tragical put of the Bt iry, from the first scene to the last, is held 
iu subjection to the beautiful. The structure of the play essentially required this. Coleridge has 
Shakspere meant the Romeo and Juliet to approach to a poem ; " but of course, Coleridge 
meant a utirely modified by the dramatic power. We shall venture to ti pon the 

• Literary Remains, vol. ii. p. IjO 
t lectures, vol. ii. p. 153. 

t Charaktcrlstiken unJ Krituen. 
5 Lectures, vol. ii. p. 1M>. 

J Lectures, vol. ii. p. 127. 



attention of our readers, whilst we examine the conduct of the story and the development of the 

characters under this aspect. When we have arrived at a due conception of the principle of art on 

which this drama was constructed — that of sublimating ail that is literal and common in human 

actions aud human thoughts, by the force of passion and imagination, throwing their rich colours 

upon the chief actors, and colouring, upon an indispensable law of harmony, all the groups around 

them — we shall reject, as utterly unworthy, all that miscalled criticism which takes its stand upon 

a material foundation — and, dealing with high poetry as if it were a thing of demonstrations and 

syllogisms, tells us that Shakspere's comic scenes are here "happily wrought, but his pathetic strains 

are always polluted with some unexpected depravations. His persons, however distressed, have 

a conceit left them in their misery, a miserable conceit." * 

The first scenes of nearly every play of Shakspere are remarkable for the skill with which they 

prepare the mind for ail the after scenes. We do not see the succession of scenes; the catastrophe is 

unrevealed. But we look into a dim and distant prospect, and by what is in the foreground we can 

form a general notion of the landscape that will be presented to us, as the clouds roll away, and the 

sun lights up its wild mountains or its fertile valleys. When Sampson and Gregory enter " armed 

with swords and bucklers" — when we hear, "a dog of the house of Montague moves me'' — we know 

that these are not common servants, and live not in common times : with them the excitement of 

party-spirit does not rise into strong passion, — it presents its ludicrous side. They quarrel like angry 

curs who snarl, yet are afraid to bite. But the " furious Tybalt " in a moment shows us that these 

hasty quarrels cannot have peaceful endings. The strong arm of authority suspends the affray ; but 

the spirit of enmity is not put down. The movement of this scene is as rapid as the quarrel itself. 

It produces the effect upon the mind of something which startles — almost terrifies ; which passes 

away into repose, but which leaves an ineffaceable impression upon the senses. The calm immediately 

succeeds. Benvolio's speech, 

" Madam, an hour before the worshipp'd sun 
Peer'd forth the golden window of the east," 

at once shows us that we are entering into the region of high poetry. Coleridge remarks, that the 
succeeding speech of old Montague exhibits the poetioal aspect of the play even more strikingly : — 

'• Many a morning hath he there been seen, 
With tears augmenting the fiesh morning's dew." 

It is remarkable that the speech thus commencing, which contains twenty lines a3 highly wrought as 
anything in Shakspere, are not in the first copy of this play. The experience of the artist taught him 
where to lay on the poetical colouring brighter and brighter. How beautifully these lines prepare us 
for the appearance of Romeo— the now musing, abstracted Romeo — the Romeo, who, like the lover of 


" solitary was ever alone, 

And waking all the night, making moan." 

The love of Romeo was unrequited love. It was a sentiment rather than a passion— a love whkh 
displayed itself " in the numbers that Petrarch flowed in"— a love that solaced itself in antithetical 
conceits upon its own misery, and would draw consolation from melancholy associations. It was the 
love without the " true Promethean fire." But it was the fit preparation for what was to follow. The 
dialogue between Capulet and Paris prepares us for Juliet — the " hopeful lady of his earth," who 

" Hath not seen the change of fourteen years." 

The old man does not think her " ripe to be a bride ; " but we are immediately reminded of the 
precocity of nature under a southern sun, by another magical touch of poetry, which tells us of 
youth and freshness— of summer in "April"— of "fresh female buds" breathing the fragrance of 
opening flowers. Juliet at length comes. We see the submissive aud gentle girl ; but the garrulity 
of the Nurse carries us back even to the 

" Prettiest babe that e'er I nurs'd." 

Neither Juliet nor Romeo had rightly read their own hearts. He was sighing for a shadow-sh ■ 
fancied that she could subject her feelings to the will of others : — 

* Johnson's concluding Remarks oa Romeo and Juliet. 



" I '11 look to like, if looking liking move ; 
Rut no more deep will I endart mine eye, 
Than your consent gives strength to make it fly." 

The preparation for their first interview goes forward : Benvolio has persuaded Romeo to go to 
Capulefs feast There is a slight pause in the action, but how gracefully is it filled up ! Mercutio 
comes upon the scene. Coleridge has described him as " that exquisite ebullience and overflow of 
youthful life, wafted on over the laughiug waves of pleasure and prosperity, as a wanton beauty that 
distorts the face on which she knews her lover is gazing enraptured, and wrinkles her forehead in the 
triumph of its smoothness ! Wit ever wakeful, fancy busy and procreative as an insect, courage, an 
easy mind that, without cares of its own, is at once disposed to laugh away those of others, and yet to 
be interested in them, — these and all other congenial qualities, melting into the common copula of 
them all, the man of rank and the gentleman, with all its excellences and all its weaknesses, constitute 
the character of Mercutio!"* Is this praise of Mercutio overcharged? We think not, looking at 
him dramatically. He is placed by the side of Romeo, to contrast with him, but also to harmonize. 
The poetry of Mercutio is that of fancy : — the poetry of Romeo is that of imagination. The wit of 
Mercutio is tho overflow of animal spirits, occasionally polluted, like a spring pure from the well-head, 
by the soil over which it passes : — the wit of Romeo is somewhat artificial, and scarcely self-sustained ; 
— it is the unaccustomed play of the intellect when the passions " have come to the clenching point," 
— but it is under control — it has no exuberance which, like the wit of Mercutio, admits the colouring 
of the sensual and the sarcastic. The courage of Mercutio is, in the same way, the courage of high 
animal spirits, fearless of consequences, and laughing even when it has paid the penalty of its rashness 
— " Ask for me to-morrow, and you shall find me a grave man." The courage of Romso is reflective 
and forbearing, — 

" 1 do protest, 1 never injur'd thee." 

But when his friend has fallen, his " newly entertained revenge " casts off all control — 

" Away to heaven, respective lenity! 

Then, again, how finely the calm, benevolent good sense of Benvolio blends with these opposites ! 

But the masquerade waits. "We have here the realization of youth and freshness which Capulet 
promised to Paris ; but at the moment when we see " the guests and the maskers " we have a touch in 
the expression of the old man's natural feelings, which tells us how perishable these things are : — 

I have seen the day, 

That I have worn a visor ; and could tell 

A whispering tale in a fair lady's ear, 

Such as would please ; — 'tis gone, 'tis gone, 'tis gone 1" 

But Juliet appears, and we think not of decay. We forget that " one generation pushes another off 
the stage." The very first words of Romeo show the change that has come o'er him. He went into 
that " hall in Capulet's house," fearing 

" Some consequence yet hanging in the stars." 

He had "a soul of lead" — he would be "a candle-holder and look on." But he has seen Juliet; and 
with what gorgeous images has that sight filled his imagination ! 

" O she doth teach the torches to hum bright ; 
Her beauty hangs upon the cheek of night 
As a rich Jewel in an Ethiop's ear." 

We have now the poetry of passion bursting upon us with its purple light, 
pale poetry of sentiment in the first scene, when he talks of Rosaline being 

" too fair, too wise, wisely too fair." 

Compare this with the 

Perfectly in accordance with this exaltation of mind is the address of Romeo to Juliet. The dialogue 
must be considered as that of pei - i acting a character. But there is more in it than meets 

the ear; — it is not entirely the half expression of the thoughts of two maskers : — there is an under- 

* Literary Remains, vol. ii. 



cuvreut of reality which blends the language of affection with the language of compliment. Wheu 
Romeo asks of the Nurse, " What is her mother ? " and when Juliet inquires, 

" What's he that now is going out of door?" 

we see " the beginning of the end." But we do not forget that the anger of Tybalt at Romeo's 
presence has thrown a shadow over the brightness of their young love. The maskers are gone — the 
torches are extinguished — the voice of the revelry has ceased. 

Romeo has leapt the wall of Capulet's garden. There are no longer 

" Kartli-treading stars that make dark heaven light." 

He has found a sequestered spot far apart from that banqueting-hall from which his Juliet descended, 
amidst the gay groups that floated about iu that garden, to hang 

" upon the cheek of night 

As a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear." 
He is alone. The moon 

" Tips with silver all those fruit-tree tops." 

He hears in the distant street the light-hearted Mercutio calling upon him by the names of 

" Humours, passion, madman, lover." 

But he heeds him not. Juliet appears. She speaks. 

" 0, speak again, bright angel ! for thou art 
As glorious to this night, being o'er my head, 
As is a winged messenger of heaven 
Unto the white, up-turned, wond'ring eyes 
Of mortals, that fall back to gaze on him, 
When he bestrides the lazy-pacing clouds, 
And sails upon the bosom of the air." 

From this poetical elevation it would seem almost impossible for the lover to descend to earth, — and 
yet the earth hath visions of tenderness and purity, which equally belong to the highest region of 
poetry. The fears of Juliet for his safety— the "farewell compliment" — the 

the " do not swear ; " — the 

" In truth, fair Montague, I am too fond ; "— 

" Stay but a little, I will come again ; " 

" If that thy bent of love be honourable : " — 

all these indications of the union of " purity of heart and the glow of imagination " belong to the 
highest region of an ideal world, and yet are linked to this our own world of beauty and frailty. 
This is one of the great scenes of the poem which cannot Le comprehended if disjoined from all that 
is about it ; any more than Juliet's soliloquy, in the third Act, after her marriage. It is one of the 
scenes that is consequently obnoxious to a false ridicule, and, what is worse, to a grovelling criticism. 
In the midst of the intensity of Juliet's " timidly-bold declaration of love," Steeven3 inserts one of 
the atrocious notes that he perpetrated under the fictitious name of Amner. It is a warning to us how 
far a prosaic spirit may descend into dirt, when it attempts to deal with a great artist without 
reverence for his art. There are three modes in which criticism, or what is called criticism, may be 
applied to high art. The first is, where the critic endeavours to look at an entire work, — not at parts 
of a work only, — in some degree through the same medium as the poet looked at his unformed 
creations. The second is, where the critic rejects that medium, for the most part through incapacity of 
using it, and peers through the smoked glass of what he calls common sense, that his eyes, forsooth, 
may not be dazzled. The third is, where the critic, from a superabundance of the power of detecting 
what appears the ridiculous side of things (which results from a deficiency of imagination), takes a 
caricaturist's view of the highest exercises of the intellect, and asserts his own cleverness by presenting 
a travestie. The first system, though it may be the most difficult, is the most safe ; the third, though 
t appears the most insidious, is the least injurious ; the second is, at once, easy and debasing; it may 
begin in Steevens and end in Amner. 

Tragedies. — Vol. 1. " G 81 


The "silver sweet" sound of '' lovers' tongues by night" is hushed. "The grey-eyed morn "sees 
the friar in his cell, bearing his "osier-eago" of 

" Doleful weeds, and precious Juiced flowers." 

Here is a new link in the conduct of the story. And what a beautiful transition havo we made from 
the elevated poetry of passion to the scarcely less elevated poetry of philosophy t The old man, 
whose pious thoughts shape themselves into sweet and solemn cadences, stands as the antagonist 
principle of the passionate conflicts that are going on around him. He is to be a great agent in the 
workings of the drama. He would close up the dissensions of the rival houses — he would make the 
new lovers blessed in their union — he would assuage the misery of Romeo's exile — he would save his 
lady from an unholy marriage— he would join them again in life, although the tomb appears to have 
separated them. The good old man will rely too much upon his philosophy, and his skilful dealing 
with human actions ; as the lovers have already relied too much upon the integrity of their passion as 
a shield against calamity. The half-surprise, the half-gladness of the friar, when Romeo tells him 
where his " heart's dear love is set," are delightful. The reproof that is meant for a commendation — 
the "come, young waverer" — the "wisely and slow," — are all true to nature. But Romeo has secured 
his purpose, and his heart is at ease. Then is he fit to play a part in the comic scenes that succeed, — 
to bandy words with Mercutio— to be pleasant with the Nurse. But Juliet's soliloquy v. bile she is 
waiting for the Nurse, 

" O, she is lame ! love's heralds should be thoughts," 

and the scene with Romeo, Juliet, and the friar, again bring us back to the high region of poetry. 
The latter scene was greatly elaborated after the first draft. It was originally a simple melody, but 
now it flows with the full harmony of the three voices in unison. 

We have almost lost sight of the quarrels of the rival houses of Verona. — We see only the two 
lovers, who cannot sum up " half their sum of wealth," and have forgotten then 1 names of Montague 
and Capulet as names of strife. But an evil hour is approaching. The brawl with which the drama 
opened is to be renewed — 

" The day is hot, the Capulets abroad." 

The " fiery Tybalt " and the " bold Mercutio " are the first victims of this factious hate — and Romeo is 
1 anished. The action does not move laggingly — all is heat and precipitation. Juliet sits alone in her 
bower, unconscious of all but her impassioned imaginings. She thinks aloud in the solitude which is 
around her, with a characteristic vehemence of temperament ; but in this soliloquy " there is some- 
thing so almost infantine in her perfect simplicity, so playful and fantastic in the imagery and 
language, that the charm of sentiment and innocence is thrown over the whole."* The scene in which 
the Nurse tells her disjointed story of Tybalt's death is a masterpiece. We have here to encounter 
the often repeated objection, that Shakspere uses conceits when he ought to be expressing the language 
of vehement passion. The conceits are not in accordance with the general taste of our own age, 
though they were so with that of Shakspere's. But they have a much higher justification. They are 
the results of strong emotion, seeking to relieve itself by a violent effort of the intellect, that the will 
may recover its balance. Immediately after the hues in which we have that play upon words whose 
climax fa, 

"lam not I, if there be such an /," 

we come at once to an exclamation of the deepest pathos and simplicity :-- 

" O break my heart !— poor bankrout ; " — 

and then, when Juliet knows that Romeo is not dead, but that Tybalt his fallen by the hand of her 
husband, what a natural revulsion of feeling succeeds ! — 

" 0, tliat deceit should dwell 
.eh a gorgeous palace!" 

The transition from her reproach of Tybalt's murderer, to a glorious trust in the integrity of her 
lord, ia surpassingly beautiful. Not less beautiful is the passion which Romeo exhibits in the 

♦ M characteristics of Women, third edition, vol. i. p. 103. 



friar's cell. Each of the lovers iu these scenes shows the intensity of their abandonment to an 
overmastering will. " They see only themselves in the universe." That. is the true moral of their 
fate. But, even under the direst calamity, they catch at the one joy which is left— the short meeting 
before the parting. And what a parting that is ! Here, again, comes the triumph of the beautiful 
over the merely tragic. They are once more calm. Their love again breathes of all the sweet sights 
and sounds in a world of beauty. They are parting — but the almost happy Juliet says, 

" It is not yet near day, — 
Believe me, love, it was the nightingale." 

Romeo, who sees the danger of delay, is not deceived : — 

"It was the lark, the herald of the mom." 

Then what a burst of poetry follows ! — 

" Night's candles are burnt out, and jocund day 
Stands tiptoe on the misty mountains' tops." 

The scene closes with that exquisite display of womanly tenderness in Juliet, which hurries from the 
forgetfulness of joy in her husband's presence, to apprehension for his safety. After this scene, we are 
almost content to think, as Romeo fancied he thought, 

"come what sorrow can, 
It cannot countervail the exchange of joy." 

The sorrow does come upon poor Juliet with redoubled force. The absolute father, the unyielding 
mother, the treacherous Nurse, — all hurrying her into a loathed marriage, — might drive one less 
resolved to the verge of madness. But from this moment her love has become heroism. She 

"No pity sitting in the clouds " — 

she rejects her Nurse— she resolves to deceive her parents. This scene brings out her character iu its 
strongest and most beautiful relief. The Nurse, in the grossness of her nature, has dared to talk to 
the wife of Romeo — the all-loving and devoted wife — of the green eye of Pari3 ! The Nurse mistook 
the one passion of Juliet — the sense raised into soul — for a grovelling quality that her lofty 
imagination would utterly despise. "0 most wicked fiend !" Not so Juliet's other counsellor. The 
friar estimated her constancy, and he did " spy a kind of hope " that it might be rewarded. He saw 
that Juliet would, at all hazards, put away " the shame " of marrying Paris. Well had the friar 
reckoned upon her " strength of will." The scene in his cell, and the subsequent scene when she 
swallows the draught, are amongst the most powerful in the play ; and yet we never lose sight of the 
highest poetry, mingling what is grand with what is beautiful. When Juliet is supposed to be dead, 
nature again asserts her empire over the tetchy and absolute father, and the mother weeps over 

" One, poor one, one poor and loving child." 

Here, again, the gentle poetry of common feelings comes to the relief of the scene ; and the friar 
brings in a higher poetry in the consolations of divine truth. 

As we approach the catastrophe, the poetical cast of Romeo's mind becomes even more clearly 
defined than in the earlier scenes. It was first fanciful, then imaginative, then impassioned — but 
when deep sorrow has been added to his love, and he treads upon the threshold of the world of 
shadows, it puts on even a higher character of beauty. We have elsewhere spoken* of the celebrated 
speech of the " Apothecary ; " refusing to believe that it forms an exception to the general character 
of the beauty that throws its rich evening light over the closing scenes. The gentleness of Romeo is 
apparent, even while he says — 

" The time and my intents are savage- v< ild ; " 

for he adds, with a strong effort, to his faithful Balthasar, 

" Live, and be prosperous, and farewell, good fellow." 


Illustrations of Act V 



His entreaties to Tivris — " be gone I"— are full of the twine tenderness. He is constrained to fi^lit 
with him — he slays him — but he almost weeps over him, as 

" One writ with me in sour misfortune's book. 

The remainder of Romeo's speech in the tomb is, as Coleridge has put it, " the master example, how 
beauty can at once increase and modify passion." 

" O here 
Will I set up my everlasting i 
And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars 
From this world-wearied flesh." 

This is the one portion of the " melancholy elegy on the frailty of love, from its own nature and 
external circumstances,"* which Eomeo sings before his last sleep. And how beautifully is the 
corresponding part sung by the waking and dying Juliet ! — 

" What 's here ? a cup, clos'd in my true love's hand t 
Poison, I see, hath been his timeless end : — 
O churl ! drink all, and leave no friendly drop, 
To help me after ?— I will kiss thy lips ; 
Haply some poison yet doth hang on them 
To make me die with a restorative." 

They have paid the penalty of the fierce hatreds that were engendered around them, and of their own 
precipitancy. But their misfortunes and their loves have healed the enmities of which they were the 
victims. " Poor sacrifices !" Capulet may now say, 

" O, brother Montague, give me thy hand." 

They have left a peace behind them which they could not taste themselves. But their first " rash and 
unadvis'd" contract was elevated into all that was pure and beautiful, by their after sorrows and their 
constancy ; and in happier regions their affections may put on that calmness of immortality which the 
ancients typified in their allegory of " Love and the Soul." 

• A. W. SchlegeL 

[Danish LuteF.J 


State of the Text, and Chronology, of Hamlet. 

The earliest edition of Hamlet known to exist is that of 1603. It bears the following title : ' The 
Tragicall Historie of Hamlet Prince of Denmarke, by William Shake-speare. As it hath beene 
diverse times acted by his Highnesse servants in the Cittie of London : as also in the two Universities 
of Cambridge and Oxford, and elsewhere. At London, printed for N. L. and John Trundell, 1603.' 
The copy of this edition in the library of the Duke of Devonshire wants the last leaf. This was re- 
printed in 1825. Another copy is known, without the title-page. 

The second edition of Hamlet was printed in 1604, under the following title: 'The Tragicall 
Historie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke. By William Shakespeare. Newly imprinted and enlarged 
to almost as mucli againe as it was, according to the true and perfect coppie. Printed by J. P. for 
N". Landure, 1604, 4to.' This edition was reprinted in 1605, in 1609, in 1611, and there is also 
a quarto edition without a date. Steevens has reprinted the edition of 1611, in his twenty plays. 

In the folio of 1623 some passages which are found in the quarto of 1604 are omitted. In our 
text we have given these passages, indicating them as they occur. In other respects our text, with 
one or two minute exceptions, is wholly founded upon the folio of 1623. From this circumstance 
our edition will be found considerably to differ from the text of Johnson and Steevens, of Peed, of 
Malone, and of all the current editions which are founded upon these. Mr. Caldecott alone, in his 
' Specimen of an Edition of Shakspeare,' privately printed in 1832, recognises the authority of 
the folio of 1623. We cannot comprehend the pertinacity with which Steevens and Malone 
rejected this authority. There cannot be a doubt, we apprehend, that the verbal changes in the text 
were the corrections of the author. We have given the parallel passages in the quarto of 1604 in 
our foot notes. 

In the reprint of the edition of 1603, it is stated to be "the only known copy of this tragedy, as 
originally written by Shakespeare, which he afterwards altered and enlarged." We believe that 
this description is correct ; that this remarkable copy gives us the play as originally written by 
Shakspere. It may have been piratical, and we think it was so. It may, as Mr. Collier says, have 
been " published in haste from a short-hand copy, taken from the mouths of the players." But 
this process was not applied to the finished Hamlet; the Hamlet of 1G03 is a sketch of the perfect 



Hamlet, aud probably a corrupt copy of that sketch. Mr. Caldecott believes that this copy exhibit-, 
" in that which was afterwards wrought in' tdid drama, the first conception, and comparatively 

feeble expression, of a great mind." We think, further, that this first conception was an early 
conception ; that it was remodelled, — " enlarged to almost as much againe as it was,"— at the 
beginning of the 17th century ; and that this original copy being then of comparatively little value 
was piratically published. 

It is, perhaps, fortunate as regards the integrity of the current text of Hamlet, that the quarto 
of 1603 was unknown to the commentators; for they unquestionably would have done with it 
as they did with the first sketch of Romeo and Juliet. They would have io' ages into the 

amended play which the author had rejected, and have termed this process a recover]/ of the original 
text. Without employing this copy in so unjustifiable a manner, we have availed ourselves of it, 
in several cases, as throwing a new light upon difficult passages. But the highest interest of this 
edition consists, as we believe, in the opportunity which it affords of studying the growth, not only 
of our great poet's command over language — not only of his dramatical skill, — but of the higher 
qualities of his intellect — his profound philosophy, his wonderful penetration into what is most 
hidden and obscure in men's characters and motives. We request the reader's indulgence whilst 
we attempt to point out some of the more important considerations which have suggested themselves 
to us, in a careful study of this original edition. 

And, first, let us state that all the action of the amended Hamlet is to be found in the first sketch. 

The play opens with the scene iu which the Ghost appears to Horatio and Marcellus. The order 

of the dialogue is the same; but, in the quarto of 1G04, it is a little elaborated. The grand pas*a;'e 

beginning — 

" In the most high and palmy state of Rome," 

is not found in this copy ; and it is omitted in the folio. The second scene introduces us, as at present, 
to the King, Queen, Hamlet, Polonius, and Laertes, but in this copy Polonius is called Corambis. 
The dialogue here is much extended in the perfect copy. We will give an example : — 

[Quarto of 1G04.] 

Ham. " 'T is not alone my inky cloak, good mother, 
Nor customary suits of solemn black, 
Nor windy suspiration of fore'd breath, 
No, nor the fruitful river in the eye, 
Nor the dejected 'haviour of the visage, 
Together with all forms, moods, shows of grief, 
That can denote me truly : these, indeed, seem, 
For they are actions that a man might play ; 
But I have that within which passeth show ; 
These, but the trappings and the suits of woe." 

We would ask if it is possible that such a careful working up of the first idea could have been any 
other work than that of the poet himself ? Can the alterations be accounted for upon the principle 
that the first edition was an imperfect copy of the complete play, " published in haste from a short- 
hand copy taken from the mouths of the players ? " Could the players have transformed the line — 

" But I have that within which passeth show." 

•■ Him have I lost I must of force forgo," 

The haste of short-hand does not account for what is truly the refinement of the poetical art. The 
same nice elaboration i3 to be found in Hamlet's soliloquy in the same scene. In the first copy we 
have not the passage so characteristic of Hamlet's mind, 

" How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable, 
Seem to me all the uses of this world." 

her have we the noble comparison of " Hyperion to a satyr." The fiue Shaksperian phrase, so 
deep in its metaphysical truth, "a beast that wa iiirse of reason," is, in the first copy, 

beast devoid of reason." B have dropt verse from his mouth, as tlio fairy in the Arabian 

tale3 dropt par 1 .-. It appears to have been no effort to him to have changed the whole arrangement 
of a poetical sentence, and to have inverted its different members; he did this lily as il 

were dealing with prose. In the first copy we have these lines, — 

[Quarto of 1603.] 
Han. " My lord, 'tis not the sable suit I wear; 
No, nor the tears that still stand in my ... 
Nor the distracted 'haviour in the visage, 
Nor all together mixt witli outward semblance, 
Is equal to the sorrow of my heart; 
Htm have I lost I must of course forgo, 
These, but the ornaments and suits of woe." 

•' Why, she would bang on him as if in< r 
Of appetite had grown by what it look'd on." 



In the amended copy we have — 

" Must I remember? Why, she would hang on him 
As if increase of appetite had grown 
By what it fed on. 

Such changes are not the work of short-hand writers. 

The interview of Horatio, Bernardo, and Marcellus with Hamlet, succeeds as in the perfect copy, 
and the change here is very slight. The scene between Laertes and Ophelia in the same manner 
follows. Here again there is a great extension. The injunction of Laertes in the first copy ia 
contained in these few lines : — 

" I see Prince Hamlet makes a show of love. 
Beware, Ophelia; do not trust his vows. 
Perhaps he loves you now, and now his tongue 
Speaks from his heart; but yet take heed, my sister. 
The chariest maid is prodigal enough 
If she unmask her beauty to the moon ; 
Virtue itself 'scapes not calumnious thoughts : 
Believ't, Ophelia; therefore keep aloof, 
Lest that he trip thy honour and thy fame." 

Compare this with the splendid passage which we now have. Look especially at the following lines, 
in which we see the deep philosophic spirit of the mature Shakspere : — 

" For nature, crescent, does not grow alone 

In thews, and bulk; but, as this temple waxes, 
The inward service of the mind and soul 
Grows wide withal." 

Polonius and his few precepts next occur ; and here again there is slight difference. The lecture of 
the old courtier to his daughter is somewhat extended. In the next scene, where Hamlet encounters 
the Ghost, there is very little change. We have noticed in our illustrations how the poet introduced 
in the perfect copy a modification of the censure of the Danish wassels. In all the rest of the scene 
there is scarcely a difference between the two copies. The character of Hamlet is fully conceived in 
the original play, whenever he is in action, as in this scene. It is the contemplative part of his nature 
which is elaborated in the perfect copy. This great scene, as it was first written, appeared to the poet 
to have been scarcely capable of improvement. 

The character of Polonius, under the name of Corambis, presents itself in the original copy with 
little variation. We have extension, but not change. As we proceed, we find that Shakspere in 
the first copy more emphatically marked the supposed madness of Hamlet than he thought fit to do 
in the amended copy. Thus Ophelia does not, as now, say, — 

" Alas my lord, I have been so affrighted ; " 

but she come3 at once to proclaim Hamlet mad : — 

" O my dear father, such a change in nature 
So great an alteration in a prince! 
He is bereft of all the wealth he had ; 
The jewel that adorn'd his feature most 
Is filch'd and stolen away — his wit's bereft him " 

Again, in the next scene, when the King communicates his wishes to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, 

he does not speak of Hamlet as merely put " from the understanding of himself ; " but in this first 

copy he says — 

" Our dear cousin Hamlet 
Hath lost the very heart of all his sense.' 

In the description which Polonius, in the same scene, gives of Hamlet's madness for Ophelia's love, the 
symptoms are made much stronger in the original copy :— 

" He straightway grew into a melancholy ; 
From that unto a fast ; then unto distraction ; 
Then into a sadness ; from that unto a madness : 
• And so by continuance and weakness of the brain, 

Into this frenzy which now possesses him." 

It is curious that in Burton's ' Anatomy of Melancholy,' we have the stages of melancholy, madness, 



and frenzy, indicated as described by Celsus ; and Bui ton himself mentions frenzy as the worst stage 
of madness, " clamorous, continual." In the first copy, therefore, ITamlet, according to the descrip- 
tion of Polonius, is not only the prey of melancholy and madness, but "by continuance" of frenzy. 
In the amended copy the symptoms, according to the same description, are much milder ; — a sadness 
— a fast— a watch— a weakness— a lightness, — and a madness. The reason of this change appears to 
us tolerably clear. Shakspere did not, either in his first sketch or his amended copy, intend bis 
audience to believe that Hamlet was essentially ma 1 ; and be removed, therefore, the strong expres-' 
which might encourage that belief. 

Immediately after the scene of the original copy in which Folonius describes Hamlet's frenzy. 
Hamlet comes in and speaks the celebrated soliloquy. In the amended copy this passage, as well 
a= the Bcene with Ophelia which follows it, is placed after Hamlet's interview with the players. The 
soliloquy in the first copy is evidently given with great corruptions, and some of the lines appear 
transposed by the printer : on the contrary, the scene with Ophelia is very slightly altered. The scene 
with Polonius, now the second scene of the second act, follows that with Ophelia in the first copy. 
In the interview with Guildenstein aud Rosencrantz the dialogue is greatly elaborated in the amended 
copy ; we have the mere germ of the fine passage, " This goodly frame, the earth," &c. — prose with 
almost mere than the music of poetry. In the first copy, instead of this noble piece of rhetoric, we 
have the following somewhat tame passage : — 

"Yes, faith, this great world you see contents me not; no, nor the spangled heavens, nor earth, nor sea; no, nor man that 
is so glorious a creature contents not me ; no, nor woman too, though you laugh." 

We pass over for the present the dialogue between Hamlet and the players, in which there are 
considerable variations, not only between the first and second quartos, but between the second quarto 
and the folio, tending, as we think, to fix the date of each copy. In the same way we pass over the 
speeches from the play " that pleased not the million," as well as the directions to the players in the 
next act. These passages, as it appears to us, go far to establish the point, that the Hamlet of the 
elition of 1G03 was an early production of the poet. Our readers, we think, will be pleased to 
compare the following pa=sage of the first copy and the amended play, which offer us an example of 
the most surpassing Ekill in the elaboration of a first idea : — 

[Quarto of 1G03.] 

ITam. " Horatio, thou art even as just a man 
: my conversation cop'd withal. 

Hot. O, my lord ! 

Ham. Nay, why should I flatter thee? 
Why should the poor be flattered ? 
What gain should I receive by flattering thee, 
That nothing hath but thy good mind ? 
Let flattery sit on those time-pleasing tongues, 
To glose with them that love to hear tluir praise, 
And not with such as thou, Horatio.' 

[Quarto of 1G0-J.] 

Ham. " Horatio, thou art e'en as Just a man 
As e'er my conversation cop'd withal. 

Hor. O, my dear lord! 

Ham. Nay, do not think I flatter : 

For what advancement may I hope from thee, 
That no revenue hast, but thy good spirits, 
To feed and clothe thee? Why should the poor be fiat- 

No, let the candied tongue lick absurd pomp, 
And crook the pregnant hinges of the knee, 
Where thrift may follow fawning! Dost thou hear? 
Since my dear soul was mistress of my choice, 
And could of men distinguish, her election 
Hath seal'd thee for herself: for thou hath been 
As one in suffering all, that suffers nothing; 
A man that fortune's buffets and rewards 
Has ta'en with equal thanks: and bless'd are those 
Whose blood and judgment are so well co-mingled, 
That they are not a pipe for fortune's finger 
To sound what stop she please : Give me that man 
That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him 
In my heart's core, ay, in my heart of heart. 
A^ I do thee. — Something too much of this." 

Schlegel observes, that "Shakspere has composed 'the play 'in Hamlet altogether in sententious 
rhymes, full of antitheses." Let us give an example of this in the opening speech of the king : — 

" Full thirty times hath l'hoebus' cart gone round 
Neptune's salt wash, and Tellus' orbed ground; 
And thirty dozen moons with borrow'd slu 
About the world have times twelve thirties been, 
Since love our hearts and Hymen did our hands 
Unite, commutual in most sacred bands." 


Here is not only the antithesis, but tbe artificial elevation, that was to keep tbe language of the 
interlude apart from that of tbe real drama. Shakspere has most skilfully managed the whole 
business of the player-king and queen upon this principle ; but, as we think, when he wrote his 
first copy, his power as an artist was not so consummate. In that copy, the first lines of the 
player-king are singularly flowing and musical ; and their sacrifice shows us how inexorable was 
his judgment : — 

" Full forty years are pass'd, their date is gone, 
Since happy time join'd both our hearts as one ; 
And now the blood that fill'd my youthful veins 
Runs weakly in their pipes, and all the strains 
Of music, which whilome pleased mine car, 
Is now a burthen that age cannot bear." 

The soliloquy of tbe king in the third act is greatly elaborated from the first copy ; and so is 
the scene between Hamlet and bis mother. In the play, as we now have it, Shakspere has left it 
doubtful whether the queen was privy to the murder of her husband ; but in this scene, in the first 
copy, she says, — 

' : But, as I have a soul, I swear by heaven, 
I never knew of this most horrid murder.' 

And Hamlet, upon this declaration, says, — 

" And, mother, but assist me in revenge, 
And in his death your infamy shall die." 

The queen, upon this, protests — 

" I will conceal, consent, and do my best, 
What stratagem soe'er thou shalt devise." 

In the amended copy, the queen merely says, — 

'■ Be thou assur d, if words be made of breath, 
And breath of life, I have no life to breathe 
AVhat thou hast said to me." 

The action of the amended copy, for the present, proceeds as in the first copy. Gertrude 
describes the death of Polonius, and Hamlet poui-3 forth his bitter sarcasm upon the king : — " Your 
fat king and your lean beggar are but variable services." Hamlet is dispatched to England. 
Fortinbras and his forces appear upon the stage. The fine scene between Hamlet and the captain, 
and Hamlet's subsequent soUloquy, are not to be found iu the quarto of 1603, nor in the folio. The 
madness of Ophelia is beautifully elaborated in the amended copy, but all her snatches of songs are 
the same in both editions. What she sings, however, in the first scene of tbe original copy, is with 
great art transposed to the second scene of the amended one. Tbe pathos of — 

"And will he not come again ? " 

is doubled, as it now stands, by the presence of Laertes. 

We are now arrived at a scene in the quarto of 1603, altogether different from anything we find 
in the amended copy. It is a short scene between Horatio and the queen, in which Horatio 
relates Hamlet's return to Denmark, and describes the treason which the king bad plotted against 
him, as well as the mode by which he had evaded it, by the sacrifice of Rosencrantz and Guilden- 
stern. The queen, with reference to the 

" subtle treasor that the king had plotted." 

says, — 

" Then I perceive there's treason in his looks 
That seem'd to sugar o'er his villainy ; 
But I will soothe and please him for a time, 
For murderous minds are always jealous." 

This is decisive as to Shakspere's original intentions with regard to the queen ; but the sup- 
pression of the scene in the amended copy is another instance of his admirable judgment. She does 
not redeem her guilt by entering into plots against her guilty husband; and it is far more cbarac. 
teristic of the irregular impulses of Hamlet's mind, and of his subjection to circumstances, that he 
should have no confidences with his mother, and should not form with her and Horatio aay plans of 
revenge. The story of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern is told in six lines : — 



Queen. " Hut what became of Qilderstone and Rossencraft t 

llor. He being set uhoie, they went for England, 
And in the packet there writ down that doom 
To be perform'd on them pointed for him : 
And by great chance he had bis father's seal, 
So all was done without discovery." 

The expansion of this simple | into the exquisite narrative of Hamlet to Horatio of the same 

circumstances, presents, to our minds, a most remarkable example of the difference between the 
mature and the youthful intellect. 

The scene of the grave-digger, in the original copy, has all the great points of the present scene. 
The frenzy of Hamlet at the grave is also the same. Who but the poet himself could have worked 
up this line — 

"Anon, as mild and gentle as a dove," 

" Anon, as patient as the female dove, 
When that her golden couplets are disclos d, 
His silence will sit drooping." 

The scene with Osric is greatly expanded in the amended copy. The catastrophe appears to be 
the same ; but the last leaf of the copy of 1603 is wanting. 

There is a general belief that some play under the title of Hamlet had preceded the Hamlet of 
Shakspere. Probable as this may be, it appears to us that this belief is sometimes asserted too 
authoritatively. Mr. Collier, whose opinion upon such matters is indeed of great value, constantly 
ka of "The old Hamlet." Mr. Skottowe is more unqualified in his assertion of this fact: — 
" The history of Hamlet formed the subject of a play which was acted previous to 15S9 ; and 
arguing from the general course of Shakspere's mind, that play influenced him during the com- 
position of his own Hamlet. But, unfortunately, the old play is lost." In a very useful and 
accurate work, ' Lowndes's Bibliographer's Manual,' wo are told in express terms of " Kyd's old play 
of Hamlet." Mr. Skottowe and Mr. Lowndes have certainly mistaken conjecture for proof. Not a 
tittle of distinct evidence exists to show that there was any other play of Hamlet but that of 
Shakspere ; and all the collateral evidence upon which it is inferred that an earlier play of Hamlet 
than Shakspere's did exist, may, on the other hand, be taken to prove that Shakspere's original 
sketch of Hamlet was in repute at an earlier period than is commonly assigned as its date. This 
evidence is briefly as follows : — 

1. Dr. Farmer, in his ' Essay on the. Learning of Shakspere,' first brought forward a passage in 
' An Epistle to the Gentlemen Students of the Two Universities,' by Thomas Nash, prefixed to 
Green's ' Arcadia,' which he considers directed " very plainly at Shakspere in particular." It is 
as follows: — "It is a common practise nowadays, among a sort of shifting companions, that runne 
through every art, and thrive by none, to leave the trade of Novcrint, whereto they were born, and 
busie themselves with the endevors of art, that could scarcely latinize their neck-verse if they 
should have neede; yet English Seneca, reade by candle-light, yields many good sentences, as 
d is a leggar, and so forth : and, if you intreat him farre in a frosty morning, he will affoord 
you whole Hamlets, I should say, handfuls, of tragical speeches." Farmer adds, "I cannot 
determine exactly when this epistle was first published, but I fancy it would carry the original 
Hamlet somewhat further back than we have hitherto done." Malone found that this epistle was 
fir.^t published in 1589;* and he, therefore, was inclined to think that the allusion was not to 
Shakspere's drama, conjecturing that I ilet just mentioned might have been written by Kyd. 

Mr. Brown, in his ingenious work on Shakspere's SounetR, contends that the passage applies 
distinctly to re;— that the expression, "the trade of NoveriM" bad reference to some one 

who had beeu a lawyer's clerk ;— and that the technical use of law phrases by Shakspere proves 
that his early life had been so employed. We have then "-dy the difficulty of believing that the 
original sketch of Hamlet was written in, or before, the year 1589. Mr. Browu leaps over the diffi- 
culty, and bold! as this sketch, as published in the quarto of 1603, to the year 1589. We 
see nothing extravagant in tlu3 belief. Let it be remembered that in that v r, when Shakspere 
was twenty-five, it has been 1 by Mr. Collier that ho was a sharer in the Black- 
friars Theatre, with others, and some of note, below hirn in the list of sharers. 

♦ Mr. Dyce lays 1587; but no proof of the earlier date is given. fGrccuc/9 WorVi.) 


2. In the accounts found at Dulwich College, which were kept by Henslowe, an actor contem- 
porary with Shakspere, we find the following entry as connected with the theatre at Newington 

Butts :— 

9 of June 1594, at hamlet 

The eight shillings constituted Henslowe 's share of the profits of this representation. Malone says, 
that this is a full confirmation that there was a play on the subject of Hamlet prior to Shak- 
spere's ; for " it cannot be supposed that our poet's play should have been performed but once 
in the time of this account, and that Mr. Henslowe should have drawn from such a piece but the 
sum of eight shillings, when his share in several other plays came to three and sometimes four 
pounds." We cannot go along with this reasoning. Henslowe's accounts are thus headed : — " In 
the name of God, Amen, beginning at Newington, my lord admirell men, and my lord chamberlen 
men, as followeth, 1594." Now, "my lord chamberlen" men were the company to which Shakspert 
belonged; and we find from Mr. Collier that one of their theatres, the Globe, was erected in the 
spring of 1594. The theatre was wholly of wood, according to Hentzner's description of it; it 
would, therefore, be quickly erected ; and it is extremely probable that Shakspere's company only 
used the theatre at Newington Butts for a very short period, during the completion of their own 
theatre, which was devoted to summer performances. We can find nothing in Malone's argument 
to prove that it wa3 not Shakspere'3 Hamlet which was acted by Shakspere's company on the 9th 
of June, 1594. On the previous 16th of May Henslowe's accounts are headed, "by my lord 
admirell's men ; " and it is only on the 3rd of June that we find the " lord chamberlen men," as 
well as the "lord admirell men," performing at this theatre. Their occupation of it might have 
been very temporary ; and during that occupation, Shakspere's Hamlet might have been once 
performed. The very next entry, the 11th of June, is, "at the taminge of a shrewe ; " and 
Malone, in a note, adds, " the play which preceded Shakspere's." When Malone wrote this note 
he believed that Shakspere's "Taming of the Shrew" was a late production; but in the second 
edition of his ' Chronological Order,' he is persuaded that it was one of his very early productions. 
There is nothing to prove that both these plays thus acted were not Shakspere's. 

3. In a tract entitled ' Wit's Miserie, or the World's Madnesse,' by Thomas Lodge, printed in 
1596, one of the devils is said to be "a foul lubber, and looks as pale as the vizard of the ghost, 
who cried so miserably at the theatre, Hamlet, revenge." In the first edition of Malone's ' Chro- 
nological Order,' he says, " If the allusion was to our author's tragedy, thi3 passage will ascertain 
its appearance in or before 1596 ; but Lodge may have had the elder play in his contemplation." In 
the second edition of this essay, Malone changes his opinion, and says, " Lodge must have had the 
elder play in his contemplation." 

4. Steevens, in his Preliminary Eemarks to Hamlet, has this passage : — " I have seen a copy of 
Speght's edition of Chaucer, which formerly belonged to Dr. Gabriel Harvey (the antagonist of 
Nash), who, in his own handwriting, has set down Hamlet as a performance with which he was 
well acquainted, in the year 1598." Malone considered this decisive in the first edition of his 
' Chronological Order,' but in the second edition, having seen the book, he persuaded himself that 
the date 1598 referred to the time when Harvey purchased it ; and he therefore rejects the 
evidence. He then peremptorily fixes the first appearance of Hamlet in 1600, from the reference 
that is made in it to the "inhibition" of the players. We shall speak of this presently. In the 
mean time it may be sufficient to remark, that the passage is not found in the first quarto of 1603, 
of the existence of which Malone was uninformed; and that, therefore, this proof goes for nothing. 

And now, leaving our readers to form their own judgment upon the external evidence as to the 
date of Hamlet, we must express our decided opinion, grounded upon an attentive comparison of 
the original sketch with the perfect play, that the original sketch was an early production of our 
poet. The copy of 1603 is no doubt piratical ; it is unquestionably very imperfectly printed. But 
if the passage about the " inhibition " of the players fixes the date of the perfect play as 1600, which 
we believe it does, the essential differences between the sketch and the perfect play — differences 
which do not depend upon the corruption of a text — can only be accounted for upon the belief that 
there was a considerable interval between the production of the first and second copy, in which the 
author's power and judgment had become mature, and his peculiar habits of philosopical thought 
had been completely established. This is a matter which does not admit of proof within our limited 
space ; but the passages which we have already given from the original copy do something to prove 


12s' TROD UCTO] I V N ( )TICE. 




it, and wo have other differences of the same character to point out, which we shall do as briefly as 
Mr. Hallam [in bis admirable work, the 'Introduction to the Literature of Europe,' — which, 
without doubt, is the most comprehensive and elegant contribution to Literary History and Critic! m 
that our language possesses), speaking of Romeo and Juliet as an early production of our poet, points 
out as a proof of this, "the want of that thoughtful philosophy, which, when once it had germin 
in Sbakspere's mind, never ceased to display itself."* Hamlet, as it now stands, is full of this 
"thoughtful philosophy." But the original sketch, as given in the quarto of 1603, exhibits few 
traces of it in the form of didactic observations. The whole dramatic conduct of the action is indeed 
demonstrative of a philosophical conception of incidents and characters; but in the form to which 
Mr. Hallam refers, the "thoughtful philosophy" is almost entirely wanting in that sketch. We must 
indicate a few examples very briefly, of passages illustrating this position, which are not there found, 
requesting our readers to refer to the text : — 

Act I., Sc. 3. " For nature, crescent," &c • 

i. " This heavy-headed revel," &c. 

2. " There is nothing, either good or bad, but thinking makes it so," &c. 
" I could be bounded in a nut-shell," &c. 

4. "' Bring me to the test, and I the matter will re-word," &c. 

3. " I see a cherub," &c. 

5. " Nature is fine in love," &c. 
2. "There's a divinity," &c. 

Further, Mr. Hallam observes, " There seems to have been a period of Sbakspere's life when his 
heart was ill at ease, and ill content with the world or his own conscience : the memory of hours 
mis-spent, the pang of affection misplaced or unrequited, the experience of man's worser nature, 
which intercourse with ill-chosen associates, by choice or circumstance, peculiarly teaches, — these, 
as they sank down into the depths of his great mind, seem not only to have inspired into it the 
•ption of Lear and Timon, but that of one primary character, the censurer ef mankind." The 
type, Mr. Hallam proceeds to say, is first 'seen in Jaques, — then in the exiled duke of the same 
play, — and in the duke of Measure for Measure ; but in these in the shape of " merely contem- 
plative philosophy." " In Hamlet this is mingled with the impulses of a perturbed heart, under the 
pressure of extraordinary circumstances." These plays, Mr. Hallam points out, all belong to the 
same period— the beginning of the seventeenth century : he is speaking of the Hamlet, " in Ita 
altered form." If this type, then, be not found in the Hamlet of the original sketch, we may refer 
that sketch to an earlier period. It is remarkable that in this sketch the misanthropy, if so it may 
be called, of Hamlet, can scarcely be traced ; his feelings have altogether reference to his personal 
griefs and doubts. Mr. Hallam says, that in the plays subsequent to these mentioned above, "much 
of moral speculation will be found; but he ha3 never x-eturned to this type of character in the 
personages."t The first Hamlet was, we think, written at a period when this " bitter remem- 
brance," whatever it was, had no place in his heart; the later playB when it had been obliterated 
by a more expansive philosophy — when the intellect had triumphed over the passions. We shall 
give a few examples, as in the ca3e of the "thoughtful philosophy," of the absence in the first 
sketch of the passages which indicate the existence of the morbid feelings to which Mr. Hallam 
alludes : — 

Sc. 2. " How weary, flat, stale, and unprofitable," &c. 
" Denmark 's a prison," &c. 

" I have of late (but wherefore I know not) lost all my mirth," &c. 
The soliloquy. All that appears in the perfect copy as the outpouring of a 
wounded Bpirit, such as "the pangs of dispriztf love," — "the insolence of 
office," — " the spurns that patient merit of the unworthy takes," — are generalised 
in the quarto of 1603, as follows : — 

" Who'd bear the scorns and flattery of the world, — 
Scorn'd by the rich, the rich curs'd of the poor, 
The widow being oppress'd, the orphan wrong'd, 
The taste of hunger, or a tyrant's i 
And thousand more calamities beside}' 

Act I., 

„ II. 


• Vol. ii., r- 3oo. 

t Vol. III., p. 5G8and5C9. 



Act V., Sc. 2. " Absent thee from felicity awhile, 

And iii this harsh world draw thy breath of pain." 
We could multiply examples ; but those we have given are sufficient, we think, to show that we 
have internal evidence that the original sketch, and the augmented and perfect copy of Hamlet, 
were written under different influences and habits of thought. But there are differences between 
the first and second copies which address themselves more distinctly to the understanding, in 
corroboration of our opinion that there wa3 a considerable interval between the production of the 
sketch and the perfect play. 

We will first take the passage relating to the "tragedians of the city," placing the text of the 
first and second quartos in apposition : — 

[Quarto of 1603.] 

Ham. " Players, what players be they ? 

Ros. My lord, the tragedians of the city, those that you 
took delight to see so often. 

Ham. How comes it that they travel? Do they grow restie? 

Gil. No, my lord, their reputation holds as it was wont. 

Ham. How then 1 

Gil. Yfaith, my lord, novelty carries it away ; for the 
principal public audience that came to them are turned to 
private plays, and to the humour of children." 

[Quarto of 1604.] 

Ham. " What players are they ? 

Ros. Even those you were wont to take such delight in, the 
tragedians of the city. 

Ham. How chances it they travel ? their residence, both 
in reputation and profit, was better both ways. 

Ros. I think their inhibition comes by the means of the 
late innovation. 

Ham. Do they hold the same estimation they did when I 
was in the city ? are they so followed ? 

Ros. No, indeed, they are not." 

We thus see that in the original play the " tragedians of the city," by which are unquestionably 
meant certain players of Shakspere's own day, were not adequately rewarded, because the public 
audience " turned to private plays, and to the humour of children." On the contrary, in the 
augmented play, published in the following year, they were not so followed — they were inhibited in 
consequence of a late innovation. The words "inhibition," and "innovation," point to some 
public proceeding ; " novelty," on the other hand, " private plays," and " the humour of children," 
would seem to have reference to some popular caprice. " The humour of children," iu the first 
copy, points to a period when plays were acted by children ; when the novelty of such performances 
diminishing the attractions of the tragedians of the city, compelled them to travel. The children 
of Paul s represented plays in their singing school at a very early period. Several of Lyly's 
pieces were presented by them subsequent to 1584, according to Mr. Collier; but in 1591 we 
find these performances suppressed. In the address of the printer before Lyly's 'Endymion,' 
published in 1591, the suppression is mentioned as a recent event: — "Since the plays in Paul's 
were dissolved, there are certain comedies come to my hand." In 1596 the interdict was not 
taken off; for Nash, in his ' Have with you to Saffron Waldon,' printed in that year, wishes 
to see the "plays at Paul's up again." But in 1600 we find a private play, attributed to 
Lyly, "acted by the children of Powles." In 'Jack Drum's Entertainment,' 1601, we find the 
performances of these children described, with the observation, "The apes iu time will do it 
handsomely." The audience is mentioned as a "good gentle audience." Our belief, founded upon 
this passage, is, that the first copy of 1603 refers to the period before 1591, when "the humour 
of children" prevailed; and that the "innovation" mentioned in the second copy, refers to the 
removal of the interdict, which removal occasioned the revival of plays at Paul's, about 1600. In 
that year came the "inhibition." On the 22nd of June, 1600, an order of the Privy Council 
appeared, "for the restraint of the immoderate use of play -houses ; " and it is here prescribed "that 
there shall be about the city two houses and no more allowed, to serve for the use of the common 
stage plays." No restraint was, however, laid upon the children of Paul's. It appears to us, 
therefore, that the inhibition and innovation are distinctly connected in Shakspere's mind. The 
passage is to us decisive, as fixing the date of the augmented play about 1600 ; as it is equally clem- 
to us that the passage of the first copy has reference to an earlier period. The text, as we now 
have it, — " There is, Sir, an ayrie of children," who " so berattle the common stages,"— belong-? 
to a later period, when the children of Paul's acted the plays of Marston, Dekker, and other writers 
of repute; and the Blackfriars' Theatre was in the possession of a company of boys. In 1612 the 
performances of children had been made the vehicle for scurrility, and they were again suppressed; 
(See Mr. Collier's ' Annals of the Stage,' Vol. I., pp. 279, 282 ; and Malone's ' Historical Account 
of the English Stage,' Boswell'a edition, pp. 62 and 453.) 

The speech from the plav that was " never acted, or not above once,"— that " pleased not the 



million," — is found, with very Blight alteration, in the quai-to of 1G03; and so is Hamlet's commen- 
dation of it. "We agree with Coleridge, that "the fancy that a burlesque was intended sinks Lelow 
criticism." Warburton expressed the same opinion, in opposition to Dryden and Pope. Coleridge 
very justly Pays, that the diction of these lines was authorized by the actual Btyle of the tragedies 
before Shakspere's time. Ritson, we think, has hit tlie truth: " It appears to me not only that 
Shakspere had the favourable opinion of these lines which he makes Hamlet express, hut that they 
were extracted from some play which he, at a more early period, had cither produced or projected 
upon the story of Dido and iEneas. The verses recited are far superior to those of any coeval 
writer : the parallel passage in Marlowe and Nash's Dido will not bear the comparison. Possibly, 
indeed, it might have been his first attempt, before the divinity that lodged within him had instructed 
him to despise the tumid an 1 unnatural style so much and so unjustly admired in his predecessors 
or contemporaries." The introduction of these lines, we think, cannot be accounted for upon any 
other supposition but that they were written by Shakspere himself; and he is so thoroughly 
in earnest in bis criticism upon the play, and his complaint of its want of success is so apparently 
sincere, that it is impossible to imagine that the passage had reference to something non-existent. 
But would Shakspere, then, have produced such a play, except in his very early career, before be 
understood his own peculiar powers ? — and would be have written so sensitively about it, except 
under the immediate influence of the disappointment occasioned by its failure ? The dates of the 
first copy of Hamlet, and of the play which contained the description of " Priam's slaughter," are 
inly not far removed. 
Lastly, we are of opinion that the directions to the players, especially as given in the first copy, 
it to a state of the stage anterior to the period when Shakspere had himself reformed it. The 
mention of " Termagant" and " Herod " has reference to the time when these characters possessed 
the stage in pageants and mysteries. Again, the reproof of the extemporal clowns, — the injunction 
that they should speak no more than is set down for them, — applied to the infancy of the stage. 
:spere had reformed the clowns before the date usually assigned to Hamlet. In a book, called 
' Tarleton's Jeasts,' published in 1611, we have some specimens of the license which this prince 
of clowns was wont to take. The author, however, adds, " But would I see our clowns in these 
days do the like ? No, I warrant ye." In the original copy of Hamlet, the reproof of the clowns 
i3 more diffuse than in the augmented copy ; and the following passage distinctly shows one of the 
evils which Shakspere bad to contend with, and which he probably had overcome before the end of 
the sixteenth century : — " And then you have some again that keeps one suit of jests, as a man is 
known by one suit of apparel ; and gentlemen quote bis jest3 down in their tables before they 
come to the play, as thus : Cannot you Btay till I eat my porridge ? and, you owe me a quarter's 
wages; and, my coat wants acullison; and, your beer is sour; ami, blabbering with his lips, and 
thus keeping in his cinkapase of jests, when, God knows, the warm clown cannot make a jest unless 
by chance, as the blind man catcheth a hare : Masters, tell him of it." The additions to these 
directions to the players, in the augmented copy, are, on the other hand, such as bespeak a 
consciousness of the elevation which the stage had attained in its " high and palmy state," a little 
before the death of Elizabeth, when its purpose, as realised by Shakspere and Jonson especially, was 
" to hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature; to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, 
an 1 the very age and body of the time, his form and pressure." 

SurrosED Source of t;ie Plot. 

The history of Hamlet, or Hamlcth, is found in the Danish historian, Saxo Giammaticus, who died about 
L The works of Saxo Grammaticus are in Latin, and in Shakspere's time had not been translated into 
any modem language. It was inferred, therefore, by Dr. Grey, and Mr. YVhalley, that Shakspere must 
have read the original. The story, however, is to be found in Belleforest's collection of novels, begun 
in 1564 ; and an English translation of this particular story was published as a quarto tract, entitled 
'The Hysteria of Hamblet, Prince of Denmarke.' Capell, in his 'School of Shakspere,' has given some 
extracts from an edition of this very rare book, dated l'J 8 ; but he conjectures that it first appeared 
about 1570. Mr. Collier has since reprinted thi^ tract, from the only copy known, which is preserved 
amongst Capell's collection at Cambridge. Horvendile, in the nov< !, i- the name of Hamlet's father, 
Feugou that of his uncle, and Geruth that of his mother. Fengon traitorously slays HorveDdile, 


ind marries tia brother's wife. In the second chapter we are informed, "how Hamlet counterfeited 
the madman, to escape the tyranny of his uncle, and how he was tempted by a woman (through his 
uncle's procurement), who thereby thought to undermine the Prince, and by that means to find 
out whether he counterfeited madness or not." In the third chapter we learn, " how Fengon, 
uncle to Hamlet, a second time to entrap him in his politic madness, caused one of his councillors 
to be secretly hidden in the Queen's chamber, behind the arras, to hear what speeches past 
between Hamlet and the Queen ; and how Hamlet killed him, and escaped that danger, and 
what followed." It is in this part of the action that Shakspere's use of this book may be 
distinctly traced. Capel! says, " Amidst this resemblance of persons and circumstances, it is 
rather strange that none of the relater's expressions have got into the play : and yet not one of 
them is to be found, except the following, in Chapter III., where Hamlet kills the counsellor (who 
is described as of a greater reach than the rest, and is the Poet's Polonius) behind the arras : here, 
beating the hangings, and perceiving something to stir under them, he is made to cry out — 'a 
rat, a rat,' and presently drawing his sword thrust it into the hangings, which done, pulled the 
counsellor (half dead) out by the heels, made an end of killing him." In the fourth chapter 
Hamlet is sent to England by Fengon, " with secret letters to have him put to death ; " and while 
his companions slept, Hamlet counterfeits the letters " willing the King of England to put the two 
messengers to death." Here ends the resemblance between the history and the play. The Hamlet 
of the history returns to Denmark, slays his uncle, burns his palace, makes an oration to the 
Danes, and is elected king. His subsequent adventures are rather extravagant. He goes back to 
England, kills the king of that country, returns to Denmark with two English wives, and, finally, 
falls himself through the treachery of one of these ladies. 

It is scarcely necessary to point out how little these rude materials have assisted Shakspere in 
the composition of the great tragedy of Hamlet. He found, in the records of a barbarous period, 
a tale of adultery and murder and revenge. Here, too, was a rude indication of the character of 
Hamlet. But what he has given us is so essentially a creation from first to last, that it would be 
only tedious to point out the lesser resemblances between the drama and the history. That Shak- 
spere adopted the period of the action as related by Saxo Grammaticus, there can be no doubt. 
The following passage is decisive : — 

" And, England, if my love thou hold'st at aught, 

(As my great power thereof may give thee sense ; 

Since yet thy cicatrice looks raw and red 

After the Danish sword, and thy free awe 

Pays homage to us) thou may'st not coldly set 

Our sovereign process." 
We have here a distinct indication of the period before the Norman Conquest, when England was 
either under the sovereignty of the Northmen, as in the time of Canute, or paid tribute to the 
Danish power. 


The local illustrations which we have given of this play are from original sketches made by Mr. 
G. F. Sargent. Those of buildings, have, of course, no association with the period of the action. 
But they possess an interest ; being in some degree connected with the supposed scenes of Hamlet's 
history, and with the popular traditions which have most likely sprung from the European reputation 
of Shakspere's Hamlet. For example, we have this passage in Coxe's Travels : " Adjoining to a royal 
palace, which stands about half a mile from Kronberg, is a garden which curiosity led us to visit ; 
it is called Hamlet's Garden, and is said, by tradition, to be the very spot where the murder of his 
father was perpetrated." The vignette at the end of the fifth act shows a sequestered part of this 
garden, which is called " Hamlet's Grave." Mr. Inglis, in an agreeable volume published in 
Constable's Miscellany, describes his anxiety to see this garden, upon the evening of his arrival at 
Elsinore. " The sentinel," he says, " to whom I addressed myself, laid aside his musket, and himself 
conducted me to the enclosure." The Castle of Kronborg, or Kronenburg, in the immediate 
neighbourhood of Elsinore, is a fortification which is invariably associated with Shakspere's Hamlet. 
Mr. Inglis learnt that very few travellers visited Elsinore ; but that " occasionally passengers in 
English vessels which happened to be lying-to, and sometimes also passengers in French vessels, 

Tragedies. — Vol. I. H 


landed at tho castle, owing to its connexion with Hamlet and Shakspere." A Danish translation of 
Hamlet, ho learnt, was often acted at Elsinore. V t, therefore, to our reader.; what the few 

passengers who visit Elsinore land to sec, walking up to the castle, as Mr. Inglifl did, thinking all the 
way " of Hamlet and Ophelia, and tho murdered King." The engraving at the head of Act I. is a 
view of the platform at the Castle of Kronborg ; that at the head of Act III. the Palace of Kronborg, 
within the fortifications. We have also given a general view of Elsinore; and a view of an old church 
and churchyard there. The view of the Palace of Rosenberg, which is at Copenhagen, is introduced 
to exhibit the residence of a Danish noble in the time of Shakspere. 

[Canute and his Wife.] 
It has been conjectured, and with sufficient reason, by Mr. Strutt and other writers on the 
subject of costume, that the dress of the Danes during the tenth and eleventh centuries differed little, 
if anything, in shape from that of the Axiglo-Saxons ; and although from several scattered passages 
in the works of the Welsh bards and in the old Danish ballads, we gather that black was a favourite 
colour, we are expressly told by Arnold of Lubeck, that at the time he wrote (circa 1127), they had 
become " wearers of scarlet, purple and fine linen;" and by "Wallingford, who died in 1214, that 
"the Danes were effeminately gay in their dress, combed their hair once a day, bathed once a 
week, and often changed their attire." Of their pride in their long hair, and of the care they took 
of it, several anecdotes have been preserved. Harold Harfagre, i. e. Fairlocks, derived his name 
from the beauty of his long-flowing ringlets, which are said to have hung down to his girdle, and to 
have been like silken or golden threads : and these precious curls he made a vow to his mistress to 
neglect till he had completed the conquest of Norway for her love.* A youug Danish warrior going to 
be beheaded begged of an executioner that his hair might not be touched by a slave, or stained with 
his blood.f In the Anglo-Saxon poem of Beowulf, we find — 

" The long-haired one, illustrious in battle, 
The bright lord of the Danes : " 

and the Knyghtlinga Saga describes Canute's hair as profuse. 

In a MS. register of Hide Abbey, written in the time of Canute, that monarch is represented in a 
tunic and mantle, the latter fastened with cords or ribands, and tassels. He wears shoes, and 
stockings reaching nearly to the knees, with embroidered tops, or it may be chausses or pantaloons, 
with an embroidered band beneath the knee ; for the drawing being uncoloured leaves the matter 

• Torfau-, Ili-t. Nor. t .Tomswinkinga Saga in Bartholinus. 



in doubt. When Canute's body was examined at Winchester in 1766, it was adorned with several 

gold and silver bands, and a wreath or circlet was round the head. A jewelled ring was upon one 

finger, and in one of his hands a silver penny. * Bracelets of massive gold were worn by all 

persons of rank, and their most sacred oath beforfc their conversion to Christianity was by their 

"holy bracelet;" a sacred ornament of this kind being kept on the altars of their god3, or worn 

round the arm of the priest. Scarlet was the colour originally worn by the kings, queens, and 

princes of Denmark. In the ballad of Childe Axelvold we find that as soon as the young man 

discovered himself to be of royal race, he "put on the scarlet red;" and in the ballad of "Hero 

Hogen and the Queen of Danmarck," the queen is said to have rode first "in red scarlet," the word 

red being used in both these instances to distinguish the peculiar sort of scarlets, as in those times 

scarlet, like purple, was used to express any gradation of colour formed by red and blue, from indigo 

to crimson. It thus happens, curiously enough, that the objections of the queen and Claudius to 

the appearance of Hamlet in black, are authorized, not only by the well-known custom of the early 

Danes, never to mourn for their nearest and dearest relatives or friends, but also by the fact, that, 

although black was at least their favourite, t if not, indeed, their national colour, Hamlet, as a 

prince of the blood, should have been attired in the royal scarlet. Of the armour of the Danes at the 

close of the tenth century we have several verbal descriptions. By the laws of Gula, said to have 

been established by Hacon the Good, who died in 963, it is ordered that every possessor of six 

marks should furnish himself with a red shield of two boards in thickness, a spear, an axe, or a 

sword. He who was worth twelve marks, in addition to the above, was ordered to procure a steel 

cap; whilst he who had eighteen marks was obliged to have also a coat of mail, or a tunic of 

quilted linen or cloth, and all usual military weapons, amongst which the bipennis, or double- 

bladed axe, was the most national. The Danish helmet, like the Saxon, had the nasal, which in 

Scandinavia is called nef-bi5rg (nose-guard), and to which the collar of the mail-hood, which 

covered the chin, was frequently hooked up, so as to leave little of the face unguarded except 

the eyes. 

* Archaelogia, Vol. III. 
1 Black bordered with red ts to this day common amongst t'ae northern peasantry. 


[* He smote the sieuaeU Toiacks on the ice.'] 

'■ '<**» 'IRS 

(The Platform at Elsinore.] 


SCENE I.— Elsinore. A Platform before the 

Francisco on his post. Enter to him Bernardo. 

Ber. Who 's there ? 

'Fran. Nay, answer me : a stand, 

and unfold 

Ber. Long live the king ! 

Fran. Bernardo ? 

Ber. He. 

Fran. You come most carefully upon your hour. 

Ber. 'T is now struck twelve; get thee to bed, 

Fran. For this relief, much thanks : 'tis bitter 
And I am sick at heart. 

Ber. Have you had quiet guard ? 

Fran. Not a mouse stirring. 

Ber. Well, good night. 
If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus, 
The rivals h of my watch, bid them make haste. 

a Answer me. I, the sentinel, challenge you. Bernardo 
then gives the answer to the challenge, or watch-word— 
"Long live the king ! " 

b Rivals,— partners, companions. Shakspere uses nvality 
in the sense oi partnership, in Antcny and Cleopatra; " Caesar 

Enter Horatio and Marcellus. 

Fran. I think I hear them.— Stand ! a who is 
there ? 

Hor. Friends to this ground. 

Mar. And liegemen to 

the Dane. 

Fran. Give you good night. b 

Mar. 0, farewell, honest soldier : 

Who hath reliev'd you ? . 

Fran. Bernardo hath my place. 

Give you good night. [Exit Francisco. 

Mar. Holla ! Bernardo ! 

Ber. Say. 

What, is Horatio there ? 

Hor. A piece of him. 

having made use of him In the wars 'gainst Pompey, presently 
denied him rivality,— would not let him partake in the glory 
of the action." The derivation of rival takes us into an early 
state of society. The rivalis was a common occupier of a 
river, — rivus ; and this sort of occupation being a fruitful 
source of strife, the partners became contenders. Hence the 
more commonly received meaning of rival. 

a In the quarto of 1604 (B). Stand, ho! 

b This form of expression is an abbreviation of^ may 
God give you good night;" and our "good night" is an 
abbreviation abbreviated. The French idiom has gone 
through the same process. In L'Avare of Mohere, it is said 
of Harpagon, " donner est un mot pour qui'il a tant d aver- 
sion, qu'il ne dit jamais, jet-em donne, tuaie, je tous preto le 
bonjour." (Acte H. Sc. v.) 


Act I.] 



Ber. Welcome, Iloratio ; welcome, good Mar- 

Mar. a What, lias this thing appear'd again 
to-night ? 

Ber. I have seen nothing. 

Mar. Horatio Bays, 'tis but our fantasy; 
And will not let belief take hold of him, 
Touching this dreaded sight, twice seen of us : 
Therefore I have entreated him along 
With us to watch the minutes of this night ; 
That, if again this apparition come, 
He may approve our eyes, b and speak to it. 

Hor. Tush ! tush ! 't will not appear. 

Ber. Sit down awhile ; 

And let us once again assail your ears, 
That are so fortified against our story, 
"What we two nights have seen. 

Hor. "Well, sit we down 

And let us hear Bernardo speak of this. 

Ber. Last night of all, 
When yon same star, that 's westward from the 

Had made his course to illume that part of 

Where now it burns, Marcellus, and myself, 
The bell then beating one, — 

Mar. Peace, break thee off; look, where it 
comes again ! 

Enter GHOST. 

Ber. In the same figure, like the king that 's 

Mar. Thou art a scholar, speak to it, Horatio. 
Ber. Looks it not like the king ? mark it, 

Hor. Most like : — it harrows d me with fear, 

and wonder. 
Ber. It would be spoke to. 
Mar. Question it, Horatio. 

Ilor. What art thou, that usurp'st this time 

of night, 
Together with that fair and warlike form 
In which the majesty of buried Denmark 

» This line has been ordinarily given to Horatio, as in 
the quarto (B). In the folio, and the first quarto of 1603 
{A), it belong* to Marcellus. 

*> Confirm what we have seen. 

c Exorcisms were usually performed in Latin— the lan- 
guage of the church-service. 

<1 Harrows, in the folio. In quarto (A), horrors ; in (B), 
horrows. Mr. Caldccott static that the word harrow ia here 
used in the metaphorical sense which it takes from the 
operations of the harrow, in tearing asunder clods of earth. 
On the other hand some etymologists assort that to harrow 
and to harry (to vex, to disturb,) are the same, and that the 
implement of husbandry derived its name from the verb. 
Mr. Caldecott has a curious note on the harou— the cry for 
help — of the Normans, with which harrow and hum/ seem 
to have some connexion. (Sec his '8] t an Edition 

of Shakespeare,' 1832.) 

o In quarto (B), speak to; Question, in the f.lio, and 
quarto (A). 


Did sometimes march ? by heaven I charge tin M •, 
!/'/•. It is offended. 

Ber. See ! it stalks away. 

Hor. Stay: speak: speak! I charge thee, speak! 

[Exit Ghost. 

Mar. 'T is gone, and will not answer. 

Ber. How now, Horatio? you tremble, and 
look pale : 
Is not this something more than fantasy ? 
What think you on 'fc ? 

Hor. Before my God, I might not this believe, 
Without the sensible and true avouch 
Of mine own eyes. 

Mar. Is it not like the king ? 

Hor. As thou art to thyself : 
Such was the very armour he had on, 
W hen he the ambitious Norway combated ; 
So frown'd he once, when, in an angry parle, 
He smote the sledded Polacks a on the ice. 
'Tis strange. 

Mar. Thus, twice before, and just b at this 
dead hour, 
With martial stalk hath he gone by our watch. 

Hor. In what particular thought to work, I 
know not ; 
But, in the gross and scope of my opinion, 
This bodes some strange eruption to our state. 

Mar. Good now, sit down, and tell me, he 
that knows, 
Why this same strict and most observant watch 
So nightly toils the subject of the land ? 
And why such daily cast of brazen cannon, 
And foreign mart for implements of war : 
Why such impress of shipwrights, whose sore 

Does not divide the Sunday from the week : 
WTiat might be toward ° that this sweaty haste 
Doth make the night joint-labourer with the day ; 
Who is 't that can inform me ? 

Hor. That can I ; 

At least, the whisper goes so. Our last king, 
Whose image even but now appear'd to us, 
Was, as you know, by Fortinbras of Norway, 
Thereto prick'd on by a most emulate pride, 
Dar'd to the combat ; in which our valiant 

* Polacks — Poles. In the old copies the word is spelt 
I'nllar, according probably with the pronunciation. St. 

Polack, "as it is not likely that provocation was given 
by more than one." 

b Just, in the folio; in quarto {B),jump. Malone properly 
observes, "in the folio we sometimes find a familial 
word substituted for one more ancient." In this play, how- 
ever, the more ancient word occurs — " so jump upon this 
bloody question." (Act v. Sc. u.) 

t What might be in preparation. Ta-wccrd, i" ward, is 
the Anglo-Saxon participle, equivalent to comii.g, about to 

Act I.] 


[Scene I. 

(For so this side of our known world esteem'd 

Did slay this Fortinbras; who, by a seal'd 

Well ratified by law. and heraldry, 11 
Did forfeit, with his life, all those his lands, 
Which he stood seiz'd on, to the conqueror : 
Against the which, a moiety competent 
Was gaged by our king ; which had return'd 
To the inheritance of Fortinbras, 
Had he been vanquisher ; as, by the same 

cov'nant b 
And carriage of the article design' d, 
His fell to Hamlet : Now, sir, young Fortinbras, 
Of unimproved c mettle hot and full, 
Hath in the skirts of Norway, here and there, 
Shark'd up a list of landless resolutes, 
For foo'd and diet, to some enterprize 
That hath a stomach in 't : which is. no other 
(And it doth well appear unto our state,) 
But to recover of us, by strong hand, 
Aud terms compulsative, those 'foresaid lands 
So by his father lost : And this, I take it, 
Is the main motive of our preparations ; 
The source of this our watch ; and the chief head 
Of this post-haste and romage d in the land. 
[ e _5<?/\ I think it be no other, but even so : 
Well may it sort, that this portentous figure 
Comes armed through our watch : so like the 

That was, and is, the question of these wars. 

Hor. A moth it is to trouble the mind's eye. 
In the most high and palmy state of Rome, 
A little ere the mightiest Julius fell, 

3 The solemn agreement for this trial at arms was recog- 
nized by the courts of law and of chivalry. They were 
distinct ratifications; and therefore "law and heraldry" 
does not mean " the herald law," as Upton says. 

b Cov'nant, in the folio ; in quarto (B), co-mart, 

c Unimproved, in folio; in quarto (A), inapproved. John- 
son says, " unimproved mettle" is full of spirit, not regu- 
lated or guided by knowledge and experience." GifFord 
affirms that the word " unimproved," here means "just the 
contrary." Improve was originally used for reprove. 

<l Romage. The stowing of a ship is the rooma<je; the 
stower is the romager. Thus, the hurried search attending 
lading and unlading gave us rummage, or romage, in the 
sense of tumbling over and tossing about things in confusion. 

e The eighteen lines in brackets are found in quarto (B), 
but are omitted in the folio. It is probable that Shakspere 
suppressed this magnificent description of the omens which 
preceded the fall of "the mightiest Julius," after he had 
written ' Julius Caesar.' In that noble play we have a de- 
scription greatly resembling this, especially in the lines which 
we print in italics : — 

" There is one within, 
Besides the things that we have heard and seen, 
Recounts most horrid sights seen by the watch. 
A lioness hath whelped in the streets ; 
And graves have yawn'd and yielded up their dead: 
Fierce fiery warriors fight upon the clouds, 
In ranks, and squadrons, and right form of war, 
Which drizzled blood upon the Capitol: 
The noise of battle hurtled in the air ; 
Horses do neigh, and dying men did groan ; 
And ghosts did shriek and squeal about the streets." 

The graves stood tenantless, and the sheeted dead 
Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets : a 
As stars with trains of fire and dews of blood, 
Disasters in the sun ; and the moist star, b 
Upon whose influence Neptune's empire stands, 
Was sick almost to dooms-day with eclipse. 
And even the like precurse of fierce events, 
As harbingers preceding still the fates, 
And prologue to the omen c coming on, 
Have heaven and earth together demonstrated 
Unto our climatures and countrymen. — ] 

Re-enter Ghost. 

But, soft ; behold ! lo, where it comes again ! 
I'll cross it, though it blast me. — Stay, illusion ! 
If thou hast any sound, or use of voice, 
Speak to me : 

If there be any good thing to be done, 
That may to thee do ease, and grace to me, 
Speak to me : 

If thou art privy to thy country's fate, 
Which, happily, foreknowing may avoid, 
0, speak ! 

Or, if thou hast uphoarded in thy life 
Extorted treasure in the womb of earth,, 
For which, they say, you spirits oft walk in 
death, \Cock crows. 

Speak of it : — stay, and speak. — Stop it, Mar- 

Mar. Shall I strike at it with my partizan ? 

Hor. Do, if it will not stand. 

Ber. 'T is here! 

Hor. 'T is here! 

Mar. 5 T is gone ! [Exit Ghost. 

We do it wrong, being so majestical, 
To offer it the show of violence ; 
For it is, as the air, invulnerable, 
And our vain blows malicious mockery. 

Ber. It was about to speak, when the cock 


a The commentators assume that a line is Jiere omitted. 
Rowe alters the construction of the next two lines, and 

" Stars shone with trains of fire, dews of blood fell, 
Disasters veil'd the sun." 
Malone, instead of "As stars" would read astres. This 
appears to get rid of the difficulty, for we then have the 
recital of other prodigies, in connexion with the appearance 
of " the sheeted dead." Steevens, however, says that there 
is no authority for the use of the word astre. But astral 
was not uncommon ; and asterisk was used for a little star, 
and asterism for a constellation. We leave the passage as 
we find it in the quarto, 
b The moist star is the moon. So, in the Winter's Tale : — 
" Nine changes of the watery star have been 
The shepherd's note." 
c Omen is here put for " portentous event." The woid is 
used in the sense of fate by Heywood : — 

" Merlin, well vers'd in. many a hidden spell, 
His country's omen did long since foretell." 
Upton points out that Shakspere uses " omen " here in the 
very same manner as Virgil does, ./En. i. 349. 


Act I.] 


[Scene 11. 

Hor. And then it started Idee a guilty thing 
Upon a fearful summons. I have heard, 
The cock, that is the trumpet to the morn, a 
Duth with his lofty and shrill-sounding thn 
Awake the god of day ; ami, at his warning, 
Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air, 
The extravagant and erring spirit hies 
To his confine : ' and of the truth herein 
This present object made probation. 

Mar. It faded on the crowing of the cock. 
Some say, that ever 'gainst that season comes 
"Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated, 
The bird of dawning singeth all night long : 
And then, they say, no spirit can walk b abroad ; 
The nights are wholesome ; then no planets strike, 
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm, 
So hallow'd and so gracious is the time. 

Hor. So have I heard, and do in part be- 
lieve it. 
But. look, the morn, in russet mantle clad, 
"Walks o'er the dew of yon liigh eastern hill : 2 
Break we our watch up ; and, by my advice, 
Let us impart what we have seen to-night 
Unto young Hamlet : for, upon my life, 
This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him : 
Do you consent we shall acquaint him with it, 
As needful in our loves, fitting our duty ? 

Mar. Let 's do 't, I pray : and I this morning 
Where we shall find him most conveniently. 


SCENE II.— The same. A Room of State in 
the same. 

Enter the King, Queen, Hamlet, Polonus, 
Laektes, Voltima>'d, Cornelius, and Lords 

King. Though yet of Hamlet our dear bro- 
ther's death 
The memory be green ; and that it us befitted 
To bear our hearts in grief, and our whole 

To be contracted in one brow of woe ; 
Yet so far hath discretion fought with nature, 
That we with wisest sorrow think on him, 
Together with remembrance of ourselves. 
Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen, 
The imperial jointress of this warlike state, 
Have we, as 't were, with a defeated joy, 
With one auspicious and one dropping eye ; 

a M'.rr., in quarto [B)i in folio, day. The reading of the 
quarto avoids the repetition of day in the next line but one. 
b Can tcalk, in folio. In quarto lli>„ " dare ttir." 
e Taket — seizes with disease. As in the Merry Wives of 
Windsor, — 

" And there he blasts the tree, and lakct the t.V.tle." 


With mirth i.i funeral, ami with dirge in marriage 
In equal Bcale, weighing delight and dole, 
Taken to wife : nor have wc herein barr'd 
Your better wisdoms, which have freely gone 
With this affair along : — For all, our thanks. 

Now follows, that you know, young Fortinbras, 
1 [aiding a weak supposal of our worth ; 
Or thinking, by our late dear brother's death, 
Our state to be disjoint and out of frame, 
Colleagned with the dream of his advantage, 
He hath not fail'd to pester us with message, 
Importing the surrender of those lands 
Lost by his father, with all bonds of law, 
To our most valiant brother. — So much for him. 
Now for ourself, and for this time of meeting. 
Thus much the business is : We have here writ 
To Norway, uncle of young Fortinbras, 
Who, impotent and bed-rid, scarcely hears 
Of this his nephew's purpose, to suppress 
His further gait a herein ; in that the levies, 
The lists, and full proportions, are all made 
Out of his subject : b and we here despatch 
You, good Cornelius, and you, Voltimand, 
For bearing of this greeting to old Norway ; 
Giving to you no further personal power 
To business with the king, more than the scope 
Of these dilated articles allow. 3 
Farewell ; and let your haste commend your duty. 
Cor. Vol. Li that, and all things, will we 

show our duty. 
King. We doubt it nothing ; heartdy farewell. 
{Exeunt Voltimand and Cornelius. 
And now, Laertes, what 's the news with you ? 
You told us of some suit ? What is 't, Laertes ? 
You cannot speak of reason to the Dane, 
And lose your voice : What would'st thou beg, 

That shall not be my offer, not thy asking ? 
The head is not more native to the heart, 
The hand more instrumental to the mouth, 
Than is the throne of Denmark to thy father 
What would'st thou have, Laertes ? 

Laer. Dread my lord, 

Your leave and favour to return to France ; 
From whence though willingly I came to Den- 
To show my duty in your coronation ; 
Yet now, I must confess, that duty done, 
My thoughts and wishes bend again towanU 

I i nice, 
And bow them to your gracious leave and pardon. 

* Gaif—progress, the act of going. Thus, in Midsummer 
Night's Dream, — 

" Every fairy take his gait." 

>> Out of hit tubjtct — out of those subject to him. 

Act I.] 


[Scene II. 

King. Have you your father's leave? What 

says Polouius ? 
Pol. He hath, my lord, [wrung 3, from me 
my slow leave, 
By laboursome petitiou ; and, at last, 
Upon his will I seal'd my hard consent :] 
I do beseech you, give him leave to go. 

King. Take thy fair hour, Laertes ; time be 
And thy best graces spend it at thy will ! 
But now, my cousin Hamlet, and my son, — 
Ham. A little more than kin, and less than 
kind. b {Aside. 

King. How is it that the clouds still hang on 

Ham. Not so, my lord, I am too much i' the 

sun. c 
Queen.- Good Hamlet, cast thy nightly colour 
And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark. 
Do not, for ever, with thy vailed lids 
Seek for thy noble father in the dust : 
Thou know'st, 't is common ; all that lives must 

Passing through nature to eternity. 
Ham. Ay, madam, it is common. 
Queen. If it be, 

Why seems it so particular with thee ? 
Ham. Seems, madam ! nay, it is ; I know not 
'T is not alone my inky cloak, good mother, 
Nor customary suits of solemn black, 
Nor windy suspiration of forc'd breath, 
No, nor the fruitful river in the eye, 
Nor the dejected haviour of the visage, 
Together with all forms, moods, d shows of grief, 
That can denote me tridy : These, indeed, seem, 

a The passage in brackets is found in quarto [B), but not 
in the folio. 

b Caldecott interprets this passage thus : — " More than a 
common relation ; having a confessedly accumulated title of 
relationship, you have less than benevolent, or less than even 
natural feeling." But surely Hamlet applies these words to 
himself. The king has called him, " my cousin Hamlet." 
He says, in a suppressed tone, " A little morethankin" — a 
little more than cousin. The king adds, " and my son." 
Hamlet says, "less than kind;" — I am little of the same 
nature with you. Kind is constantly used in the sense of 
nature by Ben Jonson and other contemporaries of Shakspere. 

c Farmer thinks that a quibble was intended between sun 
and son. Surely not. Hamlet says he is too much in the 
sun for clouds to hang over him ; and his meaning is at once 
explained by an old proverb. In Grindal's ' Profitable Dis- 
course,' 1555, we find this proverb ; and the context clearly 
gives its meaning: "In very deed they were brought from 
the good to the bad, and/rom God's blessing, as the proverbe 
is, into a icarme sonne." Raleigh has the same expression 
in his History of the World. 

d Moods. So the folio and quartos. The modern reading 
is mode. Mood was sometimes used in the sense of mode ; 
but it is, perhaps, here meant to signify something beyond 
the mere manner of grief— the manner as exhibited in the 
outward sadness. The forms are the ceremonials of grief, — 
the moods its prevailing sullenness; — the shows [shapes in the 
quartos) its fits of passion. 

For they are actions that a man might play : 
But I have that within which passeth show ; 
These, but the trappings and the suits of woe. 

King. 'Tis sweet and commendable in your 
nature, Hamlet, 
To give these mourning duties to your father : 
But, you must know, your father lost a father ; 
That father lost, lost his ; and the siu-vivor 

In filial obligation, for some term 
To do obsequious 3, sorrow : But to persever 
In obstinate condolement, is a course 
Of impious stubbornness ; 't is unmanly grief : 
It shows a will most incorrect to heaven ; 
A heart unfortified, a mind impatient, 
An understanding simple and unschool'd : 
For what, we know, must be, and is as common 
As any the most vulgar thing to sense, 
Why should we, iu our peevish opposition, 
Take it to heart ? Fye ! 5 t is a fault to heaven, 
A fault against the dead, a fault to nature, 
To reason most absurd ; whose common theme 
Is death of fathers, and who still hath cried, 
From the first corse, till he that died to-day, 
This must be so. We pray you, throw to earth 
This unprevailiug woe ; and think of us 
As of a father : for let the world take note, 
You are the most immediate to our throne, 
And, with no less nobility of love, 
Than that which dearest father bears his son, 
Do I impart towards you. For your intent 
In going back to school in Wittenberg, 
It is most retrograde to our desire : 
And, we beseech you, bend you to remain 
Here, in the cheer and comfort of our eye, 
Our chiefest courtier, cousin, and our son. 

Queen. Let not thy mother lose her prayers, 
Hamlet ; 
I pray thee, stay with us ; go not to Wittenberg. 

Ham. I shall in all my best obey you, madam. 

King. Why, 't is a loving and a fan: reply ; 
Be as ourself in Denmark. — Madam, come ; 
This gentle and unfore'd accord of Hamlet 
Sits smiling to my heart : in grace whereof, 
No jocund health that Denmark drinks to-day, 
But the great cannon to the clouds shall tell ; 
And the king's rouse the heaven shall bruit 

Re-speaking earthly tlnuider. Come away. 

[Exeunt King, Queen, Lords, %-c, Polo- 
NFC's, and Laebtes. 

Ham. 0, that tlrb too too solid flesh woidd 
Thaw, and resolve itselt into a dew ! 

a Obsequious sorrow— funereal sorrow,— from obsequies. 


Act I] 



Or that tiic Everlasting had not fixfd 

His canon* 'gainst self-slaughter ! God ! 

God ! 
How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable 
Seem to me all the uses cf this world ! 
1 ; \ e on 't ! fyc ! 't is an uuwecded garden, 
That grows to seed; things rank, and gross in 

Possess it merely. That it should conic to this ! 
But two months dead ! — nay, not so much, not 

two ; 
So excellent a king ; that was, to this, 
Hyperion to a satyr : 4 so loving to my mother, 
That he might not beteem b the winds of heaven 
Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth ! 
Must I remember ? why, she would hang on 

As if increase of appetite had grown 
By what it fed on : And yet, within a month, — 
Let me not think on 't ;— Frailty, thy name is 

woman ! — 
A little month ; or ere those shoes were old, 
With which she follow'd my poor father's body, 
Like Niobe, all tears ; — why she, even she, — 

heaven ! a beast, that wants discourse of 

Would have moum'd longer, — married with 
mine uncle, 

a Canon. In the old editions this word is spelt cannoy;; and 
thus the commentators think it necessary to prove that the 
levelling of a piece of artillery is not here meant. By a cu- 
rious analogy ordnance in the old writers is spelt ordinance. 
A canon and an ordinance have the same sense; and yet, 
according to the received etymologies, the words have no 
common source. A canon and a cannon are each, it is said, 
derived from canna, a cane ; — its straightness applied as a 
measure, rule, giving us canon ; its length and hollownes: , 
cannon. Ordinance, of course, is derived from ordinare; 
and the first French cannoneers being named Gendarmes dit 
Ordonnances, the guns which they used came, it is affirmed, 
to be called ordnance. We are inclined to think that these 
etymologies, as applied to artillery, are somewhat fanciful. 
We have canon direct from the Anglo-Saxon, while in that 
language a cane is bane. Looking at the precision with 
which " our greatest ordinance " are described by Harrison, 
— their various names, weight of the shot, weight of powder 
used, Sec, we are inclined to think that cannon and ordinance 
denoted such pieces of artillery as were made according to 
a strict technical rule, canon, or ordinance. In Harrison, 
cannon is spelt canon, showingthe French derivation of the 

b Beteem. Steevens brought back this word, which had 
been modernised into let e'en; the sentence was afterwards 
changed to ' that he permitted not." To beteem, in this pas- 
sage, mean'., to vouchsafe, to allow, to suffer. In Heywood's 

1 Britaine's Troy,' 1636, we have these lines : — 

" They call'd him God on earth, and much esteem'd him ; 
Much honour he receiv'd, which they beteem'd him." 
c Discourse of reason. In Massinger we have : — 
"It adds to my calamity that I have 
Discourse and reason." 
I thinks that this passage in Shakspcre should alio he 
urse and reason. But a subsequent passage in this 
play explains the phrase, and shows that by discourse is not 
meant language : — 

" Sure he that made us with such large discourse, 
Looking before and after." 
The discourse of reason is the discursion of reason — the 
faculty of pursuing a train of thought, or of passing from 
one thought t.i another; — " the discoursing thought." 
John Davies expresses it. 


My father's brother ; but no more like my father, 
Than I to Hercules : Within a month; 
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears 
Had left the flushing of her galled eyes, 
She married : — most wicked speed, to post 
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets ; 
It is not, nor it cannot come to, good ; 
But break, my heart; for I must hold my 
tongue ! 

Enter Hobatio, Berxardo, and Marcellus. 

Hor. Hail to your lordship ! 
Ham. I am glad to see 

you well : 
Horatio, — or I do forget myself. 
Hor. The same, my lord, and your poor ser- 
vant ever. 
Ham. Sir, my good friend; I'll change that 
name with you. 
And what make you from Wittenberg, Horatio ? — 
Marcellus ? 
Mar. My good lord, — 

Ham. I am very glad to see you ; good even, 
sir,— a 
But what, in faith, make you from Wittenberg ? 
Hor. A truant disposition, good my lord. 
Ham. I would not have your enemy say so ; 
Nor shall you do mine ear that violence, 
To make it truster of your own report 
Against yourself : I know, you are no truant. 
But what is your affair in Elsinore ? 
Wc '11 teach you to drink deep, ere you depart. 
Hot. My lord, I came to see your father's 

Ham. I pray thee, do not mock me, fellow- 
student ; 
I think it was to see my mother's wedding. 
Hor. Indeed, my lord, it follow'd hard upon. 
Ham. Thrift, thrift, 15 Horatio! the funeral 
bak'd meats 
Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables. 
AVould I had met my dearest foc c in heaven 

a Good even. This has been changed to good morning; 
and Steevens defends the change, because Marcellus has 
previously said of Hamlet, — 

" I this morning know 
Where we shall find him." 

The changers of the text forgot that the salutation "good 
even " was used immediately after noon. 

b Thrift, thrift. It was a frugal arrangement,— a thrifty 
proceeding, — there was no waste — 

" The funeral bak'd meats 
Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables." 

• Unrest foe. For an explanation of one of the apparently 
ictory senses in which (fear it used by Shakspere, see 
Note to Richard I] Act I. Sc. in. Upon the passage before 
us, Caldccott remarks, that throughout Shakspere, and all 
the poets of his day, and much later, " wc find this epithet 
applied to that person or thing which, for or against us, 
excites the liveliest interest." 

Act I.] 


[SCEXE ir, 

Ere I had ever seen that day, Horatio ! — ■ 
My father, — Methii£k3, 1 see ray father. 

Hor. 0, where, 

My lord ? 

Ham. In my mind's eye, Horatio. 

Hor. I saw him once, he was a goodly king. 

Ham. He was a man, take him for all in all, 
I shall not look upon his like again. 

Hor. My lord, I think I saw him yester- 

Ham. Saw ! who ? 

Hor. My lord, the king your father. 

Ham. The king my father ! 

Hor. Season your admiration for a while 
With an attent ear ; till I may deliver, 
Upon the witness of these gentlemen, 
This marvel to you. 

Ham. Por heaven's love, let me hear. 

Hor. Two nights together had these gen- 
Marcellus and Bernardo, on their watch, 
In the dead waste a and middle of the night, 
Been thus encounter'd. A figure like your father, 
Arm'd at all points, exactly, cap-a-pe, 
Appears before them, and, with solemn march, 
Goes slow and stately by them : thrice he walk'd, 
By their oppress'd and fear-surprized eyes, 
Within his truncheon's length; whilst thev, 

Almost to jelly with the act of fear, 
Stand dumb, and speak not to him. This to me 
In dreadful secresy impart they did ; 
And I with them the third night kept the watch : 
Where, as they had deliver' d, both in time, 
Form of the thing, each word made true and 

The apparition comes : I knew your father ; 
These hands are not more like. 

Ham. But where was this ? 

Mar. My lord, upon the platform where we 
watch' d. 

Ham. Did you not speak to it ? 

Hor. My lord, I did : 

But answer made it none : yet once, me- 

It lifted up its head, and did address 
Itself to motion, like as it would speak : 
But, even then, the morning cock crew loud ; 

a Dead waste. This was ordinaiily printed " dead waut." 
The quarto of 1603, which was unknown to Steevens and Ma- 
lone, reads, " dead vast." In the Tempest we find " vast of 
night," which Steevens explains thus : — " The vast of night, 
means the night which is naturally empty and deserted, with- 
out action ; or, when all things lying in sleep and silence, 
makes the world appear one great uninhabited waste." 

^Besiill'd, in the folio; the quartos, distill' d. Tostill,isto 
fall in drops ; — they were dissolved — separated drop by drop, 
" Almost to jelly, by the act of fear." 

And at the sound it slmrnk in haste away, 
And vanish'd from our sight. 

Ham. 'T is very strange, 

Hor. As I do live, my nonour'd lord, 't b 
And we did think it writ down in our duty, 
To let you know of it. 

Ham. Indeed, indeed, sirs, but this troubles 
Hold you the watch to-night? 

All. We do, my lord. 

Ham. Arm'd, say you ? a 

All. Arm'd, my lord. 

Ham. Proin top to toe ? 

All. My lord, from head to foot. 

Ham. Then saw you not his face. 

Hor. O, yes, my lord, he wore his beaver 
up. b 

Ham. What, look'd he frowningly ? 

Hor. A countenance more in sorrow than hi 

Ham. Pale or red ? 

Hor. Nay, very pale. 

Ham. And fix'd his eyes upon you ? 

Hor. Most constantly. 

Hanu I would I had been there 

Hor. It would have much amazed you. 

Ham. Very like, very like ; Stay'd it long? 
Hor. While one with moderate haste might 
tell a hundred. 

Mar. Ber. Longer, longer. 

Hor. Not when I saw it. 

Ham. His beard was grizly ? no. 

Hor. It was, as I have seen it in his life, 
A sable silver 'd. 

Ham. I will watch to-night ; 

Perchance, 't will walk again. 

Hor. I warrant it will. 

Ham. If it assume my noble father's person, 
I '11 speak to it, though hell itself should gape, 
And bid me hold my peace. I pray you all, 
If you have hitherto conceal'd this sight, 
Let it be tenable c in your silence still; 

a This passage is sometimes read and acted, as if "Arm'd, 
say you I" applied to the manner in which Horatio and Mar- 
cellus prepared to hold their watch; and we have somewhere 
seen a criticism which notes " Then saw you not his face?" 
as a memorable example of the force of an abrupt transition. 
" Arm 'd, say you 1" without doubt, is asked with reference to 
the Ghost, who has been described by Horatio as 
"Arm'd at all points exactly, cap-a-pe." 
Hamlet, with his mind full of this description, anticipates the 
re -appearance of the figure, when he asks, 

" Hold you the watch to-night?" 
and proceeds to those minute questions which carry forward 
the deep impressions of truth and reality with which every- 
thing connected with the supernatural appearance of Ham- 
let's father is invested, 
b See Illustrations to Henry IV., Part II., Act iv. Sc. I, 
c Tenable in quarto (B). In folio it is treble. 


Act I.] 


[Scene III. 

And whatsoever else shall hap to-night, 
Give it an understanding, but no tongue ; 
1 will requite your loves. Bo, fare ye well : 
Upon the platform, 'twixt eleven and twelve, 
1 '11 visit you. 

All. Our duty to your honour. 

Ham. Your love, as mine to you : Farewell. 
it Horatio, Marcellvs, and Bernardo. 
My father's spirit in arms ! all is not well ; 
I doubt some foul play : 'would the night were 


Till then sit still, my soul. Foul deeds will ris •, 

Though all the earth o'erwhelm them, to men's 

eyes. [Exit. 

SCENE III.— A Room in Polonius' House. 
Enter Laertes and Ophelia. 

Ixtcr. My necessaries are embark'd ; farewell : 
And, sister, as the winds give benefit, 
And convoy is assistant, do not sleep, 
But let me hear from you. 

Op/i. Do you doubt that ? 

Laer. For Hamlet, and the trifling of his fa- 
Hold it a fashion, and a toy in blood ; 
A violet in the youth of primy nature, 
Forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting, 
The [perfume and] suppliance of a minute ; 
No more. 

Oph. No more but so ? 

Laer. Think it no more : 

For nature, crescent, does not grow alone 
In thews, and bulk ; but, as this temple waxes, 
The inward service of the mind and soul 
Grows wide withal. Perhaps, he loves you now ; 
And now no soil, nor cautel, doth besmirch* 
The virtue of his will : but, you must fear, 
His greatness weigh'd, his will is not his own ; 
For he himself is subject to his birth : 
He may not, as unvalued persons do, 
Carve for himself; for on his choice depends 
The sanctity b and health of the whole state; 
And therefore must his choice be circumscrib'd 
Unto the voice and yielding of that body, 
Whereof he is the head : Then if he says, he 

loves you, 
It fits your wisdom so far to believe it, 
As he in his peculiar sect and force 
May give his saying deed ; which is no further, 
Than the main voice of Denmark goes withal. 

» Soil, is a sjiot ; cautel, a crafty way to deceive; besmirch, 
to sully. 

b Sanctity. So the folio ; the quartos, safely. 

c Peculiar sect and force. So the folio ; the quarto IB), par- 
ticular act and place. 


Then weigh what loss your honour may sustain. 
If with too credent car you list his songs; 
Or lose your heart ; or your chaste treasure open 
To his uiiinaster'd importunity. 
Pear it, Ophelia, fear it, my dear sister ; 
And keep within the rear of your affection, 
Out of the shot and danger of desire. 
The chariest* maid is prodigal enough, 
If she unmask her beauty to the moon : 
Virtue itself scapes not calumnious strokes : 
The canker galls the infants of the spring, b 
Too oft before their buttons be disclos'd ; 
And in the morn and liquid dew of youth 
Contagious blastments arc most imminent. 
Be wary then : best saftey lies in fear ; 
Youth to itself rebels, though none else near. 

Oph. I shall the effect of this good lesson 
As watchman to my heart: But, good my brother, 
Do not, as some ungracious pastors do, 
Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven ; 
Whilst, like a puff'd and reckless libertine, 
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads, 
And recks not his own read. c 

Laer. fear me not. 

I stay too long; — But here my father comes. 

Enter Polonius. 

A double blessing is a double grace ; 
Occasion smiles upon a second leave. 
Pol. Yet here, Laertes ! aboard, aboard, for 

shame ; 
The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail, 
And you are staid for. There, my blessing with 


[Laying his hand on Laertes' head. 
And these few precepts in thy memory 
See thou character. Give thy thoughts no 

Nor any unproportion'd thought his act. 
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar. 
The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, 
Grapple them to thy soul with hoops d of steel ; 
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment 
Of eachnew-hatch'd, unflcdg'd comrade. Beware 
Of entrance to a quarrel : but, being in, 
Bear 't that the opposed may beware of thee. 
Give every mau thine ear, but few thy voice : 

* Chariest. — Most cautious. 

i' Bhalupen has the same beautiful expression in Love's 
Labour 's Lost : — 

" An envious sneaping frost 
That bites the first-born infants of the spring." 

c Brad. — Counsel, doctrine. 

d Hoops. Some editors have unwarrantably substituted 
hooks. Malone, justifying the change, observes, with great 
solemnity, "hooks are sometimes made of steel, but hoops 

Act I.J 


iSc'ESE IV. 

Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judg- 
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy, 
But not express'd in fancy ; rich, not gaudy : 
For the apparel oft proclaims the man ; 
Aud they in France of the best rank and station 
Are of a most select and generous chief in that. a 
Neither a borrower, nor a lender be : 
For loan oft loses both itself and friend ; 
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry. 
This above all, — To thine ownself be true ; 
And it must follow, as the night the day, 
Thou canst not then be false to any man. 
Farewell ; my blessing season this in thee ! b 

Laer. Most humbly do I take my leave, my 

Pol. The time myites you; go, your servants 

Laer. Farewell, Ophelia; and remember well 
What I have said to you. 

Oph. 'T is in my memory lock'd, 

And you yourself shall keep the key of it. 

Laer. Farewell. [Exit Laertes. 

Pol. What is 't, Ophelia, he hath said to 
you ? 

Oph. So please you, something touching the 
lord Hamlet. 

Pol. Marry, well bethought : 
'T is told me, he hath very oft of late 
Given private time to you : and you yourself 
Have of your audience been most free and boun- 
teous : 
If it be so, (as so 't is put on me, 
And that in way of caution,) I must tell you, 
You do not understand yourself so clearly, 
As it behoves my daughter, and your honour : 
What is between you? give me up the truth. 

Oph. He hath, my lord, of late, made many 
Of Ids affection to me. 

Pol. Affection ? puh ! you speak like a green 
Unsifted in such perilous circumstance. 
Do you believe his tenders, as you call them ? 

a So stands the line in the folio, and in the quartos, in 
eluding that of 1603. "Of a" has been rejected by most 
editors, except Malone ; who deems chief, chiefe, or cheff, to 
be a substantive, having a meaning derived from heraldry. 
It is scarcely necessary to go to heraldry for an explanation 
of the word: we have it in composition, as in mischief, and 
the now obsolete bonchief. Chef, literally the head, here 
signifies eminence, superiority. Those of the best rank and 
station are of a more select and generous superiority in the 
indication of their dignity by their apparel. 

b It has been objected to these maxims of Polonius, that 
their good sense ill accords with his general character, his 
tediousness, his babbling vanity. It is remarkable that in 
the quarto of 1603, the "precepts" are printed with in- 
verted commas, as if they were taken from some known 
source ; or, at any rate, as if Polonius had delivered them 
by an effort of memory alone. 

Oph. I do not know, my lord, what I should 

Pol. Marry, I '11 teach you : think yourself a 

That you have ta'en his tenders for true pay, 
Which are not sterling. Tender yourself more 

dearly ; 
Or, (not to crack the wind of the poor phrase, 
Roaming 0, it thus,) you'll tender me a fool. 
Oph. My lord, he hath importun'd me with 

In honourable fashion. 

Pol. Ay, fashion you may call it ; go to, go to. 
Oph. And hath given countenance to his 

speech, my lord, 
With all the vows of heaven. b 

Pol. Ay, springes to catch woodcocks. I do 

When the blood burns, how prodigal the soul 
Gives the tongue vows : these blazes, daughter) 
Giving more light than heat, — extinct in both, 
Even in then- promise, as it is a making, — 
You must not take for fire. From this time, 

daughter, 3 
Be somewhat scanter of your maiden presence ; 
Set your entreatments at a higher rate, 
Than a command to parley. For lord Hamlet, 
Believe so much in him, that he is young ; 
And with a larger tether may he walk, 
Than may be given you : In few, Ophelia, 
Do not believe his vows ; for they are brokers ; — 
Not of the eye 6 which their investments show, 
But mere implorators of unholy suits, 
Breathing like sanctified and pious bonds, 
The better to beguile. This is for all, — 
I would not, in plain terms, from this time forth, 
Have you so slander any moment's leisure, 
As to give words or talk with the lord Hamlet. 
Look to 't, I charge you ; come your ways. 
Oph. I shall obey, my lord. [Exeunt. 

SCENE Tf.—The Platform. 
Enter Hamlet, Horatio, and Marcelltjs. 
Ham. The air bites shrewdly. It is very cold. 

a Roaming. So the folio; a common reading is wronging. 
Mr. Collier Las running. " Roaming it thus," applies to the 
various senses in which Polonius has used the word "tender." 

b So the line stands in the folio. In quarto (B) : — 
" With almost all the holy vows of heaven." 

c Gives, in folio ; quartos, lends. 

d In the quartos, daughter is here wanting. 

e The eye. So the folio ; the quartos, that die. An eye 
was used to express a slight tint, as in the Tempest : — 
" Ant. The ground indeed is tawny. 
Seb. With an eye of green in't." 
It is here metaphorically put for character. 

f The quartos read, "It is very cold." In the folio we 
have distinctly, " Is it very cold?" with a note of interro- 


Act I.i 


'S.r.sE IV. 

Hor. It is a nipping and an eager air. 

Ham. "What hour now ? 

Jlor. I think, it lacks of twelve. 

Mar. No, it is struck. 

Hor. Indeed? I heard it not; then it draws 
near the Beason, 
Wherein the spirit held his wont to walk. 
■ [A flourish of trumpets, and ordnance 
shot off, icithiii. 
What does this mean, my lord ? 

i. The king doth wake to-night, and takes 
his rou~ 
Keeps wassels, and the swaggering up-spring 

Ami, as he drains his draughts of Rhenish down, 
The kettle-drum and trumpet thus bray out 
The triumph of his pledge. 

Hor. Is it a custom ? 

Ham. Ay, marry, is 't : 
Ami to my mind, though I am native here, 
And to the manner born, it is a custom 
More honour'd in the breach than the observance. 
[ a This heavy-headed revel, east and west, 
Makes us tradue'd, and tax'd of other nations : 
They clepe us drunkards, and with swinish phrase 
Soil our addition ; and, indeed, it takes 
From our achievements, though perform'd at 

The pith and marrow of our attribute. 
So, oft it chances in particular men, 
That for some vicious mole of nature in them, 
As, in their birth, (wherein they are not guilty 
Since nature cannot choose his origin,) 
By their o'ergrowth of some complexion, 
Oft breaking down the pales and forts of reason ; 
Or by some habit, that too mucb o'er-leavens 
The form of plausive manners ; that these men, 
Carrying, I say, the stamp of one defect ; 
Being nature's livery, or fortune's star, 
Their virtues else (be they as pure as grace, 
As infinite as man may undergo,) 
Shall in tbe general censure take corruption 
From that particular fault : The dram of ill 
Doth all the noble substance often dout, 
To his own scandal. b ] 

/ ' ■ G COST. 

JJor. '• k, my lord, it co. 

» The twenty-two lines in brackets are not in the folio, 
but are found in quarto (B). 

b Jn the quarto (B). this difficult passage U found thus: — 
e dram of eale 
Doth all the noble substance of a doubt 
To hit own scandal." 
In another quarto we have, "The dram of eate." The 
original text is certainly corrupt ; and, amongst many 
conjectural emendations^ the lines M we 1'rint them seem 
to give the clearest meaning. To dout i, to put out, to 
i •■.//. Parbapt we might read, " The dram of bale." 


// . Angels and ministers of grace defend 
us ! — 

Be thou a spirit of health, or goblin damn'd, 
Bring with thee airs from heaven, or blasts from 

Be thy intents wicked, or charitable, 
Thou com'st in such questionable* shape, 
That I will speak to thee ; I '11 call thee, Hamlet, 
King, father, royal Dane : 0, answer me. 
Let me not burst in ignorance ! but tell, 
Why thy canoniz'd bones, hearsed in death, 
Have burst their cerements ! why the sepulchre, 
Wherein we saw thee quietly in-um'd, 
Hath op'd his ponderous and marble jaws, 
To cast thee up again ! What may this mean, 
That thou, dead corse, again, in complete steel, 
Revisit'st thus the gbmpses of the moon, 
Making night hideous; and we fools of nature, 
So horridly to shake our disposition, 
With thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls? 
Say, why is this ? wherefore ? what should we do ? 

Hor. It beckons you to go away with it, 
As if it some impart ment did desire 
To you alone. 

J far. Look, with what courteous action 

It wafts 1 " you to a more removed ground : 
But do not go with it. 

Hor. No, by no means. 

Ham. It will not speak; then will I follow it. 

Hor. Do not, my lord. 

Ham. Why, what should be the fear? 

I do not set my life at a pin's fee ; 
And, for my sold, what can it do to that, 
Being a thing immortal as itself? 
It waves me forth again; — I'll follow it. 

J/-./-. What, if it tempt you toward the flood, 
my lord, 
Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff, 
That beetles o'er his base into the sea, 
And there assume some other horrible form, 
"Which might deprive your sovereignty of reason,' 
And draw you into madness ? think of it : 

■ Quest ionabfr. The general interpretation is. doubtful. 
In the first scene where the Ghost appears Hhrcellus says 
" Question it." The questionable shape is a sliap.' capable 
of being questioned. 

b Waft*. Hire, and in a subsequent line, wafts appears 
In the folio instead of wares in the quarto. To waft, is to 
make a waring motion, to sign, to beckon, — as well as to 
impel over a wave. In Julius Cesar, we have : — 
•■ Yet I insisted, yet you uuwer*d not, 
Bat with an angry wafttr of your hand 
for mc to leave you." 
c This is generally interpreted, and we think justly, 
"would displace the sovereignty of your reason." King 
Charles, in the ' Icon liasilike,' has the precise expression, 
in this sens" :— " At once to betray the sovereignty of 
n in my own soul." liut Gilford, in a Note on Ben 
Inn, (Vol. v. p. 852,) gives a more prosaic 
interpretation to the passage: — " The critics have stumbled 
I a difficulty raised by themselves. Sovereignty ic 
merely a title of respect." 

Act !.] 


[Scene V 

[The very place puts toys of desperation, 
Without more motive, into every brain, 
That looks so many fathoms to the sea, 
And hears it roar beneath. a ] 

Ham. It wafts me still : — 

Go on, I '11 follow thee. 
Mar. You shall not go, my lord. 
Ham. Hold off your hand. 

Hor. Be rul'd, yon shall not go. 
Ham. My fate cries out, 

And makes each petty artery in this body 
As hardy as the Nemean lion's nerve. — 

[Ghost beckons. 
Still am I call'd; — unhand me, gentlemen ; 

[Breaking from them. 
By heaven, I '11 make a ghost of him that lets 

me : b — 
I say, away : — Go on, I '11 follow thee. 

[Exeunt Ghost and Hamlet. 
Hor. He waxes desperate with imagination. 
Mar. Let 's follow; 't is not fit thus to obey him. 
Hor. Have after: — To what issue will this 

come ? 
Mar. Something is rotten in the state of Den- 
Hor. Heaven will direct it. 
Mar. Nay, let's follow him. 


SCENE V.— A more remote Part of the Platform. 
Re-enter Ghost and Hamlet. 

Ham. Where wilt thou lead me ? speak, I '11 
go no further. 

Ghost. Mark me. 

Ham. I will. 

Ghost. My hour is almost come. 

When I to sulphurous and tormenting flames 
Must render up myself. 

Ham. Alas, poor ghost ! 

Ghost. Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing 
To what I shall unfold. 

Ham. Speak, I am bound to hear. 

Ghost. So art thou to revenge, when thou 
shalt hear. 

Ham. What? 

Ghost. I am thy father's spirit ; 
Doom'd for a certain term to walk the night ; 
And, for the day, confin'd to fast in fires, 
Till the foul crimes, done in my days of nature, 
Are burnt and purg'd away. But that I am forbid 
To tell the secrets of my prison-house, 
I could a tale unfold, whose lightest word 

a The four lines in brackets, not in the folio, are found in 
quarto (ZJ). 

b Lets me — obstructs me. 

Would harrow up thy soul; freeze thy young 

blood ; 
Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their 

spheres ; 
Thy knotted and combined locks to part, 
And each particular hair to stand an end, 
Like quills upon the fretful porpenthie," 
But this eternal blazon must not be 
To ears of flesh and blood : — List, Hamlet, b 

list ! — 
If thou didst ever thy dear father love, — 

Ham. heaven ! 

Ghost. Revenge his foul and most unnatural 

Ham. Murther? 

Ghost. Murther most foul, as in the best it is ; 
But this most foul, strange, and unnatural. 

Ham. Haste me to know it; that I, with 
wings as swift 
As meditation, or the thoughts of love, 
May sweep to my revenge. 

Ghost. I find thee apt ; 

And duller should'st thou be than the fat weed 
That rots itself in ease on Lethe wharf, 
Would' st thou not stir in this. Now Hamlet, hear : 
'T is given out, that sleeping in mine orchard, 
A serpent stung me ; so the whole ear of Denmark 
Is by a forged process of my death 
Rankly abus'd : but know, thou noble youth, 
The serpent that did sting thy father's life, 
Now wears his crown. 

Ham. my prophetic soul ! mine uncle ! 

Ghost. Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate 
With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts, 
(0 wicked wit, and gifts, that have the power 
So to seduce !) won to his shameful lust 
The will of my most seeming virtuous queen : 
0, Hamlet, what a falling-off was there ! 
Erom me, whose love was of that dignity, 
That it went hand in hand even with the vow 
I made to her in marriage ; and to decline 
Upon a wretch, whose natural gifts were poor 
To those of mine ! 

But virtue, as it never will be mov'd, 
Though lewdness court it in a shape of heaven ; 
So lust, though to a radiant angel link'd, 
Will sate itself in a celestial bed, 
And prey on garbage. 

a Porpenline. In all the old copies, porpeniine. 

b So the folio. List, list, 0, list, is the reading of the 
quarto (£). 

c Whiter, in his very curious Etymological Dictionary, 
speaking of this passage, in connexion with the theory of 
case belonging to the idea of being earthed, — fixed, resting, 
— says, " It is curious that Shakspere uses ease as connected 
with a term which most strongly expresses the idea of being 
fixed in a certain spot, or earth." 


Act I.] 


[Scene V. 

But soft ! mcthhiks, I scent the morning's air ; 
Brief let me be : — Sleeping within mine orchard, 
My custom always in the afternoon, 
Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole, 
With juice of cursed hebenon 6 in a vial, 
And in the porches of mine ears did pour 
The leperous distihnent; whose effect 
Holds such an enmity with blood of man, 
That, swift as quicksilver, it courses through 
The natural gates and alleys of the body ; 
And, with a sudden vigour, it doth posset 
And curd, like aigre s droppings into milk, 
The thin aud wholesome blood : so did it mine ; 
And a most instant tetter bark'd b about, 
Most lazar-like, with vile and loathsome crust, 
All my smooth body. 

Thus was I, sleeping, by a brother's hand, 
Of life, of crown, and queen, at once despatch'd ; 
Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin, 
Unhousel'd, disappointed, unanel'd; 
No reckoning made, but sent to my account 
"With all my imperfections on my head : 
O, horrible ! 0, horrible ! most horrible ! d 
If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not ; 
Let not the royal bed of Denmark be 
A couch for luxury and damned incest. 
But, howsoever thou pursu'st this act, 
Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive 
Against thy mother aught ; leave her to heaven, 
And to those thorns that in her bosom lodge, 
To prick and sting her. Fare thee well at once ! 
The glow worm shows the matin to be near, 
And 'gins to pale his uneffectual fire : 
Adieu, adieu, Hamlet ! e remember me. [Exit. 
Uam. O all you host of heaven! earth! 
What "else ? 
And shall I couple hell ? — fye ! — Hold, my 

And you, my sinews, grow not instant old, 
But bear me stiffly up ! — Remember thee? 
Ay, thou poor ghost, while memory holds a seat 
In this dislracted globe. Remember thee ? 
Yea, from the table of my memory 
I '11 wipe away all trivial fond records, 

a Aigre. So the folio; the quartos, eager. The word is 
certainly used in a technical sense in the folio. It is spelt 
with a capital, Aygre; while eager in the common sense of 
sharp, in the passage, 

" I', is a nipping and an eager air," 
has the familiar orthography. 

b Iiark'd in the quartos ; bak'd in the folio. 

se words describe the last offices which were per- 
'•d to the dying. To houiel, is to " minister the com- 
munion to one who licth on his death-bed." Disappointed, 
i-, DOt appointed, n • '. prepared. Un'in I'd, i-, without the ad- 
ministration of extreme unction, which was called anoiling. 
<1 This line, in all the old copies, is given to the Ghost ; 
but it was always spoken by Garrick, In his character of 
Hamlet, as belonging to the I'rince according to stage 
e So the folio. The quartos read " Adieu, adieu, adieu." 


All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past, 
Thai youth and observation copied there ; 
And thy commandment all alone shall live 
AVithin the book aud volume of my brain, 
Unmix'd with baser matter: yes, yes, by heaven. 
O most pernicious woman ! 

villain, villain, smiling, damned villain ! 

My tables, my tables, — meet it is I set it down, 
That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain ; 
At least I 'm sure it may be so in Denmark ; 

[ // r riiing. 
So, uncle, there you are. Now to my word; 
It is, Adieu, adieu ! remember me. 

1 have sworn 't. 

JTor. [Within. - ] My lord, my lord, — 

Mar. [Within] Lord Hamlet, — 

Hor. [iriihin.~] Heaven secure him ! 

Mar.* [Within.'] So be it ! 

Ilor. [Within] Illo, ho, ho, my lord! 

Ham. Hillo, ho, ho, boy ! come, bird, come. 

Enter Horatio and Marcellus. 

Mar. How is 't, my noble lord ? 

Hor. AThat news, my lord ? 

Ham. 0, wonderful ! 

Hor. Good my lord, tell it. 

Ham. No ; 

You'll reveal it. 

Hor. Not I, my lord, by heaven. 

Mar. Nor I, my lord. 

Ham. How say you then; would heart of 
man once think it ? 
But you '11 be secret, — 

Hor. Mar. Ay, by heaven, my lord. 

Ham. There 's ne'er a villain, dwelling in all 
But he 's an arrant knave. 

Hor. There needs no ghost, my lord, come 
from the grave, 
To tell us this. 

Ham. AYhy, right; you are in the right; 

And so, without more circumstance at all, 
I hold it fit that we shake hands, and part ; 
You, as your business and desire shall point you — ■ 
For every man has business and desire, 
Such as it is, — and for mine own poor part, 
Look you, I '11 go pray. 

II r. These are but wild and hurling b words, 
my lord. 

Ham. I 'in sorry they offend you, heartily ; 
lea, 'faith, heartily. 

I For. There's no offence, my lord. 

Ihu.i. Yes, by St. Patrick, but there is, my lord. 

* In the quartos, this exclamation is given to Hamlet. 
*> Hurling, in the folio ; in the quartos, whurling. 

Act I.] 


[Scssb V. 

And much offence too, touching this vision here. 
It is an honest ghost, that let me tell yon ; 
For your desire to know what is between us, 
O'erraaster it as you may. And now, good friends, 
As you are friends, scholars, and soldiers, 
Give me one poor request. 

Hor. What is % my lord ? 

We will 

Ham. Never make known what you have seen 

Hor. Mar. My lord, we will not. 

Ham. Nay, but swear 't. 

Hor. In faith, 

My lord, not I. 

Mar. Nor I, my lord, in faith. 

Ham. Upon my sword. 7 

Mar. We have sworn, my lord, already. 

Ham. Indeed, upon my sword, indeed. 

Ghost. [Beneath."] Swear. 

Ham. Ha, ha, boy ! say'st thou so ? art thou 
there, truepenny ? 
Come on, — you hear this fellow in the cellarage, — 
Consent to swear. 

Hor. Propose the oath, my lord. 

Ham. Never to speak of this that you have seen, 
Swear by my sword. 

Ghost. [Beneath.] Swear. 

Ham. Hie et ubique ? then we '11 shift 
ground : — 
Come hither, gentlemen, 
And lay your hands again upon my sword : 
Never to speak of this that you have heard, 
Swear by my sword. 

Ghost. [Beneath^ Swear. 

Ham. Well said, old mole ! can'st work 'i 
ground so fast ? 
A worthy pioneer ! — Once more remove 




Hor. day and night, but this is wondrous 

strange ! 
Ham. And therefore as a stranger give it 

There are more things in heaven and earth, 

Than are dreamt of in our philosophy. 

But come ; 

Here, as before, never, so help you mercy ! 
How strange or odd soe'er I bear myself, 
As I, perchance, hereafter shall think meet 
To put an antic disposition on — 
That you, at such times seeing me, never shall 
With arms encumber' d thus, or thus head shake, 
Or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase, 
As, "WelL we know;" — or, "We could, an if 

we would;" — 
Or, " If we list to speak ; " — or, " There be, an 

if there might ; " — 
Or such ambiguous giving out, to note 
That you know aught of me :— This not to do, 
So grace and mercy at your most need help you, 

Ghost. [Beneath.] Swear. 

Ham. Rest, rest, perturbed spirit! So, gen- 

With all my love I do commend me to yon : 
And what so poor a man as Hamlet is 
May do, to express his love and friending to you, 
God willing, shall not lack. Let us go in 

together ; 
And still your fingers on you lips, I pray. 
The time is out of joint ;— O cursed spite ! 
That ever I was Dorn to set it right ! 
Nay, come, let 's go together. [Exeunt. 

a We print the passage as in the folio. Another reading 
is by no means so plain : 

" This do you swear. 
So grace and mercy at your most need help yon." 

Tragedies. — Vol I. 1 


[* Hyperion to a Satyr 9 ] 


1 Scene I. — "The cocTc, that is the trumpet to the 
morn," <bc. 

There can be 110 doubt, we think, that this fine 
description is founded upon some similar description 
in the Latin language. The peculiar sense of the 
words extravagant, erring, confine, points to such a 
source. The first hymn of Prudentius has some 
similarity ; but Douce has also found in the Salis- 
bury collection of Hymns, printed by Pynson, a 
passage from a hymn attributed to St. Ambrose, in 
which the images may be more distinctly tr 

" Preco diei jam sonat. 
Xoctis profunda? pervigil; 
Xocturoa lux viantibus, 
A nocte noctem segregans. 
Hoc excitatus Lucifer, 
Solvit polum caligine; 
Hoc omnia errorum chorus 
Viam nocendi descrit. 
Gallo canente spes redit," &c. 

1 Scene I. — " But, look, the morn," <bc. 

Caldecott, in bis edition of Hamlet, some- 
times falls into that fault-finding tone by which , 
some Shaksperian critics assert their occasional 
superiority over their author : " The almost 
momentary appearance of the ghost, and the 
short conversations preceding and subsequent 
to it, could not have filled up the long interval 
of a winter's night in Denmark, from twelve 
till morning." Such is Mr. Caldecott's objec- 
tion to this scene. But how does he know that 
it was a winter's night ? Francesco, indeed, says 
"'tis bitter cold;" but even in the nights of the 
early summer of the north of Europe, during the 
short interval between twilight and sunrise, "the 
air bites shrewdly." That this wa.s the season 
intended by Shukspere is indicated by Oph 
flowers. Her pansies, her columbines, and her 
diisie3 belong not to the winter ; and her " coronet 

weeds " were the field-flowers of the latter spring, 
hung upon the willow in full foliage, 

" That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream." 

3 Scene II. 

" more than the scope 

Of these dilated articles allow." 

This grammatical impropriety, as we now call 
it, was a common license of the best authors of 
Shakspere's age. The use of the plural verb with 
the nominative singular, a plural genitive inter- 
vening, can scarcely be detected as an error, even 
by those who consider the peculiar phraseology of 
the time of Elizabeth as a barbarism, and are apt to 
call out upon Shakspere as a monstrous violator of 
grammar. The truth is, that it is only within the 
last half century that the construction of our lan- 
guage has attained that uniform precision which ia 
now required. AVe find in all the old dramatists 
many such lines as this in Marlowe : — 

" The outside of her garments were of lawn." 

And too many such Hues have been corrected by the 
editors of Shakspere, who have thus obliterated the 
traces of our tongue's history. It is remarkable 
that the very commentators, who were always ready 
to fix the charge of ignorance of the rudiments of 
grammar upon Shakspere, have admitted the fol- 
lowing passage in a note to Benry IV., Part II., by 
that elegant modern scholar T. Wartou : " Beau- 
mont and Fletcher's play contains many satirical 
Strokes against Hey wood's comedy, the force of 
which are entirely lost to those who have not seen 
that comedy." 

4 Scene II.- " Hyperion to a satyr." 

The figures which we have selected from two 
paintings of antiquity, engraved in Landon's 
' Peintres les plus Celebres, 1 ( J\nis, 1S13), happily 
illustrate the text. Wnrburton says, " By the satyr 
is meant Pan, as by Hyperion, Apollo. Pan and 
Apollo wire brothers; and the allusion is to tin- 


contention between those gods for the preference 
in music." Steevens, on the other ha:. 1, believes 
that Shakspere " has no allusion in the present 
instance, except to the beauty of Apollo, and its 
immediate opposite, the deformity of a satyr." 
Farmer is careful to point out the error in quantity 
in Shakspere's Hyperion ; but he candidly admits 
that Spenser has committed the same error. Gray, 
whose scholarship wouldhave commanded Farmer's 
approbation, if he could not appreciate his poetry, 
has this line : — 

"Hyperion's march and glittering shafts of war." 

The commentators have only found one solitary 
instance of Hyperion amongst the poets of the 
seventeenth century. 

8 Sce>:e III. — " The king cloth wake to-night," &c. 

This passage, descriptive of Danish intemperance, 
occurs without alteration in the quarto of 1603. In 
the augmented edition of 1604, we find added, the 
' twenty-two lines beginning — 

" This heavy-headed revel, east and west, 
Makes us traduc'd, and tax'd of other nations." 

The drunkenness thus attributed to the Danes in 
the original passage is qualified in the additional 
lines. It takes from " achievements ; " it is the 
" one defect " — " the dram of ill." This circum- 
stance, which we have not seen noticed, is to our 
minds singularly indicative of Shakspere's cha- 
racter. James I. came to the English throne in 
1603 ; his queen was Anne of Denmark. The in- 
temperance of the Danish court was well known to 
all Europe. Howell, who visited Denmark at the 
beginning of the seventeenth century, thus describes 
the "rouse" and the " wassels," in his letters : — " I 
made a Latin speech to the king of Denmark" 
(Christian IV., uncle of Anne, queen of James) 
" on the embassy of my lord of Leicester, who at- 
tended him at flheynsburg, in Holsteinland. The 
king feasted my lord once, and it lasted from eleven 
of the clock till towards the evening, during which 
time the king began thirty-five healths : the first to 
the emperor, the second to his nephew of England ; 
and so went over all the kings and queens of 
Christendom, but he never remembered the Prince 
Palsgrave's health, or his niece's, all the while. 
The Icing was taken away at last in his chair." This 
same kingly lover of the "heavy-headed revel" 
visited England soon after James' accession to the 
throne; and the effects of this visit upon the national 
manners are thus described in a letter of Sir John 
Harrington, 1606: — "From the day the Danish 
king came, until this hour, I have been well nigh 
overwhelmed with carousal, and sports of all kinds. 
.... I think the Dane hath strangely wrought 
on our good English nobles; for those whom I 
never could get to taste good liquor, now follow the 
fashion, and wallow in beastly delights. The ladies 
abandon their sobriety, and are seen to roll about 
in intoxication. I do often say (but not aloud) 
that the Danes have again conquered the Britains ; 
for I see no man, or woman either, that can now 
command himself or herself." Sir John Harring- 
ton, it seems, did not venture to say aloud what he 

thought of these habits ; and for the same reason 
Shakspere's strong description of the custom — 
" More honour'd in the breach than the observance" — 
might have given offence to the court of the new 
monarch. But he did not suppress the description. 
He made it only less severe by a tolerant exposi- 
tion of the mode in which one ill quality destroys 
the lustre of many good ones. It is remarkable 
that this additional passage was omitted in the folio 
of 1623, published after the death of Anne of Den- 

6 Scene V. — " With juice of cursed hebenon." 

Dr. Grey thinks that hebenon was a poetical modi- 
fication of henbane. Our indigenous henbane (hyos- 
cyamus niger) is well known in medicine for its 
soothing and narcotic properties ; and a large dose, 
no doubt, would be poisonous. That it was con- 
sidered as a poison in Shakspere's time, we have 
sufficient evidence. In Drayton's ' Barons' Wars,' 
we have — 

" The pois'ning henbane, and the mandrake dread." 

It was a belief, also, even of the medical professors 
of that day, that poison might be introduced into 
the system by being poured into the ear. Ambrose 
Pare 1 , the celebrated French surgeon, was charged 
with having administered poison in this way to 
Francis II. It is, however, by no means clear that, 
by hebenon, Shakspere means henbane. In Marlowe's 
'Jew of Malta' we have, amongst an enumeration 
of noxious things, "the juice of hebon" (ebony); 
and much earlier, in Gower's ' Confessio Amantis/ 
we find the couch of the god of sleep made of the 

"Of Hebenus that sleepie tree." 

7 Scene V. — " Upon my sword." 

Warburton has observed that here " the poet has 
preserved the manners of the ancient Danes, with 
whom it was religion to swear upon their swords ; " 
and for the support of his opinion he refers to Bar- 
tholinus, De Causis Contempt. Mort. apud Dan. 
Upton says that Jordanes, in his Gothic History, 
mentions this custom ; and that Ammianus Marcel- 
linus relates the same ceremony among the Huns. 
Farmer is, of course, indignant that Shakspere 
should be supposed to know anything beyond what 
he found in the common literature of his day ; and 
he cites the following from the play of Hieronymo : 

" Swear on this cross that what thou say'st is true — 
But if I prove thee perjur'd and unjust, 
This very sword, whereon thou took'st thine oath, 
Shall be the worker of thy tragedy ! " 

The commentators all follow Farmer in the expla- 
nation, that to swear by the sword, was to swear by 
the cross formed by the hilt of the sword ; but they 
suppress a line which Upton had quoted from 

" And swearing faith to either on his blade." 

We have little doubt that Shakspere was aware of 
the peculiar custom of the Gothic nations, and did 
not make Hamlet propose the oath merely as a 
practice of chivalry. 


- J "i * jaT- — 

... '-'- 

[Palace of Rosenberg.] 


SCENE I.— A Room in Polonius' House. 

Enter Poloxitjs and Rey> t aldo. 

Pol. Give him his money, and these notes, 

Rey. I will, my lord. 

Pol. You shall do marvellous wisely, good 
Before you visit him, to make inquiry 
Of his behaviour. 

Rey. My lord, I did intend it. 

Pol. Marry, well said : very well said. Look 
you, sir, 
Inquire me first what Danskers a are in Paris ; 
And how, and who, what means, and where they 

"What company, at what expense; and finding, 
By this encompassment and drift of question, 
That they do know my sob, come you more 

» In Warner's ' Albion'n England, ' Danske is piven as the 
ancient name of Denmark. 


Than your particular demands will touch it : 
Take you, as 'twere, some distant knowledge of 

As thus, — 'I know his father, and his friends, 
And, in part, him ; ' — Do you mark this, Rey- 
Rey. Ay, very well, my lord. 
Pol. 'And, in part, him ; — hut,' you may say, 
' not well : 
But, if 't be he I mean, he 's very wild ; 
Addicted so and so ; '—and there put on him 
What forgeries you please ; marry, none so 

As may dishonour him ; take heed of that ; 
But, sir, such wanton, wild, and usual slips, 
As are companions noted and most known 
To youth and liberty. 

J!' >j. As gaming, my iord. 

/' ■'. Ay. or drinking, fencing, swearing, 
Drabbing : — You may go so far. 

Rey. My lord, that would dishonour him. 

Act II. J 


[Scene I 

Pol. 'Faith, no ; as you may season it in the 
You must not put another scandal on him, 
That he is open to incontinency ; 
That's not my meaning: but breathe his faults 

so quaintly, 
That they may seem the taints of liberty : 
The flash and out-break of a fiery mind ; 
A savageness in unreclaimed blood, 
Of general assault. 
Pey. But, my good lord, — 

Pol. "Wherefore should you do this ? 
Pey. Ay, my lord, 

I would know that. 

Pol. Many, sir, here 's my drift ; 

And, I believe, it is a fetch of warrant : 
You laying these slight sullies on my son, 
As 'twere a thing a little soil'd i'the working, 
Mark you, 

Your party in converse, him you would sound, 
Having ever seen, in the prenominate crimes, 
The youth you breathe of, guilty, be assur'd, 
He closes with you in this consequence ; 
'Good sir,' or so; or, 'friend, or gentleman,' — 
According to the phrase and the addition, 
Of man and country. 

Pey. Very good, my lord. 

Pol. And then, sir, does he this,— He does — 
What was I about to say ? 
I was about to say something: — Where did I 
leave ? 
Pey. At, ' closes in the consequence. 
At friend, or so, and gentleman.' 
Pol. At, closes in the consequence, — Ay, 
marry ; 
He closes with you thus : — ' I know the gen- 
tleman ; 
I saw him yesterday, or t' other day, 
Or then, or then ; with such, and such ; and, as 

you say, 
There was he gaming ; there o'ertook in his 

There falling out at tennis ; or, perchance, 
I saw him enter such a house of sale 
("Videlicet, a brothel,) or so forth.' — 
See you now ; 

Your bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth : 
And thus do we of wisdom and of reach, 
"With windlaces, and with assays of bias, 
By indirections find directions out ; 
So, by my former lecture and advice, 
Shall you my son : You have me, have you not ? 
Pey. My lord, I have. 

Pol. God be wi' you ; fare you well. 

Pey. Good my lord, — 

Pol. Observe his inclination m yourseif. 
Pey. I shall, my lord. 
Pol. And let him ply his music. 
Pey. "Well, my lord. 


Enter Ophelia. 

Pol. Farewell! — How now, Ophelia? what's 
the matter ? 

Oph. Alas, my lord, I have been so affrighted ! 

Pol. With what, in the name of heaven ? 

Oph. My lord, as I was sewing in my chamber,* 
Lord Hamlet, — with his doublet all unbrac'd ; 
No hat upon his head ; his stockings foul'd, 
Ungarter'd, and down-gyved to his ancle ; 
Pale as his shut ; his knees knocking each other ; 
And with a look so piteous in purport, 
As if he had been loosed out of hell, 
To speak of horrors, — he comes before me. 

Pol. Mad for thy love ? 

Oph. My lord, I do not know ; 

But, truly, I do fear it. 

Pol. What said he ? 

Oph. He took me by the wrist, and held me 
Then goes he to the length of all his arm ; 
And, with his other hand thus, o'er his brow, 
He falls to such perusal of my face, 
As he would draw it. Long stay'd he so ; 
At last, — a little shaking of mine aim, 
And thrice his head thus waving up and down, — 
He rais'd a sigh so piteous and profound, 
That it did seem to shatter ail his bulk, 
And end his being : That done, he lets me go : 
And, with his head over his shoulder turn'd, 
He seem'd to find his way without his eyes ; 
For out o' doors he went without their help, 
And, to the last, bended their light on me. 

Pol. Go with me ; I will go seek the king. 
This is the very ecstasy of love ; 
Whose violent property foredoes b itself, 
And leads the will to desperate undertakings, 
As oft as any passion under heaven, 
That does afflict our natures. I am sorry, — 
What, have you given him any hard words of late ? 

Oph. No, my good lord; but, as you did 
I did repel his letters, and denied 
His access to me. 

Pol. That hath made him mad. 

I am sorry that with better heed and judgment, 
I had not quoted him: I fear'd, he did but trifle, 

a Chamber, in folio ; in quartos, closet. 
b Foredoes — destroys — undoes, 
c Quoted— observed, noted. 


II. j 


[SCEXE 11. 

And i wrack, thee; but, beshre* my 

Lousy ! 
To i hrea in cur opinii 

:iou for the younger 
To lack discretion, < d we to the king : 

This must be known ; which, being kept close, 

iit move 
More gri( t" to hide than hate to utter lo> , 


SCEXE 11.—^ Room in the Cattle. 

/ ' King, Queen, Rosencrantz, Guilden- 
stern, and Attendants. 

King. Welcome, dear Rosencrantz, and Guil- 
denstern ! 
cover that we much did long to sec you, 
The need we have to use you did provoke 
Our hasty sending. Something have you heard 
Of Hamlet's transformation ; so I call it, 
Since not the exterior nor the inward man 

-embles that it was : What it should be, 
Mure than his father's death, that thus hath put 

So much from the understanding of himself, 
I cannot deem a of : I entreat you both, 
That, being of so young days brought up with 

And, since, so ncighbour'd to his youth and hu- 
mour, 1 " 
That you vouchsafe your rest here in our court 
Some little time : so by your companies 
To draw him on to pleasures ; and to gather, 
So much as from occasions you may glean, 
[Whether aught, to us unknown, afflicts him 

thus, c ] 
That, open'd, lies within our remedy. 

Queen. Good gentlemen, he hath much talk'd 
of you ; 
And, sure I am, two men there are not living 

whom he more adheres. If it will please yon 
i row us so much gentry and good will, 
pend your time with us a while, 
iie supply and profit of our hope, 
>n shall receive such thanks 
Both your majej 
:w power yon have of us, 
Put your dread pleasures more into command 
Than to 

We both ob 

m, in fnlio; In quartoi. dream. 
Humour, in folio; in quarto, katioMr. 
• 1 ms line is venting in the folio. 


And !n re give up ourselves, in the full bent, 
To lay our services freely at your feet, 
To be commanded. 

/. Thanks, Rosencrantz, and gentle Guil- 

Queen. Thanks, Guildenstcrn, and gentle Ro- 
sencrantz : 
And I beseech you instantly to visit 
My too much changed son. Go, some of you, 
And bring the gentlemen where Hamlet is. 
Guil. Heavens make our presence, and our 
Pleasant and helpful to him ! 

Queen. Amen ! 

[Exeunt Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, 
and some Attendants. 

Enter Polonics. 
Pol. The ambassadors from Norway, my good 
Are joyfully return'd. 
King. Thou still hast been the father of good 

Pol. Have I, my lord ? Assure you, ray good 
I hold my duty, as I hold my soul, 
Both to my God, one a to my gracious king : 
And I do think, (or else this brain of mine 
Hunts not the trail of policy so sure 
As I have b us'd to do,) that I have found 
The very cause of Hamlet's lunacy. 

King. 0, speak of that ; that I do long to hear. 

Pol. Give first admittance to the ambassadors ; 

My news shall be the fruit c to that great feast. 

g. Thyself do grace to them, and bring 

them in. [Exit Polonitjs. 

He tells me, my sweet queen, that he hath found 

The head and source of all your son's distemper. 

en. I doubt, it is no other but the main ; 
His father's death, and our o'erhasty marriage. 

ter Polonitjs, with Volttmaitd and Cor- 
King. Well, we shall sift him. — Welcome, 
good friends ! 

a One. This is the reading in the folio, — meaning that 
I'olonius holds that his duty to his kicg is an obligation as 
. ive as his duty to his God, to whom his soul it 
subject. The quartos read : — 

" Both to my God and to my gracious king." 

1- / have us'd, in folio ; in quarto, it hath U8'd. 

ne quartos — the newt of I'olonius shall 
follow the message of the a fruit after meat. 

folio reads : — 

• My news shall be the newt to that great feast." 

Caldecott interpretl ttali — tnj news thai] be the leading 
topic. We arc inclined to think that news was repeated, 
by a typographical error not uncommon. 

Act II.] 



Say, Voltiniaiid, what from our brother Nor- 

Volt. Most fair return of greetings and desires. 
Upon our first, he sent out to suppress 
His nephew's levies, which to him appear'd 
To be a preparation 'gainst the Polack ; 
But, better look'd into, he truly found 
It was against your highness : Whereat griev'd, — 
That so his sickness, age, and impotence, 
Was falsely borne in hand, — sends out arrests 
On Fortinbras, which he, in brief, obeys ; 
Receives rebuke from Norway ; and, in fine, 
Makes vow before his uncle, never more 
To give the assay of arms against your majesty. 
Whereon old Norway, overcome with joy, 
Gives him three thousand crowns in annual fee ; 
And his commission, to employ those soldiers, 
So levied as before, against the Polack : 
With an entreaty, herein further shown, 

[Gives a paper. 
That it might please you to give quiet pass 
Through your dominions for his enterprize ; 
On such regards of safety, and allowance, 
As therein are set down. 

King, It likes us well ; 

And, at our more consider'd time, we '11 read, 
Answer, and think upon this business, 
Mean time, we thank you for your well-took 

labour : 
Go to your rest ; at night we '11 feast together : 
Most welcome home ! 

[Exeunt Voltimand and Cornelius. 

Pol. This business is very well ended. 

My liege, and madam, to expostulate 
What majesty should be, what duty is, 
Why day is day, night, night, and time is time, 
Were nothing but to waste night, day, and time. 
Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit, 
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes, 
I will be brief: Your noble son is mad : 
Mad call I it : for, to define true madness, 
What is't, but to be nothing else but mad : 
But let that go. 

Queen. More matter, with less art. 

Pol. Madam, I swear, I use no art at all. 
That he is mad, 't is true : 't is true, 't is pity ; 
And pity 't is, 't is true : a foolish figure ; 
But farewell it, for I will use no art. 
Mad let us grant him then : and now remains, 
That we find out the cause of this effect ; 
Or, rather say, the cause of this defect ; 
For this effect, defective, comes by cause : 
Thus it remains, and the remainder thus. 
I have a daughter ; have, whilst she is mine ; 

Who, in her duty and obedience, mark, 

Hath given me this : Now gather, and surmise. 

— ' To the celestial, and my soul's idol, the most beautified 

That 's an ill phrase, a vile phrase ; beautified is 
a vile phrase ; a but you shall hear. 

' These. In her excellent white bosom, these.' l> 

Queen. Came this from Hamlet to her ? 
Pol. Good madam, stay awhile; I will be 

' Doubt thou, the stars are fire ; [Reads. 

Doubt, that the sun doth move ; 
Doubt truth to be a liar ; 
But never doubt, I love. 
O dear Ophelia, I am ill at these numbers ; I have not 
art to reckon my groans: but that 1 love thee best, O most 
best, believe it. Adieu. 

Thine evermore, most dear lady, whilst 
this machine is to him, Hamlet. 

This, in obedience, hath my daughter showed me : 
And more above, hath his solicitings, 
As they fell out by time, by means, and place, 
All given to mine ear. 

King. But how hath she 

Receiv'd his love ? 

Pol. What do you think of me ? 

King. As of a man faithful and honourable. 

Pol. I would fain prove so. But what might 
you think, 
When I had seen this hot love on the wing, 
(As I perceiv'd it, I must tell you that, 
Before my daughter told me,) what might you, 
Or my dear majesty your queen here, think, 
If I had play'd the desk, or table-book ; 
Or given my heart a winking, mute and dumb ; 
Or look'd upon this love with idle sight ; 
What might you think ? no, I went round to work, 
And my young mistress thus I did bespeak ; 
' Lord Hamlet is a prince out of thy star ; a 
This must not be:' and then I precepts gave 

That she should lock herself from his resort, 
Admit no messengers, receive no tokens. 
Which done, she took the fruits of my advice ; 
And he, repulsed, (a short tale to make,) 
Fell into a sadness ; then into a fast ; 
Thence to a watch ; thence into a weakness ; 
Thence to a lightness ; and, by this declension, 

» Beautified, according to Polonius, is a vile phrase. It 
was the common phrase in dedications to ladies in Shak- 
spere's time: — "To the worthily honoured and vertuous 
beautified lady, the Lndy Anne Glemnham," &c, is found 
in a volume of Poems, by R. L.. 1;>S6. 

b See Illustrations to Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act III. 
Sc. I.— The ladies of Elizabeth's day, and ..iuch later, wore 
a small pocket in the front of their stays. 

c Winking, in folio; in quartos, working. 

d Star, in folio, and in the quartos y A) and (Z>). In the 
folio of 1632, star was changed to sphere. 


Aci II.) 



the madness whereon now he ta. 
Aud all we wail * for. 

King. Do you think 't i* t: 

Queen. It may be, urv likely. 

Pol. Hath there been such a time, (I'd fain 
know that,) 
That I have positively said 'Its so, 
When it prov'd otherwise? 

King. Not that I know. 

Pol. Take this from this, if this be otherwise : 
[Pointing to his head and shoulder. 
If circumstances lead me, I will find 
Where truth is hid, though it were hid indeed 
"Within the centre. 

King. How may we try it further ? 

Pol. You know, sometimes he walks four 
hours together, 
Here in the lobby. 

Queen. So he has, b indeed. 

Pol. At such a time I'll loose my daughter to 
him : 
Be you and I behind an arras then ; 
Mark the encounter : if he love her not, 
And be not from his reason fallen thereon, 
Let me be no assistant for a state, 
And keep a farm, and carters. 

King. We will try it. 

Enter Hamlet, reading. 

Queen. But, look, where sadly the poor wretch 
comes reading. 

Pol. Away, I do beseech you, both away ; 
I'll boord 6 him presently : — 0, give me leu 

[Exeunt King, Queen, and Attendants. 
How does my good lord Hamlet ? 

Ham. Well, god-'a-mercy. 

Pol. Do you know me, my lord ? 

Ham. Excellent well ; you are a fishmonger. 

Pol. Not I, my lord. 

Ham. Then I would you were so honest a man. 

Pol. Honest, my lord ? 

Ham. Ay, sir ; to be honest, as this world goes, 
is to be one man picked out of two d thousand. 

Pol. That 's very true, my lord. 

Ham. For if the sun breed maggots in a dead 
dog, being a good kissing carrion/ — Have you 
a daughter ? 

» H'.ji/, in folio j in quartos, mourn. 

• • in folio. So be hat done, indeed. The quarto 
read* ■ 

x-d. This ii ordinarily printed board, but is spelt 
boord in the folio. Boord, board, or board, is to accotl ; it 
I» also rd savs that to board is to accoi 

explained ! in twelfth Night, Act i. 

bourd and to boud, to pout, or appeal sullen. 

These dittinrtionn of orlhojraphy are, however, very seldom 
preserved. (See Note on Catiline, Jonson's Works, Vol. it. 
p. 2. 
d Ttco, In folio; in quarto*, tm. 

• The ordinary reading, which was suggested by Warbur- 

Pol. I have, my lord. 

. Let her not walk i' the sun : conception 
is a blessing; but not as your daughter may 
conceive, — friend, look to 't. 

Pol. How say you by that? [Aside."] Still 
harping on my daughter : — vet he knew me not 
at first ; he said I was a fishmonger : He is far 
gone, far gone : and truly in my youth I suffered 
much extremity for love ; very near this. I '11 
speak to him again. — What do you read, my lord ? 

Ham. Words, words, words ! 

Pol. What is the matter, my lord ? 

Ham. Between who ? 

Pol. I mean the matter that you read, my lord. 

Ham. Slanders, sir: for the satirical slave 
says here, that old men have grey beards ; that 
their faces are wrinkled ; their eyes purging thick 
amber, or plum-tree gum ; and that they have a 
plentiful lack of wit, together with weak hams : 
All of which, sir, though I most powerfully and 
potently believe, yet I hold it not honesty to 
have it thus set down; for you yourself, sir, 
should be old as I am, tt if, like a crab, you could 
go backward. 

Pol. Though this be madness, yet there is 
method in it. [Aside.] Will you walk out of the 
air, my lord ? 

Ham. Into my grave ? 

Pol. Indeed, that is out o' the air. — How preg- 
nant sometimes his replies are ! a happiness that 
often madness hits on, which reason and sanity 
could not so prosperously be delivered of. I will 
leave him, and suddenly contrive the means of 
meeting between him and my daughter. — My 
honourable lord, I will most humbly take my 
leave of you. 

Ham. You cannot, sir, take from me any 
thing that I will more willingly part withal; 
except my life, my life. b 

Pol. Fare you well, my lord. 

Ham. These tedious old fools ! 

Enter Rosencrantz and Gtjildensteiin. 

Pol. You go to seek my lord Hamlet ; there 
he is. 

ton, is "being a god, kissing carrion." The text, as we give 
it, is that of the quartos and the folios. We fear that this 
"noble emendation," as Johnson calls it, cannot be sustained 
by what follows. The carrion is good at kissing — ready to 
return the kiss of the sun— "Common kissing Titan," — and 
in the bitterness of his satire Hamlet associates the idea 
with the daughter of Polonius. Mr. Whiter, however, 
considers that good, the original reading, is correct; but 
that the poet uses the word as a substantive — the good 
principle in the fecundity of the earth. In that case we 
should read, "being a good, kissing carrion." (See 'Specimen 
of a Commentary on Shakespeare,' p. 157.) 

» Tin nies printed " yourself, sir, shall be as old 

as I am," — a made up reading. 

*> So the folio. The quarto (B) reads, "except my life, 
except my life, except my life." 

Act II.] 


[Scene II. 

Ros. God save you, sir . [To Poloxitjs. 

[Exit Polonius. 

Guil. Mine honour'd lord ! — 

Ros. My most dear lord ! 

Ha hi. My excellent good friends ! How dost 
thou, Guildenstern ? All, Rosencrantz ! Good 
lads, how do ye both ? 

Ros. As the indifferent children of the earth. 

Guil. Happy, in that we are not overhappy ; 
On fortune's cap we are not the very button. 

Ham. Nor the soles of her shoe ? 

Ros. Neither, my lord. 

Ham. Then you live about her waist, or in the 
middle of her favour ? 

Guil. 'Faith, her privates we. 

Ham. In the secret parts of fortune ? 0, most 
true ; she is a strumpet. "What 's the news ? 

Ros. None, my lord; but that the world's 
grown honest. 

Ham. Then is dooms-day near : But your 
news is not true. Let me question more in par- 
tic ular: What have you, my good friends, de- 
served at the hands of fortune, that she sends 
you to prison hither ? 

Guil. Prison, my lord ? 

Ham. Denmark 's a prison. 

Ros. Then is the world one. 

Ham. A goodly one ; in which there are many 
confines, wards, and dungeons ; Denmark being 
one of the worst. 

Ros. We think not so, my lord. 

Ham. Why, then 't is none to you : for there 
is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes 
it so : to me it is a prison. 

Ros. Why, then your ambition makes it one ; 
't is too narrow for your mind. 

Ham. God ! I could be bounded in a nut- 
shell, and count myself a king of infinite space ; 
were it not that I have bad dreams. 

Guil. Which dreams, indeed, are ambition; 
for the very substance of the ambitious is merely 
the shadow of a dream. 

Ham. A dream itself is but a shadow. 

Ros. Truly, and I hold ambition of so airy and 
light a quality, that it is but a shadow's shadow. 

Ham. Then are our beggars, bodies ; and our 
monarchs and outstretch' d heroes the beggars' 
shadows: Shall we to the court? for, by my 
fay, I cannot reason. 

Ros. Guil. We '11 wait upon you. 

Ham. No such matter: I will not sort you 
with the rest of my servants ; for, to speak to 
you like an honest man, I am most dreadfully 
attended. But, in the beaten way of friendship, 
what make you at Elsinore ? 

Ros. To visit you, my lord ; no other occasion. 

Ham. Beggar that I am, I am even poor hi 
thanks ; but I thank you : and sure, dear friends, 
my thanks are too dear, a half -penny. Were you 
not sent for ? Is it your own inclining ? Is it a 
free visitation? Come; deal justly with me: 
come, come ; nay, speak. 

Guil. What should we say, my lord ? 

Ham. Why anything. But to the purpose.* 
You were sent for ; and there is a kind of con- 
fession in your looks, which your modesties have 
not craft enough to colour : I know, the good 
king and queen have sent for you. 

Ros. To what end, my lord ? 

Ham. That you must teach me. But let me 
conjure you, by the rights of our fellowship, by 
the consonancy of our youth, by the obligation 
of our ever-preserved love, and by what more 
dear a better proposer could charge you withal, 
be even and direct with me, whether you were 
sent for, or no ? 

Ros. What say you ? [To Guildexsterx. 

Ham. Nay, then I have an eye of you ; [Aside.'}, 
— if you love me, hold not off. 

Gail. My lord, we were sent for. 

Ham. I will tell you why ; so shall my antici- 
pation prevent your discovery of your secrecy to 
the king and queen. Moult no feather. b I have 
of late, (but, wherefore, I know not,) lost all my 
mirth, foregone all custom of exercises : and, in- 
deed, it goes so heavily with my disposition, that 
this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a steril 
promontory ; this most excellent canopy, the air, 
look you, — this brave o'erhanging firmament 
— this majestical roof fretted with 


a So the folio. The passage is usually printed from quarto 
(B), "any thing — but to the purpose." 

b So the folio. The quarto (B), reads, " and your secrecy 
to the king and queen moult no feather." 

c Firmament. So the quarto [Bu Using o'erhanging as 
a substantive, and omitting firmament, (the reading of the 
folio,) the sentence is, perhaps, less eloquent but more cohe- 
rent. The air is the canopy; the o'erhanging; the majestical 
roof. Here, it appears to us, there are three distinct references 
to the common belief of the three regions of air. Ben Jonson, 
in his description of the scenery of the ' Masque of Hymen, 'has 
this passage : — " A cortine of painted clouds reached to the 
utmost roof of the hall, and suddenly opening, revealed the 
three regions of air: in the highest of which sat Juno, in a 
glorious throne of gold, circled with comei s and fiery meteors, 
engendered in that hot and dry region ; her feet reaching to 
the lowest, where was made a rainbow, and within it musi- 
cians seated, figuring aery spirits, their habits various, and 
resembling the several colours caused in that part of the air 
by reflection. The midst was all of dark and condensed clouds, 
as being the proper place where rain, hail, and other watery 
meteors are made." The " canopy," we believe, is the lowest 
region of " colours caused by reflection ;" the " o'erhanging," 
the midst of " dark and condensed clouds ; " the -'majestical 
roof fretted with golden fire," the highest, wjhere Juno sat, 
" circled with comets and fiery meteors." The air. iu its 
three regions, appears to Hamlet no other thing "than a 
foul and'pestilent congregation of vapours." If this inter- 
pretation be correct, the word "firmament," which is applied 
to the heavens generally, might have been rejected by 
poet, as conveying an image unsuited to that idea of a part 
which is conveyed by the substantive " o'erhanging.' 




'Scent. II 

fire, why. it appears no other tiling to 
than a foul and pestilent congregation of va- 
pours. What a piece of work is a man ! How 
noble in reason! how infinite in faculty ! in form 
and moving, how express and admirable ! in 
tion, how like an angel! in apprehension, how 
like a god ! the beauty of the world ! the par - 
of animals ! And yet, to me, what is this qoint- 
-ence of dust? man delights not me; no, 
r woman neither, though, by your smiling, 
M\ lord, there was no such stuff in my 

Ham. Why did you laugh then, when I said, 
'" Man delights not me ? " 

. To think, my lord, if you delight not in 
man, what lenten* entertainment the players 
shall receive from you : we coted b them on the 
way : and hither are they coming, to offer you 
serv i 

. JIc that plays the king shall be wel- 
come ; his majesty shall have tribute of me : the 
adventurous knight shall use his foil and targei : 
the lover shall not sigh gratis; the humorous 
man shall end his part in peace : the clown shall 
make those lau^h whose limes are tickled o' the 
sere; c and the lady shall say her mind freely, 
or the blank verse shall halt for 't. — What players 
are they ? 

Ros. Even those you were wont to take 
delight in, the tragedians of the city ? 

.'. How chances it they travel ? their 
residence, both in reputation and profit, was 
better both ways. 

Ros. I think, their inhibition comes by the 
means of the late innovation. 

. Do they hold the same estimation they 
did when I was in the city ? Are they so followed? 
Jtos. No, indeed, they are not. 

i. How comes it ? Do they grow rusty ? 
Ros. Nay, their endeavour keeps in the wonted 
pare: But there is, sir, an aiery of children, 
little eyases, that cry out on the top of question, 
and are most tyrannically clapped for 't : these are 
now the fashion; and so berattle the common 
-'es, (so they call thcrn,) that many, wearing 
rapiers, arc afraid of goose quills, and dare 
1 hit her. 
. What, arc they children? who main- 
how ar. oted ?' J Will t 

» Lenten— sparing— like fare in Lent. 

b Cnted — overtook — went >ide by side — from i 

t The quarto of 1603 reads, " that are tickled in the 
lungs." The iere i» a dry affection of the throat, by which 
the lungs are tickled; but the clown provokes laughter 
even from thoie who habitually cough. 

d Eicoted— paid. The tcot or thol— the coin cast down — is 


pursue the quality no Longer than they can sing? 
will they not say afterwards, if they should grow 
tin tnon players, las it is like 

st, if their m their writers 

do them wrong, to make thcin exclaim against 
their own BUCOt Jsion P 

Jtos. 'Faith, there has been much to do on 
both sides; and the nation holds it no sin, to 
tarre them to controversy:' there was, for a 
while, no money bid for argument, unless the 
poet and the player went to cuffs in the question. 

Warn. Is't possible? 

; . 0, there has been much throwing about 
of brains. 

Ham. Do the boys cany it away? 

Ros. Ay, that they do, my lord; Hercules 
and his load too. 

Ham. It is not strange ; b for mine uncle is 
king of Denmark ; and those that would make 
mowes at him while my father lived, give 
twenty, forty, an hundred ducats a-piece, for his 
picture in little. There is something in this 
more than natural, if philosophy could find it 
out. [Flourish of trumpets within. 

doit. There are the players. 

Ham. Gentlemen, you are welcome to Elsi- 
nore. Your hands. Come : the appurtenance 
of welcome is fashion and ceremony : let me 
comply with you in the garb ; lest my extent to 
the players, which, I tell you, must show fairly 
outward, should more appear like entertainment 
than yours. You are welcome : but my uncle- 
father, and aunt-mother, are deceived. 
" Guil. In what, my dear lord ? 

Ham. I am but mad north-north-west : when 
the wind is southerlv, I know a hawk from a 
handsaw.' 1 

Enter PoLOXlus. 

Pol. Well be with you, gentlemen ! 

// ,,i. Hark you, Guildenstem, — and you too ; 
— at each ear a hearer ; that great baby you sec 
there is not yet out of his swathing c clouts. 

Ros. Happily, he 's the second time come to 

the share of any common charge paid by an individual. The 
French eicotter, is to pay the scot. Hence " scot and lot." 
» In some modern editions, "to tarre them on." The 
folio haa not on. In King John (A< t iv. Sc. n.) we have 
" Like a dog that is compelled to fight, 
li at hi-, master that dotli tarre him on." 

To larrr [| to exasperate, from the Anglo-Saxon lirian. 
b In quartos, rmj Urange. 

• In quartos, mouths The motcet of the folio is more 
Shaksperian— as in the Tempest. 

netimes like apes that- mot and chatter at me." 

'1 Handtaw — the corruption in this proverbial expression 
of lirromhaw — hemihaw, a heron. In Spenser, wc have 

when a cast of falcons made their flight 
At an hcrneshaw." 

* Swathing, in folio; in quartos, twaddling. 




them; for, they say, an old man is twice a 

Ham. I will prophesy. He comes to tell me 
of the players; mark it. — You say right, sir: 
o' Monday morning ; 't was so, indeed. 

Pol. My lord, I have news to tell you. 

Ham. My lord, I have news to tell you. 
When Roscius was an actor in Rome, a — 

Pol. The actors are come hither, my lord. 

Ham. Buz, buz ! 

Pol. Upon mine honour, — 

Ham. Then came each actor on his ass, — 

Pol. The best actors in the world, either for 
tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral, pastorical- 
comical, historical-pastoral, tragical-historical, 
tragical-comical-historical-pastoral, scene indi- 
vidable, or poem unlimited : Seneca cannot be 
too heavy, nor Plautus too light. 1 For the law 
of writ, and the liberty, these are the only men. 

Ham. Jephthah, judge of Israel, — what a 
treasure hadst thou ! 

Pol. What a treasure had he, my lord ? 

Ham. Why— 

One fair daughter, and no more, 
The which he loved passing well. 

Pol. Still on my daughter. [Aside. 

Ham. Am I not i' the right, old Jephthah ? 
Pol. If you call me Jephthah, my lord, I have 
a daughter, that I love passing well. 
Ham. Nay, that follows not. 
Pol. What follows then, my lord ? 
Ham. Why, 

"As by lot, God wot, 

and then you know, 

" It came to pass, As most like it was." 

The first row of the pious chanson will show you 
more : - for look, where my abridgments come. 

Enter Four or Five Players. 

You are welcome, masters; welcome, all: — I am 
glad to see thee well: — welcome, good friends. 
—0, my old friend ! Thy face is valiant b since 
I saw thee last; Com'st thou to beard me in 
Denmark ? — What ! my young lady and mis- 
tress ! By-' r lady, your ladyship is nearer 
heaven, than when I saw you last, by the alti- 
tude of a chopine. 3 Pray God, your voice, like 
a piece of uncurrent gold, be not cracked within 
the ring. 4 — Masters, you are all welcome. We '11 
e'en to 't like French falconers, fly at any thing 

a The folio omits was. 

b Valiant, in folio; which is interpreted manly. The 
quarto has valanc'd, which is explained "fringed with 
a beard." 

we see : We '11 have a speech straight : Come, 
give us a taste of your quality ; come, a passion- 
ate speech. 

1 Play. What speech, my lord ? 

Ham. I heard thee speak me a speech once, 
— but it was never acted ; or, if it was, not above 
once ; for the play, I remember, pleased not the 
million ; 5 t was caviare to the general : 5 but it 
was (as I received it, and others, whose judg- 
ments, in such matters, cried in the top of mine,) 
an excellent play ; well digested in the scenes ; 
set down with as much modesty as cunning. I 
remember, one said, there were no sallets a 
in the lines to make the matter savoury; 
nor no matter in the phrase that might indite 
the author of affectation ; but called it, an honest 
method [as wholesome as sweet, and by very 
much more handsome than fine]. One chief 
speech in it I chiefly loved : 't was iEneas' tale 
to Dido ; and thereabout of it especially, where he 
speaks of Priam's slaughter : If it five in your 
memory, begin at this line; let me see, let me 
see; — 

The rugged Pyrrhus, like the Hyrcanian beast, 

't is not so ; it begins with Pyrrhus. 

The rugged Pyrrhus, — he, whose sable arms, 

Black as his purpose, did the night resemble 

When he lay couched in the ominous horse, 

Hath now this dread and black complexion smear'd 

With heraldry more dismal ; head to foot 

Now is he total gules ;b horridly trick'dc 

With blood of fathers, mothers, daughters, sons ; 

Bak'd and impasted with the parching streets, 

That lend a tyrannous and damned light 

To their vile murthers: d Roasted in wrath and fire, 

And thus o'er-sized with coagulate gore, 

With eyes like carbuncles, the hellish Pyrrhus 

Old grandsire Priam seeks. 

Pol. 'Fore God, my lord, well spoken; with 
good accent, and good discretion. 

1 Play. Anon he finds him 
Striking too short at Greeks; his antique sword, 
Rebellious to his arm, lies where it falls, 
Repugnant to command : Unequal match'd, 
Pyrrhus at Priam drives ; in rage strikes wide, 
But with the whiff and wind of his fell sword 
The unnerved father falls. Then senseless Ilium, 
Seeming to feel his blow, with flaming top 
Stoops to his base; and with a hideous crash 
Takes prisoner Pyrrhus' ear: for, lo! his sword, 
Which was declining on the milky head 
Of reverend Priam, seem'd i' the air to stick: 
So, as a painted tyrant, Pyrrhus stood; 
And, like a neutral to his will and matter, 
Did nothing. 

But, as we often see, against some storm. 
A silence in the heavens, the rack stand still. 

- -1 Sallets, ribaldry. 
b Gules, red, in heraldic phrase, 
c Trick'd, painted ; also a word in heraldry. 
<1 Vile murthers, in the folios; in quartos, lord's wutmsr 


Act II.] 


[Scem; U. 

The bold winds speechless, and the orli below 
As hush as death : anon the dreadful thunder 
Doth rend the region: So, after 1'yrrhus' pause 
A roused vengeance sets him new a work ; 
And never did the Cyclops' hammers fall 
On Mars's armours, forg'd for proof eterne, 
With less ramotae than 1'yrihus' bleeding sword 
Now falls on Priam. — 

Out, out, thou strumpet, Fortune ! All you gods, 
In general synod, take away her power; 
Break all the spokes and fellies from her wheel, 
And bowl the round nave down the hill of heaven, 
As low as to the fiends. 

Pol. This is too long. 

Ham. It shall to the barber's, with your 
beard. — Prithee, say on: — He's for a jig-, 3, or a 
tale of bawdry, or he sleeps : — say on : come to 

1 Play. But who, O who, had seen the mobled queen 

Hara. The mobled b queen ? 

Pol. That's good: mobled queen is good. 

1 Play. Run barefoot up and down, threat'ning the flame 
With bisson rheum ; a clout about that head, 
Where late the diadem stood ; and, for a robe, 
About her lank and all o'er-teemed loins, 
A blanket, in the alarum of fear caught up ; 
Who this had seen, with tongue in venom steep'd, 
'Gainst fortune's state would treason have pronounc'd . 
But if the gods themselves did see her then, 
When she saw Pyrrhus make malicious sport 
In mincing with his sword her husband's limbs, 
The instant burst of clamour that she made 
(Unless things mortal move them not at all,) 
Would have made milch the burning eyes of heaven, 
And passion in the gods 

Pol. Look, whether he has not lurn'd his 
colour, and has tears in's eyes. — Pray you, no 

Ham. 'T is well ; I '11 have thee speak out the 
rest soon. — Good my lord, will you see the 
players well bestow'd? Do you hear, let them 
be well used; for they are the abstracts, and 
brief chronicles, of the time : After your death 
you were better have a bad epitaph, than their 
ill report while you lived. 

Pol. My lord, I will use them according to 
their desert. 

Ham. Odd's bodikin man, better: 3 Use everv 
man after his desert, and who should 'scape 

* A jig, a ludicrous interlude. 

b Mobled. This is the reading of quartos (A) and (B). In 
the folio we have inobled, which is, we have little doubt, a 
misprint. In the folio of 1632, the original reading was 
restored. Mobled, mailed, is hastily muffled up. The 
mobled queen has 

" A clout about that head 
Where late the diadem stood.' 

In Sandys' Travels we have " their heads and faces are mabled 
in fine linen." To mob, or mab, is to dress carelessly; a mob 
is a covering for the head, — a close covering, according to 
some, — a mobile covering, more probably. 

itractt, In the folio; another reading Is abtlract, 
d Belter, in the folio; in quartos, much better. 


whipping ! Use them after your own honour and 
dignity: The less they deserve, the more merit 
is in your bounty. Take them in. 

Pol. Come, sirs. 

[Exit Polonius with some of the Players. 

Ihim. Follow him, friends : we '11 hear a play 
to-morrow. — Dost thou hear me, old friend ; can 
you play the murther of Gonzago ? 

1 Play. Ay, my lord. 

Ham. We'll have't to-morrow night. You 
could, for a need, study a speech of some dozen 
or sixteen lines, which I would set down, and 
insert in 't ? could you not ? 

1 Play. Ay, my lord. 

Ham. Very well.— Follow that lord ; and look 
you mock him not. [Exit Player.] My good 
friends, [To Eos. and Guil.] I '11 leave you till 
night : you are welcome to Elsinore. 

Bos. Good my lord ! 
[Exeunt Rosencrantz and Guildensterx. 

Ham. Ay, so, God be wi' you: Now I am 
0, what a rogue and peasant slave am I ! 
Is it not monstrous, that this player here, 
But in a fiction, in a dream of passion, 
Could force his soul so to his whole a conceit, 
That from her working, all his visage wann'd; b 
Tears in his eyes, distraction in 's aspect, 
A broken voice, and his wnole function suiting 
With forms to his conceit ? And all for nothing ! 
For Hecuba ! 

What 's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba, 
That he should weep for her? What would he do, 
Had he the motive and the cue for passion 
That I have? He would drown the stage with 

And cleave the general ear with horrid speech ; 
Make mad the guilty, and appal the free, 
Confound the ignorant ; and amaze, indeed, 
The very faculties of eyes and cars. 
Yet I, 

A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak, 
Like John-a-dreams, d unpregnant of my cause, 
And can say nothing ; no, not for a king, 
Upon whose property, and most dear life, 
A damn'd defeat was made. Am I a coward ? 
Who calls me villain ? breaks my pate across ? 
Plucks off my beard, and blows it in my face ? 
Tweaks me by the nose ? gives me the lie i' the 

As deep as to the luugs ? Who docs me this ? 
J la! 

■ "hole, in folio; in quartos, oirn. 
h 1V,t H h'iI in the quartos; the folio, uarin'd, 
t Free, — free trom oflence. 

'! Juhn-a-drcanu,-* soubriquet for a heavy, lethargic 

Act II.] 



Why, I should take it : for it cannot be, 
But I am pigeon-liver' d, and lack gall 
To make oppression bitter ; or, ere this, 
I should have fatted all the region kites 
With this slave's offal : Bloody, bawdy villain ! 
Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless 

villain ! 
What an ass am I! ay, sure, this is most 

brave ; a 
That I, the son of the dear muri hered, b 
Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell, 
Must, like a whore, unpack my heart with words. 
And fall a cursing, like a very drab, 
A scullion ! 

a So the folio. The quartos, omitting the short line, " 
vengeance," read 

" Why, what an ass am I ! This is most brave. 

h So the folio; the quartos, "a dear father murder'd.'' 
The rejection, by some editors, of the beautiful reading of 
"the dear murtherea," would be unaccountable, if we dii 
not see ho - Ar pertinaciously these have treated the folioof 
1623 as of no authority 

Fye upon 't ! foh ! About, my brains ! I have 

That guilty creatures, sitting at a play, 
Have by the very cunning of the scene 
Been struck so to the soul, that presently 
They have proclaim'd then- malefactions 
For murther, though it have no tongue, will speak 
With most miraculous organ. I'll have these 

Play something like the murder of my father, 
Before mine uncle : I '11 observe his looks ; 
I '11 tent him to the quick ; if he but blench, 
I know my course. The spirit that I have seen 
May be the devil : and the devil hath power 
To assume a pleasing shape ; yea, and, perhaps, 
Out of my weakness, and my melancholy, 
(A3 he is very potent with such spirits.) 
Abuses me to damn me : I '11 have grounds 
More relative than this : The play 's the thing, 
Wherein I '11 catch the conscience of the king. 




1 Scene II. — '• Seneca cannot be kr d-c. 

Tn the second scene of the third act, Hamlet thus 
addresses Polonius : — " My lord, you played once 
in the university, you say ! " It is to the practice 
amongst the students of our universities, in the time 
of Elisabeth, of acting Latin plays, that Hamlet al- 
ludes ; and the frequency of such performances, a.s 
Waiton remarks, may have suggested to Shakspere 
the names of Seneca and Plautus in the passage 
before us. In that very curious book, Braun's 
' Civitates,' 1575, there is a Latin memoir prefixed 
to a map of Cambridge, in which these theatrical 
entertainments are described ; and the fables of 
Plautus, Terence, and Seneca, are expressly men- 
tioned as being performed by the students with 
elegance, magnificence, dignity of action, and pro- 
priety of voice and countenance. Malone says, 
" The most celebrated actors at Cambridge were 
the students of St. John's and King's colleges : at 
Oxford, those of Christ-church. In the hall of that 
college a Latin comedy, called Marcus 6'aninus, 
and the Latin tragedy of Progne, were performed 
before Queen Elizabeth in the year 1566 ; and, in 
1564, the Latin tragedy of Dido was played before 
her majesty, when she visited the University of 
Cambridge. The exhibition was in the body or 
nave of the chapel of King's College, which was 
lighted by the royal guards, each of whom bore a 
staff-torch in his hand." The account of this visit 
of Elizabeth to Cambridge is to be found in Peck's 
' Desiderata Curiosa,' vol. ii. page 25 ; and it appears 
from the subjoined passage, that there was great 
competition amongst the colleges for the theatrical 
recreation of her majesty : — 

" Great preparations and charges, as before in 
the other | re employed and spent about the 

tragedy of Sophocles, called Ajax Flagellifer, in 

i, to be this night played before her. But her 

:iesa, a3 it were tired with going about to the 
colleges, and with hearing of disputations, and over- 

ic-d with former plays, (for it was very late 

ly before she came to them, as also departed 
from them,) and furthermore, minding early in the 
morning to depart from Cambridge and ride to a 
dinner unto a house of the Bishop of Ely, at Stan- 

iiid from thence to her bed at Hinchinbrook 
(a house of Sir Henry Cromwell's, in Huntingdon- 
shire, about twelve miles from Cambridge,) could 
not, as otherwise, no doubt, she would, (with like 

:ice and cheerfulness, as she present at 
the other,) hear the said tragedy ; to the great 

v. not only of the players, but of all the 
whole University." 

-Scene II. — " One fair daughter and no more" dc 

There is an old ballad, which was first printed 
in Percy's Reliques, under the title ' Jephth.-.h, 
Judge of Israel,' and is there given as it " was 
retrieved from utter oblivion by a lady who wrote 
it down from memory, as she had formerly heard 
it sung by her father." A copy of the ballad has 
since been recovered ; and is reprinted in Evans' 
Collection, 1810. The first stanza is as follows : — 

" I have read that many years agoe, 

When Jepha, judge of Israel, 
Had one fair daughter and no more, 

Whom he loved passing well. 
As hy lot, God wot, 

It came to passe most like it was, 

Great wans there should be, 
And who should be the chiefe, but he, but he." 

The lines quoted by Hamlet almost exactly corre- 
spond with this copy. Hamlet, in .the text of the 
quarto of 1611, calls the poem, ; The Pious Chan- 
ton ;' but in the quarto of 1604, and the folio of 
1623, it is 'the Pons Chanson.' Pope says, this 
refers to the old ballads sung on bridges. Wo 
believe Pons is a typographical error ; for in the 
quarto of 1603, we find " the first verse of the godly 

3 Scene II. — "By the altitude of a choppine." 

The best description of a choppine is found in 
Coryat's ' Crudities,' 1611 ; and we subjoin a repre- 
sentation of several specimens of these monstrous 
clogs, which Evelyn calls " wooden scafiolds :"■■■ 



" There is one thing used of the Venetian women, 
and some others dwelling in the cities and towns 
subject to the signiory of Venice, that is not to be 
observed (I think) amongst any other women in 
Christendom, which is so common in Venice, that 
no woman whatsoever goeth without it, either in 
her house or abroad, — a thing made of wood and 
covered with leather of sundry colours, some with 
white, some red, some yellow. It is called a cha- 
piney, which they wear under their shoes. Many of 
them are curiously painted ; some also of them I 
have seen fairly gilt : so uncomely a thing (in my 
opinion), that it is pity this foolish custom is not 
clean banished and exterminated out of the city. 
Inhere are many of these chapineys of a great height, 
even half a yard high, which maketh many of their 
women that are very short seem much taller than 
the tallest women we have in England. Also I 
have heard it observed among them, that by how 
much the nobler a woman is, by so much the 
higher are her chapineys. All their gentlewomen, 
and most of their wives and widows that are of 
any wealth, ai'e assisted and supported either by 
men or women, when they walk abroad, to the end 
they may not fall. They are borne up most com- 
monly by the left arm, otherwise they might quick- 
ly take a fall." 

4 Scene II. — " Tour voice, like a piece of uncurrent 
gold, cracked within the ring." 

Hamlet's address to " my young lady and mis- 
tress " is perfectly intelligible, and has no latent 
meaning. The parts of women were performed by 
boys. The boy that Hamlet recollected in such 
parts was now " nearer to heaven by the altitude 

of a choppine ; " — he was growing into a man. 
Hamlet hopes, therefore, that his " voice, like a 
piece of uncurrent gold, be not cracked within the 
ring ; " — that his voice be not broken, as the tech- 
nical phrase is, and he be therefore unfitted for 
women's parts ; — be no longer current in those 
parts. Our readers who have seen the coins of the 
16th century, or have noticed our representa- 
tions of them, will have observed that the head 
of the sovereign is invariably contained withiu a 
circle, between which and the rim the legend is 
given. The test of currency in a coin was, that it 
should not be cracked within the circle, or ring. 
If the crack, to which the thin coins of that age 
were particularly liable, extended beyond the ring, 
the money was no longer considered good. We 
learn, from two tracts quoted by Douce, that it 
was customary for usurers to buy up the "un- 
current gold," at a price lower than the nominal 
value of the coin, and then require the unhappy 
borrowers to take them at their standard rate. 

5 Scene II. — " 'T ivas caviare to the general." 

This word is caviarie in the folio, following the 
Italian caviaro. Florio, in his ' New World of 
A\'ords,' has " Caviaro, a kind of salt black meat 
made of roes of fishes, much used in Italy." In 
Sir John Harrington's 33rd epigram, we find the 
word forming four syllables, and accented, as 
written by Shakspere : — 

" And caveare, but it little boots." 
This preparation of the roes of sturgeons was for- 
merly much used in England amongst the refined 
classes. It was imported from Russia. 

(.iLronberg Castle.] 


SCENE L— A Room i» the Castle. 

Enftr Kino, Queen, Poloxius, Ophelia, Ro- 


King. And can you, by no drift of circum- 
Get from him, why he puts on this confusion ; 
Grating so harshly all his days of quiet 
"With turbulent and dangerous lunacy ? 
Ros. He does confess he feels Jiimself dis- 
But from what cause he will by no means speak. 
Guil. Nor do we find him forward to be 
sounded ; 
But, with a crafty madness, keeps aloof, 

i we would bring him on to some confession 
Of his true state. 

"H. Did he receive you well ? 

Ros. Most, like a gentleman. 
Guil. But with much forcing of his disposition. 
Ros. Niggard of question ; but, of our demands, 

t free in his reply. 
Queen. Did you assay nim 

To any pastime ? 

Ros. Madam, it so fell out, that certain players 
We o'er-raught on the way : of these we told 

him ; 
And there did seem in him a kind of joy 
To hear of it : They are about the court ; 
And, as I think, they have already order 
This night to play before him. 

Pol. 'T is most true : 

And he beseech'd me to entreat your majesties, 
To hear and see the matter. 

King. With all my heart ; and it doth much 
conttnt me 
To hear him so inclin'd. 
Good gentlemen, give him a further edge, 
And drive his purpose on to these delights. 

Ros. We shall, my lord. 

unt Kosencraxtz and Guildkn'stkhn. 

A et Gertrude, leave us too: 

have closely sent for Hamlet hither ; 
That he, as 'twere by accident, may here 
Affront* Ophelia. 

Her father, and myself (lawful espials,) 
Will so bestow ourselves, that, seeing, unseen, 
We may of their encounter frankly judge ; 

» Circumitoncr, in folio : in quartos, conf 

Affront, encounter, confront. 

Act III.] 


[Scene r. 

And gather by him, as he is behav'd, 
If 't be the affliction of his love or no, 
That thus he suffers for. 

Queen. I shall obey you : 

And for your part, Ophelia, I do wish, 
That your good beauties be the happy cause 
Of Hamlet's wildness; so shall I hope your 

W01 bring him to his wonted way again, 
To both your honours. 

Oph. Madam, I wish it may. 

[Exit Queen. 
Pol. Ophelia, walk you here : — Gracious, so 
please you, 
We will bestow ourselves : — Read on this book ; 

[To Ophelia. 
That show of such an exercise may colour 
Your loneliness. We are oft to blame in this, — 
'T is too much prov'd, that, with devotion's visage, 
And pious action, we do sugar o'er 
The devil himself. 

King. 0, 't is too true ! 

How smart a lash that speech doth give my con- 
science ! a 
The harlot's cheek, beautied with plast'ring art, 
Is not more ugly to the thing that helps it, 
Than is my deed to my most painted word : 
O heavy burden ! [Aside. 

Pol. I hear him coming ; let 's withdraw, my 
lord. [Exeunt King and Polonitjs. 

Enter Hamlet. 

Ham. To be, or not to be, that is the question : 
Whether 't is nobler in the mind, to suffer 
The sliugs and arrows of outrageous fortune, 
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, b 
And, by opposing end them? — To die, — to 
sleep, — c 

» Some editors have destroyed the original metrical 
arrangement, and print these two lines thus, against all 
authority : — 

" The devil himself. 

King. O, 't is too true ! how smart 

A lash that speech doth give my conscience." 
1> Pope wished to print, "a siege of troubles." Surely 
the metaphor of the sea, to denote an overwhelming flood 
of troubles, is highly beautiful. It is thoroughly Shak- 
sperian ; for we find, in Pericles, "a sea of joys;" — in 
Henry VIII., " a sea of glory; "—in Tarquin and Lucrece, 
" a sea of care." In Milton, we have, "in a troubled sea of 
passion tost." (Par. Lost. x. 718.) 

c This passage was sometimes printed thus : — 
" To die ; — to sleep ; — 
No more ? " 
It is so given in Ayscough's edition. Surely the doubt 
whether death and sleep are identical comes too early, the 
passage being so pointed ; for the reasoning proceeds to 
assume that death and sleep are the same, and, believing 
them to be the same, 

" 't is a consummation 
Devoutly to be wish'd." 
Now comes the doubt— " perchance to dream." The " no 
more" is nothing more— the " rien de plus" of the French 
translators of Hamlet. 

Tragedies. — Vor,. I. K 

No more ; and, by a sleep, to say we end 
The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks 
That flesh is heir to, — 't is a consummation 
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, — to sleep ; — 
To sleep ! perchance to dream ; — ay, there 's the 

For in that sleep of death what dreams may come, 
When we hare shuffled off this mortal coil, 
Must give us pause : there 's the respect, 
That makes calamity of so long life : 
For who would bear the whips and scorns of 

The oppressor's wrong, the proud a man's con- 
The pangs of dispriz'd b love, the law's delay, 
The insolence of office, and the spurns 
That patient merit of the unworthy takes, 
When he himself might his quietus make 
With a bare bodkin ? c who would these d fardels 

To grunt e and sweat under a weary life ; 
But that the dread of something after death, 
The undiscovered country, from whose bourn 
No traveller returns, puzzles the will ; 
And makes us rather bear those ills we have, 
Than fly to others that we know not of? 
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all ; 
And thus the native hue of resolution 
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought ; 
And enterprizes of great pith and moment, 
With this regard, their currents turn away, f 
And lose the name of action. — Soft you, now ! 
The fair Ophelia : — Nymph, in thy orisons 
Be all my sins remember'd. 

Oph. Good my lord, 

How does your honour for this many a day ? 

Ham. I humbly thank you ; well, well, well. g 

Oph. My lord, I have remembrances of yours, 
That I have longed long to re-deliver ; 
I pray you, now receive them. 

Ham. No, no. I never gave you aught. 

Oph. My honour' d lord, I know right well 
you did ; 

a Proud, in the quartos In the folio we have " the poor 
man's contumely,"— the contumely which the poor man 
bears. We retain the reading of the quartos, for the tran- 
sition is abrupt from the wrong which the oppressor inflicts 
to the contumely which the poor man suffers. 

t> Dispriz'd, in the folio; in quartos, despis'd. 

c Bodkin, a small sword. Caesar is spoken of, by old 
writers, as slain by bodkins. 

d These, in folio, but not in quartos. 

e Grunt. So the originals. The players, in their squea- 
mishness, always give us groan; and, if they had not the 
terror of the blank verse before them, they would certainly 
inflict perspire upon us. Grunt is used for loud lament by 
Turberville, Stonyhurst, and other writers before Shakspere. 
We have the word direct from the Anglo-Saxon grunan. 

f Away, in folio in quartos, awry. 

e This repetition " well, well, well," ha3 been rejected by 
the earlier editors. It is not in the quartos. 


Arc III ] 


[Reran I. 

And, with them, words of so sweet breath com- 

As made the things moie rich: their perfume 

Take those, again; for to the noble mind, 
Rich gifts wax poor, when givers prove un- 
There, my lord. 

Ham. Ha, ha! are you honest ? 

Oph. My lord? 

Hani. Arc you fair? 

Oph. What means your lordship ? 

Ham. That if you be honest, and fair, your 
honesty" should admit no discourse to your 

Oph. Could beauty, my lord, have hotter com- 
merce than with honesty r b 

Ham. Ay, truly ; for the power of beauty will 
sooner transform honesty from what it is to a 
bawd, than the force of honesty can translate 
beauty into his likeness : this was some time a 
paradox, but now the time gives it proof. I did 
love you once. 

Oph. Indeed, my lord, you made me believe 


Ham. You should not have believed me : for 
virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock, but we 
shall relish of it : I lov'd you not. 

Oph. I was the more deceived. 

Earn. Get thee to a nunnery ; Why would'st 
thou be a breeder of sinners ? I am myself in- 
different honest ; but yet I could accuse me of 
such things, that it were better my mother had 
not borne me : I am very proud, revengeful, 
ambitious ; with more offences at my beck, than 
I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to 
i/ive them shape, or time to act them in : What 
should such fellows as I do crawling between 
heaven and earth ! ° We are arrant knaves, all ; 
believe none of us : Go thy ways to a nunnery. 
Where 's your father ? 

Oph. At home, my lord. 

Ham. Let the doors be shut upon him, that 
he may play the fool no way d but in 's own house. 
J ircwell. 

Oph. 0, help him, you sweet heavens ! 

Ham. If thou dost marry, I'll give thee this 
plague for thy dowry : Be thou as chaste as ice, 
as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. 
Get thee to a nunnery, go ; farewell : Or, if thou 

» Your honestf, in the folio; in tlie quarto*, ffOU. 
b With honetltj. This is the reading of the quartos. Th 
folio has " your horn 

ll -liven and earth, in the folio; in the quartos, cartk 
and hrav 

& Ko way, :n folio; in quartos, no :r 


wilt needs many, marry a fool ; for wise men 
know well enough what monsters you make 
of them. To a nunnery, go; and quickly too. 

Oph. heavenly powers, restore him ! 

Bam, 1 have heard of your paintings too, well 
enough. God hath given you one face, and you 
make yourselves another; you jig, you amble, 
and you lisp, and nick-name God's creatures,* 
and make your want onness your ignorance : Go 
to, I '11 no more on 't ; it hath made me mad. I 
say, we will have no more marriages : those that 
are married already, all but one, shall live; the 
rest shall keep as they are. To a nunnery, go. 

[Exit Hamlet. 

Oph. 0, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown ! 
The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's, eye, tongue, 

sword : 
The expectancy and rose of the fair state, 
The glass of fashion, and the mould of form, 
The observ'd of all observers ! quite, quite, down ! 
And I, of ladies most deject and wretched, 
That suek'd the honey of his music vows, 
Now see that noble and most sovereign reason, 
Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh ; 
That unmatch'd form and feature of blown youth, 
Blasted with ecstasy : 0, woe is me ! 
To have seen what I have seen, see what I see ! 

Re-enter King and Polonitjs. 

King. Love ! his affections do not that way 
tend ; 
Nor what he spake, though it lack'd form a little, 
Was not like madness. There's something in 

his soul, 
O'er which his melancholy sits on brood ; 
And, I do doubt, the hatch, and the disclose, 
Will be some danger : Which to prevent, 
I have, in quick determination, 
Thus set it down : lie shall with speed to Eng- 
For the demand of our neglected tribute : 
Haply, the seas, and countries different, 
With variable objects, shall expel 
This something-settled matter in his heart ; 
Whereon his brains still beating, puts him thus 
From fashion of himself. What think you on 't P ' 

Pol. Tt shall do well ; but yet do I believe, 

a The reading of the folio is, " I have heard of your 
pratllings too, well enough. God hath given you one pace," 
Sec. The context in some degree justifies the change of 
the folio. "You jig and you amble "—you go trippingly 
and mincingly in JTOOI gait (as the daughters of Sion are 
■aid, in Isaiah, to " come in tripping so nicely with their 
feet " — may refer to pace, as " you lisp and you nickname 
<;.id'screatures,"may tnpratllings. Nevertheless, we think, 
with Johnson, that Shaksperc wrote both — paintings and 
face first, prattling! and pace latest. As a question of 
tiiste, we prefer to retain the first reading. 

Act III] 


[Scene II 

The origin and commencement of this grief 
Sprnng from neglected love. — How now, Ophelia, 
Yon need not tell us what lord Hamlet said ; 
We heard it all. — My lord, do as you please ; 
But, if you hold it fit, after the play, 
Let his queen mother all alone entreat him 
To show his griefs ; let her be round with him ; 
And I '11 be plac'd, so please you, in the ear 
Of all their conference : If she find him not, a 
To England send him : or confine him, where 
Your wisdom best shall think. 

King. . It shall be so : 

Madness in great ones must not unwatch'd go. 


SCENE II.— A Hall in the same. 
Enter Hamlet, anil certain Players. 

Ham. Speak the speech, I pray you, as I 
pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue : 
but if you mouth it, as many of your players do, 
I had as lief the town-crier had spoke my lines. 
Nor do not saw the air too much — your hand 
thus : but use all gently : for in the very torrent, 
tempest, and (as I may say) the b whirlwind of 
passion, you must acquire and beget a temper- 
ance, that may give it smoothness. 0, it offends 
me to the soul, to see ° a robustious periwig-pat ed 
fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to 
split the ears of the groundlings ; who, for the 
most part, are capable of nothing but inexplica- 
ble dumb shows and noise : I could have such a 
fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant ; it 
out-herods Herod : pray you, avoid it. 

1 Play. I warrant your honour. 

Ham. Be not too tame neither, but let your 
own discretion be your tutor : suit the action to 
the word, the word to the action ; with this spe- 
cial observance, that you o'er-step not the mo- 
desty of nature ; for anything so overdone is 
from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at 
the first, and now, was, and is, to hold, as 't were, 
the mirror up to nature ; to show virtue her own 
feature, scorn her own image, and the very age 
and body of the time, his form and pressure. 
Now this, overdone, or come tardy off, though 
it make the unskilful laugh, cannot but make the 
judicious grieve ; the censure of the which one, 
must, in your allowance, o'er-weigh a whole 
theatre of others. 0, there be players, that I 
have seen play, and heard others praise, and 
that highly, not to speak it profanely, that, nei- 

a Find him not out. 

I) The, in folio ; in quartos, your. 

c Hear, in folio ; in quartos, see 

K 2 

ther having the accent of christians, nor the gait 
of christian, pagan, nor man, have so strutted, 
and bellowed, that I have thought some of Na- 
ture's journeymen had made men, and not made 
them well, they imitated humanity so abominably. 

1 Play. I hope, we have reformed that indif- 
ferently a with us, sir. 

Ham. 0, reform it altogether. And let those 
that play your clowns, speak no more than is set 
down for them : for there be of them, that will 
themselves laugh, to set on some quantity of bar- 
ren spectators to laugh too ; though, in the mean 
time, some necessary question of the play be 
then to be considered: that's villainous; and 
shows a most pitiful ambition in the fool that 
uses it. Go, make you ready. [Exeunt Players 

Enter Polonius, Rosen crantz, and 


How now, my lord ? will the king hear this 
piece of work ? 

Pol. And the queen too, and that presently. 
Ham. Bid the players make haste. 

[Exit Polonius. 
Will you too help to hasten them ? 
Both. We will, my lord. 

{Exeunt Rosencrantz and Gtjildenstern. 
Hum. What, ho ; Horatio ? 

Enter Horatio. 

Hor. Here, sweet lord, at your service. 
Ham. Horatio, thou art e'en as just a man 
As e'er my conversation cop'd withal. 
Hor. 0, my dear lord, — 
Ham. Nay, do not think I flatter : 

For what advancement may I hope from thee, 
That no revenue hast but thy good spirits, 
To feed and clothe thee ? Why should the poor 

be flatter'd ? 
No, let the candied tongue lick absurd pomp ; 
And crook the pregnant hinges of the knee, 
Where thrift may follow fawning. Dost thou 

hear ? 
Since my dear soul was mistress of my choice, 
And could of men distinguish, her election 
Hath seal'd thee for herself : h for thou hast been 
As one, in suffering all, that suffers nothing ; 
A man, that fortune's buffets and rewards 
Has ta'en with equal thanks : and bless'd are 


a Indifferently— tolerablv well. 

i> The ordinary reading, which is that of the quartos, is, 

" Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice, 
And could of men distinguish her election, 
She hath seal'd thee for herself." 
Surely the reading of the folio, that of our text, is far more 


ACT 111.] 


[SlF.NF. II. 

Whose blood and judgment are so well CO- 

That they are not a pipe for fortune's finger 
To sound what stop she please: Give me thai 

That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him 
In my heart's core, ay, in my heart of heart, 
As I do thee. — Something too much of this. — 
There is a play to-night before the king; 
One scene of it comes near the circumstance 
Which I have told thee of my father's death, 
I prithee, when thou scc'st that act a-foot, 
Even with the very comment of my a soul 
Observe mine uncle : if his occulted guilt 
Do not itself unkennel in one speech, 
It is a damned ghost that we have seen ; 
And my imaginations are as foul 
ks Vulcan's stithc. b Give him heedful note : 
For I mine eyes will rivet to his face ; 
And, after, we will both our judgments join 
To censure of his seeming. 

/for. Well, my lord : 

If he steal aught, the whilst this play is play- 
And scape detecting, I will pay the theft. 

Ham. They are coming to the play; I must, 
be idle : 
Get you a place. 

Enter King, Queen, Polonius, Ophelia, Ro- 
sencrantz, Gtjildensteiix, and other Lords 
attendant, with his Guard, carrying torches. 
Danish March. Sound a flourish. 

King. How fares our cousin Hamlet ? 

Ham. Excellent, i' faith ; of the cameleon's 
dish: I eat the air, promise-crammed: You 
cannot feed capons so. 

King. I have nothing with this answer, 
Hamlet ; these words are not mine. 

Ham. No, nor mine now. My lord, — you 
played once in the university, you say ? 


Pol. That I did, my lord ; and was accounted 
a good actor. 

I In 1,1. And what did you mart ? 

Pol. I did enact Julius Caesar: I was killed 
i' the Capitol •. Brutus killed me. 

■ Here, again, is a very important change found in the 
text of the folio, which has been rejected by the modern 
editors. The ordinary reading (that of the quartos) is 

" Even with the very comment of thy soul." 
Iiut Hamlet, having told Horatio the "circumstances" of 
hi* father's death, and imparted his suspicions of his uncle, 
entreats his friend to observe his uncle " with the very 
comment of mr/soul" — Hamlet's soul. To ask Horatio to 

roe hnn with the comment of his own soul (Horatio 
is a mere feeble expletive. 

t> Stithe — a dissyllable— 1/1//11/. 


Ham. It was a brute part of him, to kill so 
capital a calf there. — Be the players ready ? 

A' 9. Ay, my lord ; they stay upon your 

Queen. Come hither, my good Hamlet, sit by 

Ham. No, good mother, here's metal more 

Pol. ho ! do you mark that ? [To the Kino. 

Ham. Lady, shall I lie in your lap ? 

[Lying down at Ovii'ZTJk'sfeel, 

Oph. No, my lord. 

Ham. I mean, my head upon your lap ? 

Oph. Ay, my lord. 

Ham. Do you think I meant country matters ? 

Oph. I think nothing, my lord. 

Ham. That's a fair thought to lie between 
maids' leers. 


Oph. What is, my lord ? 

Ham. Nothing. 

Oph. You are merry, mv lord. 

Ham. Who, I ? 

Oph. Ay, my lord. 

Ham. O God ! your only jig-maker. What 
should a man do, but be merry ? for, look you, 
how cheerfully my mother looks, and my father 
died within these two hours. 

Oph. Nay, 'tis twice two monthr, my lord. 

Ham. So long? Nay, then let the devil wear 
black, for I '11 have a suit of sables. 1 heavens! 
die two months ago, and not forgotten yet ? 
Then there 's hope a great man's memory may 
outlive his life half a year : But, by 'r-lady, he 
must build churches then : or else shall he suffer 
not thinking on, a with the hobby-horse; whose epi- 
taph is, For, 0,/or, 0, the hobby-horse is forgot '. b 

Hautboys play. The dumb show enters.* 
Enter a King and a Queen, very lovingly: the Queen em- 
bracing him. She kneels, and makes show of protestation 
unto him. He takes her up, and declines his head upon her 
neck: lays him down upon a bank of flowers; she, seeing 
him asleep, leaves him. Anon comes in a fellow, takes off 
his crown, kisses it, and pourt poison in the King'* ears, and 
exit. The Queen returns ; finds the King dead, and makes 
passionate action. The poisoner, with some two or three 
mutes, enmes in again, seeming to lament with her. The 
dead body it carried away. The poisoner wnns the Queen 
with gifts: she seems loth and unwilling awhile, but, in the 
end, accepts his love. [Exeunt. 

Oph. What means this, my lord ? 
Ham. Marry, this is miching mallecho ; ° it 
means mischief. 

* He shall suffer being forgotten. 

b Bee Illustration of Love'i Labour's Lost, Act lit. Sc. r. 

c Miching mallecho. To mich is to filch ;— mallecho, is 
visdeed, from the Spanish. The skulking crime pointed 
out in the dumb show i^, In one sense of Hamlet's wild 
phrase, miching mallecho; his own secret purpose, from 
which mischief will ensue, is miching mallecho, in ;inolher 
e ; — ill either rase, " it means mischief." 



[Svsxs II. 

Opk. Belike, this show imports the argument 
of the play. 

Enter Prologue. 

Ham. We shall know by this fellow : the 
players cannot keep counsel ; they '11 tell all. 

Oph. Will he tell us what this show meant ? 

Ham. Ay, or any show that you '11 show him : 
Be not you ashamed to show, he '11 not shame to 
tell you what it means. 

Oph. You are naught, you are naught; I'll 
mark the play. 

Pro. For us, and for our tragedy 

Here stooping to your clemency, 
We beg your hearing patiently. 

Ham. Is this a prologue, or the poesy a of a 
ring ? 

Oph. 'T is brief, my lord. 
Ham. As woman's love. 

Enter King and his Queen. 

P. King. Full thirty times hath Phcebus'cart gone round 
Neptune's salt wash, and Tellus' orbed ground ; 
And thirty dozen moons with boirow'd sheen, 
About the world have times twelve thirties been; 
Since love our hearts, and Hymen did our hands, 
Unite commutual in most sacred bands. 

P. Queen. So many journeys may the sun and moou 
Make us again count o'er, ere love be done ! 
But, woe is me, you are so sick of late, 
So far from cheer, and from your former state, 
That I distrust you. Yet, though I distrust, 
Discomfort you, my lord, it nothing must:b 
For women's fear and love holds quantity ; 
In neither aught, or in extremity. 
Now, what my love is, proof hath made you know ; 
And as my love is siz'd, my fear is so. 
[Where love is great, the littlest doubts are fear ; 
Where little fears grow great, great love grows there.] c 

P. King. 'Faith, I must leave thee, love, and shortly too; 
My operant powers myd functions leave to do : 
And thou shalt live in this fair world behind, 
Honour'd, belov'd ; and haply, one as kind 
For husband shalt thou 

P. Queen. O, confound the rest ! 

Such love must needs be treason in my breast : 
In second husband let me be accurst ! 
None wed the second but who kill'd the first. 

1 Poesy. In the quartos this is spelt posie and poesie. In 
the folio, both here and elsewhere, it is spelt poesie. Posy 
is certainly the same as poesy ; but was formerly, as now, 
understood to mean a short sentence or motto. Thus, in 
the Merchant of Venice, 

" A paltry ring 
That she did give me ; whose poesy was 
For all the world like cutler's poetry 
Upon a knife — Love me and leave me not." 

In Hall's Chronicle we have, " And the tent was replen- 
ished, and decked with this posie — After busy labor cometh 
victorious rest." 

b In the quarto we find a line following this, which is 
omitted in the folio ; it has no corresponding line in rhyme : — 

" For women fear too much, even as they love." 

There can be no doubt that the line ought to bo struck out, 
it being superseded by 

" For women's fear and love holds quantity." 

c These two lines are not in the folio, 
d My, in folio; their, in quartos. 

Ham. Wormwood, wormwood. 

P. Queen. The instances 3 that second marriage move, 
Are base respects of thrift, but none of love ; 
A second time I kill my husband dead, 
When second husband kisses me in bed. 

P. King. I do believe, you think what now you speak , 
But, what we do determine oft we break. 
Purpose is but the slave to memory ; 
Of violent birth, but poor validity : 
Which now, like fruit unripe, sticks on the tree ; 
But fall, unshaken, when they mellow be. 
Most necessary 't is, that we forget 
To pay ourselves what to ourselves is debt : 
What to ourselves in passion we propose, 
The passion ending, doth the purpose lose. 
The violence of either grief or joy 
Their own enactures with themselves destroy : 
Where joy most revels, grief doth most lament, 
Grief joys, joy grieves, on slender accident. 
This world is not for aye; nor 'tis not strange, 
That even our loves should with our fortunes change, 
For 'tis a question left us yet to prove, 
■Whether love lead fortune, or else fortune love. 
The great man down, you mark, his favourite flies ; 
The poor advane'd makes friends of enemies. 
And hitherto doth love on fortune tend : 
For who not needs shall never lack a friend ; 
And who in want a hollow friend doth try, 
Directly seasons him his enemy. 
But, orderly to end where I begun, — 
Our wills and fates do so contrary run, 
That our devices still are overthrown ; 
Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our own ; 
So think thou wilt no second husband wed ; 
But die thy thoughts, when thy first lord is dead. 

P. Queen. Nor earth to give me food, nor heaven light ! 
Sport and repose lock from me, day, and night ! 
[l>To desperation turn my trust and hope ! 
An anchor's c cheer in prison be my scope !] 
Each opposite, that blanks the face of joy, 
Meet what I would have well, and it destroy ! 
Both here, and hence, pursue me lasting strife. 
If, once a widow, ever I be wife ! 

Ham. If she shoidd break it now, 

[To Ophelia. 

P. King. 'T is deeply sworn. Sweet, leave me here t 
while ; 
My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile 
The tedious day with sleep. [Sleeps. 

P. Queen. Sleep rock thy brain 

And never come mischance between us twain ! [Kj.iI. 




there no 

jest; no 


pically. d 

Madam, how like you this play ? 

The lady protests too much, methinks. 
0, but she '11 keep her word. 
Have you heard the argument? Is 
offence in 't ? 

No, no, they do but jest, poison in 
offence i' the world. 
What do you call the play ? 
The mouse-trap. Marry, how? Tro- 

This play is the image of a murder 

a Instances — solicitations, inducements, 
b This couplet is found only in the quartos, 
c Anchor's cheer— anchoret's fare. This abbreviation of 
anchoret is very ancient. 
<l Tropically — figuraiively. 


AlT III.] 



done in Vienna : Gonzago is the Duke's name ; 
his wife, Baptista: yOU shall Bee anon; 'tis a 
knavish piece of work ; But what of that ? your 
majesty, and we that have free souls, it touches 
us not : Let the galled .ade wince, our withers 
are unwrung. 

r Lilian is. 

This is ouc Lueianus, nephew to the king. 

Oph. You are a good chorus/ my lord. 

Ham. I could interpret between you and your 
love, if I could see the puppets dallying. b 

Oph. You are keen, my lord, you are keen. 

// •. It would cost you a groaning, to take 
off my edge. 

Oph. Still better, and worse. 

Ham. So you must take c husbands. — Begin, 
murderer ; leave thy damnable faces, and begin. 

Come ; 

The croaking raven 

Doth bellow for revenge. 

Luc. Thoughts black, hands apt, drugs fit, and time 
agreeing ; 
federate season, else no creature seeing; 
Thou mixture rank, of midnight weeds collected, 
With Hecate's ban thrice blasted, thrice infected, 
Thy natural magic and dire property, 
On wholesome life usurp immediately. 

[Pouri the poison in his ears. 

Ham. He poisons him i' the garden for his 
estate. His name 's Gonzago ; the story is ex- 
tant, and writ in choice Italian : You shall see 
anon, how the murtherer gets the love of Gon- 
zago 's wife. 

Oph. The king rises. 

Ham. What ! frighted with false fire ! 

Queen. How fares my lord ? 

Pol. Give o'er the play. 

King. Give me some light : — away ! 

All. Lights, lights, lights ! 

[Exeunt all but Hamlet and Horatio. 

Ham. Why, let the strucken deer go weep, 
The hart ungalled play : a 

For some must watch, while some must sleep ; 
So runs the world away. — 
Would not this, sir, and a forest of feathers, (if 
the rest of my fortunes turn Turk with me,) 

* So the folio ; the quartos, " good at a chorus." 

t> In puppet-chows, which were called motions, an inter- 

I the action to the audience. See Two 

;. Act 11. Sc. I. 

c M >t tat*, reading of the quarto of 1G03. 

Johnson, who had not seen that edition, suggested must 

take as a correction of the common text, mistake. Miitakc 

may, however, be used in the sense of to take wrongly. 
<* See the exquisite passage descriptive of " the 
?cquc»ter'd stag," and " his velvet friends," in As Voii 

• Turn Turk— if the rest of my fortunes deal with me 
cr-jclly. " To tum Turk, and throw stones at the poor," is 

with two Provincial roses on my razed* shoes, 
get me a fellowship in a cry of players, sir ? 
llor. Half a share. 3 
Ham. A whole one I 

For thou dost kuow, O Damon dear, 

Tins realm dismantled was 
Of Jove himself ; and now reigns here 
A very, very — Paiocke. b 
llor. You might have rhymed. 
Ham. good Horatio, I'll take the ghost's 
word for a thousand pound. Didst perceive ? 
Hor. Very well, my lord. 
Hani. Upon the talk of the poisoning, — 
Hor. I did very well note him. 
Ham. Ah, ha ! — Come, some music ; come, 
the recorders. — 

For if the king like not the comedy, 
Why then, belike, he likes it not, perdy. 

Enter Rosen chantz and Gtjildenstekn. 

Come, some music. 

Guil. Good my lord, vouchsafe me a word 
with you. 

Ham. Sir, a whole history. 

Guil. The king, sir, — 

Ham. Ay, sir, what of him ? 

Guil. Is, in his retirement, marvellous dis- 

Ham. With drink, sir ? 

Guil. No, my lord, rather with choler. 

Ham. Your M'isdom should show itself more 
richer, to signify this to his doctor ; for, for me 
to put him to his purgation, would, perhaps, 
plunge him into far more choler. 

Guil. Good my lord, put your discourse into 
some frame, and start not so wildly from my 

Ham. I am tame, sir, pronounce. 

Guil. The queen, your mother, in most great 
affliction of spirit, hath sent me to you. 

Ham. You arc welcome. 

Guil. Nay, good my lord, this courtesy is not 
of the right breed. If it shall please you to 

.1 proverbial expression for the conduct of one who is 
tyrannical and hard-hearted. 

.i Hazed, slashed. The cut shoes were tied with a riband 
fathered in the form of a rose. The feathers and the fine 
Blioes were the chief decorations of the players of Shik- 
f-pere's d.iv. 

t> Paiocke. All the old copies have paiocke, or paiock. 
Pope first read peacock, winch Malone adopted. In a 
pamphlet entitled ' Explanation! and Emendations of some 
Passages in the Text of Shakspcare,* &c. (1814), it is said 
that paiocke means the Italian baiocco, "a piece of money 
of about three farthings value." Malone, in advocating pea- 
cock, says, "Shakespeare, I (appose, means that the king 
struts about with a false pomp." This idea was perhaps 
received into the mind of Kin;.' George the Third — who was 
a reader of Shak»pcre, although he undervalued him— wher, 
in the early stase of one of his attacks of insanity, he began 
the royal speech with " My lords and peacocks." 




make me a wholesome answer, I will do your 
mother's commandment : if not, your pardon, 
and my return, shall be the end of my business. 

Ham. Sir, I cannot. 

Guil. What, my lord ? 

Ham. Make you a wholesome answer; my 
wit 's diseased : But, sir, such answers as I can 
make you shall command; or, rather, you say, 
my mother: therefore, no more, but to the 
matter ; My mother, you say, — 

Ros. Then thus she says : Your behaviour 
hath struck her into amazement and admiration. 

Ham. wonderful son, that can so astonish a 
mother ! — But is there no sequel at the heels of 
this mother's admiration ? 

Ros. She desires to speak with you in her 
closet, ere you go to bed. 

Ham. We shall obey, were she ten times our 
mother. Have you any further trade with us ? 

Ros. My lord, you once did love me. 

Ham. So I do still, by these pickers and 

Ros. Good my lord, what is your cause of 
distemper ? you do freely bar the door of your 
own liberty, if you deny your griefs to your 
friend. b 

Ham. Sir, I lack advancement. 

Ros. How can that be, when you have the 
voice of the king himself for your succession in 
Denmark ? 

Ham. Ay, but While the grass grows, — tlie 
proverb is something musty. 

Enter one with a recorder. 

0, the recorder : let me see. — To withdraw with 
you: d — Why do you go about to recover the 
wind of me, as if you would drive me into a toil ? 
Guil. 0, my lord, if my duty be too bold, my 
love is too unmannerly. 

a " To keep my hands from picking and stealing," is an 
expression of the Church Catechism. 

b The ordinary reading, which is made up, is — " you do, 
surely, but bar the door upon," &c. Our text is that of 
the folio. 

c In the quarto we find, " enter the players, with re- 
corders." The recorder was (not "a kind of large flute," 
as Mr. Steevens says, but) a flageolet, or small English 
flute, the mouthpiece of which, at the upper extremity of 
the instrument, resembled the beak of a bird; hence the 
larger flutes so formed were called flutes a bee. The re- 
corder was soft in tone, and an octave higher than the flute. 
Milton speaks (' Par. Lost,' i. 550) of 

the Dorian mood 

Of flutes and soft recorders. 

It would appear from Bacon's ' Sylva Sylvarum,' cent. iii. 
221, that this instrument was larger in the lower than in 
the upper part ; and a wood-cut of the flageolet, in Mer- 
senne's ' Harmonie Universelle,' leads to the same conclu- 
sion. On the etymology of the word much ingenuity has 
been bestowed, but without any satisfactory result. 

<1 RosencrantzandGuildenstern have intimated, by some 
signal, that they wish to speak with Hamlet in private. 

Ham. I do not well understand that. Will 
you play upon this pipe ? 

Guil. My lord, I cannot. 

Ham. I pray you. 

Guil. Believe me, I cannot. 

Ham. I do beseech you. 

Guil. I know no touch of it, my lord. 
. Ham* 'Tis as easy as lying: govern these 
ventages with your fingers and thumb, give it 
breath with your mouth, and it will discourse 
most excellent music. Look you, these are the 

Guil. But these cannot I command to any 
utterance of harmony ; I have not the skill. 

Ham. Why, look you now, how unworthy a 
thing you make of me. You would play upon 
me ; you would seem to know my stops ; you 
would pluck out the heart of my mystery ; you 
would sound me from my lowest note to the top 
of my compass : and there is much music, ex- 
cellent voice, in this little organ ; yet cannot you 
make it speak. a Why, do you think that I am 
easier to be played on than a pipe? Call me 
what instrument you will, though you can fret 
me, you cannot play upon me. b 

Enter Polojuus. 

God bless you, sir ! 

Pol. My lord, the queen would speak with 
you, and presently. 

Ham. Do you see that cloud, that 's almost in 
shape like a camel ? 

Pol. By the mass, and 'tis like a cameL 

Ham. Methinks, it is like a weasel. 

Pol. It is backed like a weasel. 

Ham. Or, like a whale ? 

Pol. Very like a whale. 

Ham. Then will I come to my mother by and 
by. — They fool me to the top of my bent. — I 
will come by and by. 

Pol. I will say so. [Exit Polonius. 

Ham. By and by is easily said. — Leave me, 
friends. [Exeunt Ros. Guil. Hob,., 8fc. 

'T is now the very witching time of night ; 

a The folio emits speak The poet may have meant to 
say, yet cannot you irake this musio, Ihis excellent voice; 
for Guildenstern might have made the pipe speak, but he 
could not command it to any utterance of harmony. We 
now prefer to consider the folio erroneous. 

b The musical allusion is continued. The frets of all 
instruments of the lute or guitai kind, are thick wires fi*ed 
»t certain distances across the finger-board, on which the 
strings are stopped, or pressed by the fingers. Narcs thinks 
that the word is derived from /return ; but the French verb 
'rotter seems the more likely source. 


AlT III.] 


LS^lm: JIJ 

When churchyards yawn, and hell itself breathes 

Contagion to this world : Now could I drink hot 

And do such bitter business as the day 
"Would quake to look ou. Soft; now to my 

mother. — 
O, heart, lose not thy nature ; lei not e\< c 
The soul of Nero cuter this firm bosom ; 
Let mc be cruel, nut unnatural: 
I will speak daggers to her, but use none; 
My tongue and soul in this be hypocrites : 
How iu my words soever she be shent, a 
To give them scals b never, my soul, consent ! 


SCENE III.— A Room in the same. 

Enter King, Rosexckantz, and Guildexstxrx. 
Kin//. I like him not ; uor stands it safe with 

Therefore, prepare 

To let his madness range. 

I your commission will forth with despatch, 
And he to England shall along with you : 
The terms of our estate may not endure 
Hazard so dangerous, as doth hourly grow 
Out of his lunacies. 3 

Guil. We will ourselves provide : 

Most holy and religious fear it is, 
To keep those many many bodies safe, 
That live and feed upon your majesty. 

Ros. The single and peculiar life is bound, 
With all the strength and armour of the mind, 
To keep itself from 'noyance ; but much more 
That spirit, upon whose spirit 6 depend and rest 
The lives of many. The cease of raaji 
Dies not alone ; but, like a gulf, doth draw 
What's near it with it : it is a massy wheel, 
Fix'd on the summit of the highest mount, 
To whose huge spokes ten thousand lesser things 
Are mortis'd and adjoin'd; which, when it falls, 
Each "small anuexment, petty consecruencc, 
Attends the boist'rous ruin. Never alone 
Did the king sigh, but with a general groan. 

/. Arm you, I pray you, to this speedy- 
voyage ; 
For wc will fetters put upon this fear, 
Which now goes too free-footed. 

/'■■.». Guil. We will haste us. 


* Shent, rebuked; or probably here, hurl. 

b To give them icali — to give my words seals; to make 
my sayings deedi. 

c Dangerout, in folio; in quarto*, near ut. 

d Lunaciet, In folio; in quartos, brows, which T'.icubali 
changed to lunei. 

* Spirit, in folio ; in quartos, weal. 



Pol. My lord, he's going to his mother's 

closet : 
Behind the anas 1 '11 convey myself, 
To hear the process ; 1 '11 warrant, she'll tax him 

And, as you said, and wisely was it said, 
Tis meet, that some more audience than a 

Since nature makes them partial, should o'crhear 
The speech of vantage. Fare you well, my liege : 
I '11 call upon you ere you go to bed, 
And tell you what I know. 

King. Thanks, dear my lord. 

{Exit Polosius. 
0, my offence is rank, it smells to heaven ; 
It hath the primal eldest curse upon 't, 
A brother's murther ! — Pray can I not, 
Though inclination be as sharp as will ; 
My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent ; 
And, like a man to double business bound, 
1 stand in pause where I shall first begin, 
And both neglect. What if this cursed hand 
Were thicker thau itself with brother's blood ? 
Is there not rain enough iu the sweet heavens, 
To wash it white as snow? Whereto serves 

But to confront the visage of offence? 
And what 's in prayer, but this two-foid force, — 
To be forestalled, ere we come to fall, 
Or pardon'd, beiug down ? Then I '11 look up ; 
My fault is past. But, 0, what form of prayer 
Can serve my turn? Forgive me my foul 

murther ! — 
That cannot be; since I am still posscss'd 
Of those effects for which I did the murther, 
My crown, mine own ambition, and my queen. 
May one be pardon'd, and retain the offence ? 
In the corrupted currents of this world, 
Offence's gilded hand may shove by justice; 
And oft 't is seen, the wicked prize itself 
Buys out the law : But 't is not so above : 
There is no shuffling, there the action lies 
In his true nature ; and we ourselves compell'd, 
Even to the teeth and forehead of our faults, 
To give iu evidence. What then? what rests? 
Try what repentance can ; "What can it not? 
Yet what can it, when one can not repent? 
O wretched state ! bosom, black as death ! 
limed soul ; that struggling to be free, 
Art more cngag'd ! Help, angels, make assay ! 
Bow, stubborn knees ! and, heart, with strings 

of steel, 
Be soft as sinews of the new-born babe : 
All may be well ! [Retires, and kneels. 

Act III.] 


[Scene 1 

Enter Hamlet. 

Ham. Now might I do it, pat, now he is 

praying ; 
And now I '11 do 't ; — and so he goes to heaven : 
And so am I revehg'd ? That would be scann'd : 
A villain kills my father ; and, for that, 
I, his sole son, do this same villain send 
To heaven. 

O, this is hire and salary, not revenge. 
He took my father grossly, full of bread ; a 
With all his crimes broad blown, as fresh as May ; 
And, how his audit stands, who knows, save 

heaven ? 
But, in our circumstance and course of thought, 
'T is heavy with him : And am I then reveiig'd, 
To take him in the purging of his soul, 
When he is fit and season' d for his passage ? 

Up, sword; and know thou a more horrid hent: b 
When he is drunk, asleep, or in his rage ; 
Or in the iucestuous pleasure of his bed ; 
At gaming, swearing ; or about some act 
That has no relish of salvation in't : 
Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heaven ; 
And that his soul may be as damn'd, and black, 
As hell, whereto it goes. My mother stays : 
This physic but prolongs thy sickly days. [Exit. 

The King rises and advances. 

King. My words fly up, my thoughts remain 
below : 
Words, without thoughts, never to heaven go. 


SCENE IV. — Another Room in the same. 
ErJer Queen and Polonius. 

Pol. He will come straight. Look, you lay 
home to him : 
Tell him,his pranks have beentoobroadtobear with; 
And that your grace hath screen'd and stood 

Much heat and him. I '11 silence me e'en here." 
Pray you_. be round with him. 
Ham. . {Within.'] Mother ! mother ! mother ! d 
Queen. I '11 warrant you ; 

Fear me not : — withdraw, I hear him coming. 

[Polonius hides himself. 

a Full of bread. Shakespere found this remarkable expres- 
sion in the Bible: — " Behold this was the iniquity of thy 
sister Sodom ; pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idle- 
ness was in her and in her daughters." (Ezekiel, xvi. 49.) 

b To hent, is to seize: "know thou a more horrid hent," 
i k> , have a more horrid grasp. 

c Mr. Hnnter suggested that this may have been a mis- 
print for sconce. Falstaff uses the same word on adopting 
a similar concealment. 

d This call of Hamlet is not in the quartos. 

Enter Hamlet. 

Ham. Now, mother; what's the matter? 
Queen. Hamlet, thou hast thy father much 

Ham. Mother, you have my father much of- 
Queen. Come, come, you answer with an idle 

Hum. Go, go, you question with an idle a tongue. 
Queen. Why, how now, Hamlet ? 
Ham. What 's the matter now ? 

Queen. Have you forgot me ? 
Ha ,,i. No, by the rood, not so : 

You are the queen, your husband's brother's wife; 
But would you were not so ! You are my mother. 
Queen. Nay, then I'll set those to yon that 

can speak. 
Ham. Come, come, and sit you down ; you 
shall not budge ; 
You go not, till I set you up a glass 
Where you may see the inmost part of you. 
Queen. What wilt thou do? thou wilt not 
murder me ? 
Help, help, ho ! 

Pol. [Behind.] What, ho ! help ! help ! help ! 
Ham. How now ! a rat ? [Draws. 

Dead, for a ducat, dead. 

[Hamlet makes a pass through the arras. 
Pol. [Behind.'] I am slain. [Falls and dies. 
Queen. me, what hast thou done ? 
Ham. Nay, I know not : 

Is it the king ? 
[Lifts iip the arras, and draws forth Polonius. 
Queen. 0, what a rash and bloody deed is this ! 
Ham. A bloody deed ; — almost as bad, good 
As kill a king, and marry with his brother. 
Queen. As kill a king ! 

Ham. Ay, lady, 't was my word. — 

Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell ! 

[To Polonius. 
I took thee for thy betters ; take thy fortune : 
Thou find'st, to be too busv is some danger. — 
Leave wringing of your hands : Peace, sit you 

And let me wring your heart : for so I shall, 
If it be made of penetrable stuff; 
If damned custom have not braz'd it so, 
That it is proof and bulwark against sense. 
Queen. What have I done, that thou dar'st 
wag thy tongue 
In noise so rude against me ? 

a Idle, in folio; in quartos, wicked. The antithesis, it ap- 
pears to us, is in answer and question, and not in idle and 
wickvd. Besides, wicked was too strong an epithet for Hamlet 
to apply to his mother,— inconsistent with that respect 
which he never wholly abandons. 


\ . III.] 



Ham. Such an act, 

That blurs the grace and blush of modesty; 
Calls virtue, hypocrite; takes off the rose 
From the fair forehead of an innocent love, 
And sets" a blister there ; makes marriage vows 
As false as dicers' oaths : 0, such a deed 
As from the body of contraction plucks 
The very soul ; and sweet religion makes 
A rhapsody of words : Heaven's face doth glow; 
Yea, this solidity Wind compound mass, 
With tristful visage, as against the doom, 
Is thought-sick at the act. 

Queen. Ah me, what act, 

That roars so loud, and thunders in the index ?° 
Ham. Look here, upon this picture, and on 
this; 4 
The counterfeit presentment of two brothers. 
See what a grace was seated on his brow : 
Hyperion's curls ; the front of Jove himself ; 
An eye like Mars, to threaten or command ; 
A station" 1 like the herald Mercury, 
New-lighted on a heaven-kissing hill ; 
A combination, and a form, indeed, 
Where every god did seem to set his seal, 
To give the world assurance of a man : 
This was your husband, — look you now, what 

follows : 
Here is your husband ; like a mildew' d ear, 
Blasting his wholesome brother. Have you eyes ? 
Could you on this fair mountain leave to feed, 
And batten on this moor ? Ha ! have you eyes ? 
You cannot call it love : for, at your age, 
The hey-day in the blood is tame, it 's humble, 
And waits upon the judgment : And what judg- 
Would step from this to this ? [Sense, sure, you 

Ehe, could you not have motion : But sure, that 

Is apoplex'd : for madness would not err ; 
Nor sense to ecstasy was ne'er so thrall'd, 
But it reserv'd some quantity of choice, 
To serve in such a difference. 6 ] What devil 

was 't, 
That thus hath cozeu'd you at hoodman-bliud ? f 
[Eyes without feebng, feeling without sight, 
Ears without hands or eyes, smelling sans all, 
Or but a sickly part of one true sense 

» Sell, in the quarto (fl); in folio, makes. The repetition 
of maket is certainly inelegant. 

b Thitiolidity — this earth. Heaven and earth are ashamed 
of your act. 

c The index, is here ustd as in Othello: — "An index and 
obscure prologue to the history." 

■1 Station — manner of standing, altitude. 

o The lines in brackets arc found in quarto (B), but are 
not in the folio. So also the four lines below. 

t Iloodman-blind — the game which we call blind-man' i luff. 


Could not so mope.] 

shame ! where is thy blush ? ltebellious hell, 

If thou canst mutine in a matron's bones, 

To flaming youth let virtue be as wax, 

And melt in her own fire : proclaim no shame, 

When the compulsive ardour gives the charge ; 

Since frost itself as actively doth bum, 

And reason panders will. 

Queen. Hamlet, speak no more : 

Thou turn'st mine eyes into my very soul ; 
And there I see such black and grained spots, 
As will not leave their tinct. 

Ham. Nay, but to live 

In the rank sweat of an enseamed bed ; 
Stew'd in corruption; honeying, and making 

Over the nasty stye ; — 

Queen. 0, speak to me no more ; 

These words, like daggers, enter in mine 

No more, sweet Hamlet. 

Ham. A murderer, and a villain : 

A slave, that is not twentieth part the tythc 
Of your precedent lord : — a vice of kings : a 
A cutpurse of the empire and the rule ; 
That from a shelf the precious diadem stole, 
And put it in his pocket ! 

Queen. No more. 

Eniei- Ghost. 

Ham. A king of snreds and patches : — 
Save me, and hover o'er me with your wings, 
You heavenly guards ! — What would you, gra- 
cious figure ? 

Queen. Alas ! he 's mad. 

Ham. Do you not come your tardy son to 
That, laps'd in time and passion, lets go by 
The important acting of your dread command ? 
O, say. 

Ghost. Do not forget : This visitation 
Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose. 
But, look ! amazement on thy mother sits : 
0, step between her and her fighting soul ; 
Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works : 
Speak to her, Hamlet. 

Ham. How is it with you, lady f 

Queen. Alas, how is 't with you r 
That you do bend your eye on vacancy, 
And with the incorporal air do hold discourse ? 
Forth at your eyes your spirits wildly peep ; 
And as the sleeping soldiers in the alarm, 

* Vie* of klnm—thi Vice of the old Moralities 
Henry IV., Part II.; Act hi. Sc. ii 


Act III.] 


[Scene IV. 

Your bedded hair, like life in excrements, 1 
Starts up, and stands on end. O gentle son, 
Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper 
Sprinkle cool patience. "Whereon do you look ? 

Ham. On him ! on him ! — Look you, how 
pale he glares ! 
His form and cause conjoin' d, preaching to stones, 
Would make them capable. — Do not look upon 

Lest, with this piteous action, you convert 
My stern effects : then what I have to do 
Will want true colour; tears, perchance, for 

Queen. To whom do you speak this ? 

Ham. Do you see nothing there ? 

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 ! 
Look, 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. Ecstasy ! 
My pulse, as yours, doth temperately keep time, 
And makes as healthful music : It is not mad- 


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 nattering unction to your souk 
That not your trespass, but my madness, speaks : 
It will but skin and film the ulcerous place ; 
Whiles 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 compost o'er the weeds, 
To make them rank. b Forgive me this my virtue : 
For in the fatness of these pursy times, 
Virtue itself of vice must pardon beg ; 
Yea, curb c and woo, for leave to do him good. 

Queen. Hamlet ! thou hast cleft my heart 
in twain. 

Ham. 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 ; 
Assume a virtue, if you have it not. 
[That monster, custom, who all sense doth eat — 

■ Excrements — hair, nails, feathers, were called excre- 
ments. Isaac Walton, speaking of fowls, says, " their very 
excrements afford him a soft lodging at night." 

b Rank, in the folio; in quartos, ranker. 

c Curb — to bend— courber. 

Of habits devil, a — 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 : b ] Refrain to-night : 

And that shall lend a kind of easiness 

To the next abstinence : [the next more easy ; 

For use almost can change the stamp of nature, 

And master the devil, or throw riim out 

With wondrous potency.] Once more, good night : 

And when you are desirous to be bless' d, 

I '11 blessing beg of you. d — For this same lord, 

[Pointing to Poloxius. 
I do repent. But heaven hath pleas'd it so, — 
To punish me with this, and this with me, 
That I must be their scourge and rninister. 
I will bestow him, and will answer well 
The death I gave him. So again, good night ! 
I must be cruel, only to be kind : 
Thus bad begins, and worse remains behind. — 
[One word more, good lady.] 

Queen. What shall I do ? 

Ham. Not this, by no means, that I bid you do : 
Let the bloat king tempt you again to bed ; 
Pinch wanton on your cheek ; call you his mouse ; 
And let him, for a pair of reechy kisses, 
Or padling in your neck with his damn'd fingers, 
Make you to ravel all this matter out, 
That I essentially am not in madness, 
But mad in craft. 'Twere good you let him 

For who, that 's but a queen, fair, sober, wise, 
Would from a paddock, 8 from a bat, a gib, f 
Such dear concernings hide ? who would do so ? 
No, in despite of sense, and secrecy, 
Unpeg the basket on the house's top, 
Let the birds fly ; and, like the famous ape, 
To try conclusions, in the basket creep, 
And break your own neck down. 

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

Ham. I must to England ; you know that ? 

a This passage is generally printed thus : — 

" That monster, custom, who all sense doth eat 
Of habit's devil, is angel yet in this." 

The commentators, who h3ve, contrary to the text of the 
quarto, made habits the genitive case, cannot explain their 
own reading. As we have printed the passage, we under- 
stand it to mean, that custom, who destroys all nicety of 
feeling— sense— sensibility, — who is the devil that governs 
our habits — is yet an angel in this, &c. 

b The lines in brackets, and the four subsequent lines, 
are not in the folio, but are found in the quarto {B). 

e Master— so the quarto (C); it has been changed to either 
curb, either without curb being the reading of quarto i,B). 

d I, as your son, will ask your blessing, when, by ycr.r 
altered life, you evince your desire to be bless'd. 

e Paddock — toad. 

f Gib— a cat. 


A i III., 


[SctKE IV, 


1 had forgot ; 'i ooluded on. 

f[ii/,i. [There's letl 1: and my (wo 

aohoolfellowB, — 
Whom I will trust, as I will adders ranged, — 
They bear the mandate ; thej must sweep my way, 

marshal me to knavery : Let il work, 

For 't is the sport, to hare the engineer 

• with his own petar:* and 't shall go hard, 
Bat I will delve one yard below their mines, 
And blow them at the moon : O, 'tis most sweet, 

* H tit tci'.hhit own pilar— blown up with his own engine. 

When in one line two crafts directly meet.*] 
This man shall set me packing. 
I '11 lug the guts into the neighbour room : — 
Mother, good night.— Indeed, this counsellor 
Is now most still, most secret, and most grave, 
Who was in life a foolish prating knave. 
Come, sir, to draw toward an end with you : 
Good night, mother. 

[Exeunt severally ; Hamlet dragging 
in the body of Polonius. 

* These lines in brackets are not in the folio.' 

['The herald Meicury.'J 


1 Scene II. — " / '11 have a suit of sables." 

Sir Thomas Hanmer turned " I '11 have a suit of 
sables," into "I'll have a suit of ermine;" and 
Warburtou thinks it extremely absurd that Ham- 
let and the devil should both go into mourning. 
Neither Hanmer nor Warburtou perceived the 
latent irony of Hamlet's reply. Ophelia says his 
father has been dead " twice two months ; " he 
replies, " So long l nay, then let the devil wear 
black, for I '11 have a suit of sables." Robes of sablo 
were amongst the most costly articles of dress ; and 
by the Statute of Apparel, 24 Hen. VIII., it was 
ordained that none under the degree of an earl 
should use sables. This fur, as is well known, is not 
black ; and it is difficult to know how it became con- 
nected with mournful associations, as in Spenser — 

" Grief all in sable sorrowfully clad." 

In heraldry, sable means black ; and, according to 
Peacham, the name thus used is derived from the 
fur. Sables, then, were costly and magnificent; but 
not essentially the habiliments of sorrow, though 
they had some slight association with mournful 
ideas. If Hamlet had said, " Nay, let the devil 
wear black, for I'll have a suit of ermine," he would 
merely have said, Let the devil be in mourning, for 
I '11 be fine. But as it is he says, Let the devil wear 
the real colours of grief, but I '11 be magnificent in 
a garb that only has a facing of something like 
grief. Hamlet would wear the suit as Ben Jonson's 
haberdasher wore it : " Would you not laugh to 
meet a great counsellor of state, in a flat cap, with 
his trunk-hose, and a hobby-horse cloak ; and yond 
haberdasher in a velvet gown trimmed with sables ? " 

2 Scene II. — " The dumb show enters." 

Hamlet has previously described the bad player 
as "capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb 
shows." Mute exhibitions, during the time of 
Shakspere, and before and after, were often intro- 
duced to exhibit such circumstances as the limits of 
a play would not admit to be represented. In some 
plays the order of these dumb shows is minutely 
described ; and they generally represent scenes 
which are not offered to the understanding in the 
dialogue. We presume, however, that Shakspere, 
in the instance before us, had some stage authority 
for making the dumb show represent the same ac- 
tion that is indicated in the dialogue. His dramatic 
object here is evident : he wanted completely to 
catch the conscience of the king ; and thus, before 
the actors come to the murder of Gonzago, the 
king is alarmed, and asks, " Have you heard the 
argument ? is there no offence in it?" 

3 Scene II. — "A fellowship in a cry of players" <ic. 

A cry of players was a company ; a felloivship 
was a participation in the profits. Hamlet had 
managed the play so well, that his skill ought to 
entitle him to such a fellowship : — " Half a share," 
says Horatio ; " a whole one," say3 Hamlet. In 

Mr. Collier's History of the Stage, vol. iii. p. 427 
we find many curious details on the payment of 
actors, showing that the performers at our earlier 
theatres were divided into whole-sharers, three- 
quarter-sharers, half-sharers, and hired men. 

4 Scene IV. — "Look here, upon this picture, and 
on this." 

In a volume of Essays, written by Dr. Armstrong, 
under the assumed name of Lancelot Temple, we 
have the following observations on the common 
stage action which accompanies this passage, — 
" As 1 feel it, there is a kind of tame impropriety, 
or even absurdity, in that action of Hamlet pro- 
ducing the two miniatures of his father and uncle 
out of his pocket. It seems more natural to 
suppose, that Hamlet was struck with the com- 
parison he makes between the two brothers, upon 
casting his eyes on their pictures, as they hang up 
in the apartment where this conference passes with 
the queen. There is not only more nature, more 
elegance, and dignity in supposing it thus ; but it 
gives occasion to more passionate and more graceful 
action; and is of consequence likelier to be as 
Shakspere' s imagination had conceived it." It is 
remarkable that this stage practice, which involved 
the improbability that Hamlet should have carried 
his uncle's picture about with him, should have 
been a modern innovation. In a print prefixed to 
Rowe's Shakspere, 1709, of which the following is 
a copy, we see Hamlet pointing to the large pictures 
on the arras. Our readers will smile at the costume, 
and will observe that the stage trick of kicking 
down the chair upon the entrance of the ghost is 
more than a century old. 


[A Plain in Denmark.] 


SCENE I.— The same. 
Enter King and Queen." 

King. There 's matter in these sighs ; these 
profound heaves ; 
You must translate : 't is fit we understand them : 
Where is your son ? 

Queen. Ah, my good lord, what have I seen 

to-night ! 
King. "What, Gertrude? How does Hamlet ? 
n. Mad as the seas, and wind, when both 
Which is the mightier: In his lawless fit, 
Behind the arras hearing something stir, 
1 If whips his rapier out, and cries, A rat! a rat / b 
And, in his brainish apprehension, kills 
1 he unseen good old man. 

King. heavy deed ! 

It had been so with us, had we been there : 
His liberty is full of threats to all ; 

» In the quartos, Roscncrantz and Guildenstcrn enter 
with the Kinc and Queen, and are sent away, for a short 
► pace, by thii line of the Queen : — 

'• Bestow this place on us a little while." 
In the folio this line is omitted; and Roscncrantz and Guil 
n come in when Guildenstcrn is called by the King. 
I' In the quartos, 

" Whip* oat hi* rapid eric*, Ant! tratl" 

To you yourself, to us, to every one. 

Alas ! how shall this bloody deed be answer'd \ 

It will be laid to us, whose providence 

Should have kept short, restrain'd, and out of 

This mad young man : but, so much was our love, 
"We would not understand what was most fit ; 
But, like the owner of a foul disease, 
To keep it from divulging, let it feed 
Even on the pith of life. Where is he gone ? 

Queen. To draw apart the body he hath kill'd : 
O'er whom his very madness, like some ore, 
Among a mineral * of metals base, 
Shows itself pure ; he weeps for what is done. 

King. 0, Gertrude, come away ! 
The sun no sooner shall the mountains touch, 
But we will ship him hence : and this vile deed 
We must, with all our majesty and skill, 
Both countenance and excuse. — Ho ! Guihlen- 
stcrn ! 

Enter Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. 

Friends both, go join you with some further aid : 

Hamlet in madness hath Polonius slain, 

And from his mother's closet hath he dragg'd him : 

a itinera!— mine; a compound mass of metals. 

Act IV.] 


[Scene III. 

Go, seek him out ; speak fair, and bring the body 
Into the chapel. I pray you, haste in this. 

{Exeunt Ros. and GuiL. 
Come, Gertrude, we '11 call up our wisest friends; 
And let them know, both what we mean to do, 
And what 's untimely done : [so, haply, slander, 
Whose whisper o'er the world's diameter, . 
As level as the cannon to his blank, 
Transports his poison'd shot, may miss our name, 
And hit the woundless air. a ] O come away ! 
My soul is full of discord, and dismay. \JExennt. 

SCENE II. — Another Room in the same. 

Enter Hamlet. 

Ham. Safely stowed, — 

" [Ros. 8fe. within. Hamlet ! lord Hamlet !] 

Ham. What noise ? who calls on Hamlet ? 0, 
here they come. 

Enter Rosencr yntz anil Guildenstern. 

Ros. What have you done, my lord, with the 
dead body ? 

Ham. Compounded it with dust, whereto 't is 

Ros. Tell us where 't is ; that we may take it 
And bear it to the chapel. 

Ham. Do not believe it. 

Ros. Believe what ? 

Ham. That I can keep your counsel, and not 
mine own. Besides, to be demanded of b a sponge ! 
—what replication should be made by the son of 
a king ? 

Ros. Take you me for a sponge, my lord ? 

Ham. Ay, sir ; that soaks up the king's coun- 
tenance, his rewards, his authorities. But such 
officers do the king best service in the end : ^ He 
keeps them, like an ape, in the corner of his jaw ; 
Grst mouthed, to be last swallowed : When he 
needs what you have gleaned, it is but squeezing 
you, and, sponge, you shall be dry again. 

Ros. I understand you not, my lord. 

Ham. I am glad of it : A knavish speech sleeps 
in a foolish ear. 

Ros. My lord, you must tell us where the body 
is, and go with us to the king. 

Ham. The body is with the king, but the king 
is not with the body. The king is a thing— 
GuiL A thing, my lord ? 

Ham. Of nothing : bring me to him. Hide 
fox, and all after. {Exeunt. 

a The lines In the brackets are not in the folio. In the 
quartos the sense is imperfect, and Theobald inserted ; " so, 
haply, slander." 

b Demanded of— demanded by. 

c The name of a boyish sport— "All hid. 

SCENE III.— Another Room in the same. 
Enter King, attended. 
King. I have sent to seek him, and tofind the body. 
How dangerous is it that this man goes loose ! 
Yet must not we put the strong law on him : 
He 's lov'd of the distracted multitude, 
Who like not in their judgment, but their eyes; 
And,where 't is so,the offender's scourge is weigh'd, 
But never the offence. To bear all smooth and even, 
This sudden sending him away must seem 
Deliberate pause : Diseases, desperate grown, 
By desperate appliance are reliev'd, 
Enter Rosencrantz. 
Or not at all. — How now ? what hath befallen ? 

Ros. Where the dead body is bestow'd, my lord, 
We cannot get from him. ■ 

King. But where is lie ? 

Ros. Without, my lord; guarded, to know your 

King. Bring hire before us. 

Ros. Ho, Guildenstern ! bring ia my lord. 
Enter Hamlet and Guildexsterx. 

King. Now, Hamlet, where 's Polonius ? 

Ham. At supper. 

King. At supper ? Where ? 

Ham. Not where he eats, but where he is eaten : 
a certain convocation of politic 11 worms are e'en 
at him. Your worm is your only emperor for 
diet: we fat all creatures else, to fat us; and 
we fat ourselves for maggots: Your fat king, 
and your lean beggar, is but variable service; 
two dishes, but to one table ; that 's the end. 

{King. Alas, alas ! 

Ham. A man may fish with the worm that 
hath eat of a king; and eat of the fish that hath 
fed of that worm. ] 

King. What dost thou mean by this ? 

Ham. Nothing but to show you how a king 
may go a progress through the guts of a beggar. 

King. Where is Polonius ? 

Ham. In heaven, send thither to see : if your 
messenger find him not there, seek him i' the 
other place yourself. But, indeed, if you find 
him not this month, you shall nose him as you 
go up the stairs into the lobby. 

King. Go seek him there. {To some Attendants. 

Ham. He will stay till you come. 

Exeunt Attendants. 

a The Corrector of the folio of 1632 substitutes palaled for 
politic. Mr. Collier says the expression palaled is peculiarly 
Shaksperian, and " if the text had always stood 'palaUd 
worms,' and it had been proposed to change it to 'politic 
worms,' few readers would for an instant have consented. 
The argument i-i a two-edged one ; it makes us hesitate about 
disturbing an established text. If palaled be a Shaksperian 
word, politic is a Shaksperian tbouglit, and is manifestly 
connected with the idea of "convocation." 

b The lines in brackets are not in the folio. 





King. Hamlet, this deed of thine, for thine 
especial safety, 
illicit we do tender, as we dearly grieve 
For that which thou hast done, must send thee 

With fiery quickness : Therefore, prepare thyself; 
The bark is ready, and the wind at help, 
The associates tend, and everything is brnt 
For England. 

Ham. For England ? 

King. Ay, Hamlet. 

Sam. Good. 

King. So is it, if thou knew'st our purposes. 

Ham. I see a cherub, that sees him.* — But, 
come ; for England ! — Farewell, dear mother. 

King. Thy loving father, Hamlet. 

liar,',. My mother : Father and mother is man 
and wile ; man and wife is one flesh ; and so, my 
mother. Come, for England. [Exit. 

King. Follow him at foot ; tempt him with 
speed aboard ; 
Delay it not, I '11 have him hence to-night : 
Away ; for everything is seal'd and done 
That else leans on the affair : Pray you, make 
haste. [Exeunt Ros. and Gun.. 

And, England, if my love thou hold'st at aught, 
(As my great power thereof may give thee sense ; 
Since yet thy cicatrice looks raw and red 
After the Danish sword, and thy free awe 
Pays homage to us,) thou may'st not coldly set 
Our sovereign process ; which imports at full, 
By letters conjuring to that effect, 
The present death of Hamlet. Do it, England ; 
For like the hectic in my blood he rages, 
And thou must cure me : Till I know 't is done, 
Howe'er my haps, my joys were ne'er begun b 


SCENE IV.— A Plain in Denmark. 
Enter Fortixbras, and Forces, marching. < 

For. Go, captain, from me greet the Danish 
Tell him, that, by his licence, Fortinbras 
Claims the conveyance of a promis'd march 
Over his kingdom. You know the rendezvous. 
If that his majesty would aught witli us, 
We shall express our duty in bis 
And let him know so. 

Cap. I will do't, my lord. 

/" -. So safely d on. 

[Exeunt Fdrti.viiras and Forces. 

* Him, in the folio; in the quartos, them. 

t> So in the folio; In the quartos, " we'll ne'er begin." 

c Clr.ims, In the folio; in the quartos, ct 

<J Safely, In the folio ; in the quarto*, toftly. 



Ham. Good sir, whose powers are these? 

Cap. They are of Norway, sir. 

Ham. How proposed,* 1 sir, 

I pray you ? 

Cup. Against some part of Poland. 

Ham. Who 

Commands them, sir ? 

Cap. The nephew to old Norway, Fortinbras. 

Ham. Goes it against the main of Poland, sir, 
Or for some frontier ? 

Cap. Truly to speak, and with no addition, 
We go to gain a little patch of ground, 
That hath in it no profit but the name. 
To pay five ducats, five, I would not farm it ; 
Nor will it yield to Norway, or the Pole, 
A ranker rate, should it be sold in fee. 

Ham. Why, then the Polack never will de- 
fend it. 

Cap. Yes, 't is already garrison' d, 

Ham. Two thousand souls, and twenty thou- 
sand ducats, 
Will not debate the question of this straw : 
This is the imposthumc of much wealth and 

peace ; 
That inward breaks, and shows no cause without 
Why the man dies. — I humbly thank you, sir. 

Cap. God be wi' you, sir. [Exit Captain. 

Ros. Will't please you go, my lord? 

Ham. I will be with you straight. Go a 
little before. [Exeunt Eos. and Gutl. 
How all occasions do inform against me, 
And spur my dull revenge ! What is a man, 
If his chief good, and market of his time, 
Be but to sleep and feed ? a beast, no more. 
Sure, he, that made us with such large discourse, 
Looking before, and after, gave us not 
That capability and godlike reason 
To fust d in us unus'd. Now, whether it be 
Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple 
Of thinking too precisely on the event, — 
A thought, which, quarter' d, hath but one part 

And ever, three parts coward, — I do not know 
Why yet I live to say, This thing \t to do ; 
Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and 

To do't. Examples, gross as earth, exhort me: 
Witness, this army of such mass and charge, 

» The whole of this scene, in which a clue 13 so beauti- 
fully furnished to the Indecision of Hamlet, i> wanting in 
the fn! o. It was perhaps omitted on account of the extreme 
length of the play, and as not helping on the action. 

•> Proposed — purposed. Steevens substituted the word 
purposed, and recent editors follow him. 

c s i '-discourse of reason," Art i Sc. [I. 

d To fust — to become mouldy. 

Act IV.] 


KB \ 

Led by a delicate and tender prince ; 
Whose spirit, with divine ambition puff'd, 
Makes months at the invisible event ; 
Exposing what is mortal, and unsure, 
To all that fortune, death, and danger, dare, 
Even for an egg-shell. Rightly to be great, 
Is, not to stir without great argument, 
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw, 
When honour 's at the stake. How stand I then, 
That have, a father kill'd, a mother stain' d, 
Excitements. of my reason, and my blood, 
And let all sleep ? while, to my shame, I see 
The imminent death of twenty thousand men, 
That, for a fantasy and trick of fame, 
Go to their graves like beds ; fight for a plot 
Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause, 
Which is not tomb enough, and continent, 
To hide the slain ?— O, from this time forth, 
My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth !] 


SCENE V. — Elsinore. A Room in the Castle. 

Enter Queen" and Horatio. 

Queen. I will not speak with her. 
Hor. She is importunate ; indeed, distract ; 
Her mood will needs be pitied. 

Queen. What would she have ? 

Hor. She speaks much of her father; says, 
she hears, 
There 's tricks i' the world ; and hems, and beats 

her heart ; 
Spurns enviously at straws; speaks things in 

That carry but half sense : her speech is nothing, 
Yet the unshaped use of it doth move 
The hearers to collection ; they aim at it, 
And botch the words up fit to their own thoughts ; 
Which, as her winks, and nods, and gestures 

yield them, 
Indeed would make one think there would be 

Though nothing sure, yet much unhappily. 
Queen. 'Twere good she were spoken with; 
for she may strew 
Dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds : 
Let her come in. [Brit Horatio. 

To my sick soul, as sin's true nature is, 
Each toy seems prologue to some great amiss : 
So full of artless jealousy is guilt, 
R spills itself, in fearing to be spilt. 

lie-enter Horatio with Ophelia. 
Oph. Where is the beauteous majesty of Ren- 
mark ? 
Queen. How now, Ophelia ? 

Tragedies. — Vol. I. L 

Oph. (sings) How should I your true love know 
From another one ? 
By his cockle hat and staiF, 
And his sandal shoon. 1 

Queen. Alas, sweet lady, what imports this 

song ? 

Oph. Say you ? nay, pray you, mark. 

He is dead and gone, lady, 

He is dead and gone ; 
At his head a grass-green turf, 

At his heels a stone. 

Queen. Nay, but Ophelia, — 

Oph. Pray you, mark. 

White his shroud as the mountain snow. 

Enter King. 
Queen. Alas, look here, my lord. 

Oph. Larded with sweet flowers ; 

Which bewept to the grave did not go, 
With true-love showers." 

King. How do you, pretty lady? 

Oph. Well, God 'ield you! b They say, the 
owl was a baker's daughter. Lord, we know 
what we are, but, know not what we may be. 
God be at your table ! 

King. Conceit upon her father. 

Oph. Pray you, let us have no words of this ; 
but when they ask you what it means, say you 

this : 

To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day 

All in the morning betime, 
And I a maid at your window, 

To be your Valentine : 
Then up he rose, and donn'd his clothes 

And dupp'dc the chamber-doer; 
Let in the maid, that out a maid 

Never departed more. 

King. Pretty Ophelia ! 

Oph. Indeed, la, without an oath, I'll make 
an end on't : 

By Gis, and by Saint Charity, 
Alack, and fye for shame ! 
Young men will do 't, if they come to 't ; 

By cock they are to blame. 
Quoth she, before you tumbled me, 

You proiuis'd me to wed : 
So would I ha' done, by yonder sun, 
An thou hadst not come to my bed. 

King. How long as she been this ? 

Oph. I hope, all will be well. We must be 
patient : but I cannot choose but weep, to think 
they should lay him i' the cold ground : -My bro- 
ther shall know of it, and so I thank you for 
your good counsel. Come, my coach! Good 
night, ladies ; good night, sweet ladies ; good 
night, good night. [■*"'• 

a Did not go. So all the old copies-' corrected by Mr. 
Pone " says Steevens. Ophelia's song had reference to her 
fXr. He was not a youth-he was not bewept « ith true 
love showers 

c G,.d 'ield </»«— God requite you. . 

o Vuvp'd. To dup is to do up; as to don is to do on. 


Act IV.] 


[Scene V. 

King. Follow her close ; give her good watch, 

1 pray urn. / t I !m; \ i [0. 

()! this is the poison of deep grief; it Bprii 
All from her father's deai t:*0 Gertrude, Ger- 
When sorrows come, they con,' not single spies, 
Put in battalions ! First, her lather slain: 
Next, your son gone j ami he most violent author 
Of his own just remove: The people muddied, 
Thick and unwholesome in their thoughts and 

Fur good Polouius' death ; and we have done 

but greenly,* 
In hugger-mugger to inter him : Poor Ophelia, 
Divided from herself, and her fair judgment ; 
Without the which we are pictures, or nine 
. and as much containing as all these, 
I ler brother is in secret come from France : 
Feeds on his wonder, keeps himself in clouds, 
And wants not buzzers to infect his ear 
With pestilent speeches of his father's death ; 
Wherein necessity, of matter beggar'd, 
Will nothing stick our persons to arraign 
In ear and ear. my dear Gcrt rude, i his, 
Like to a murdering picce, d iu many pi 
Gives me superfluous death. ./ noise within. 

Queen. Alack ! what noise is this ? 

Hater a Gentleman. 

King. Where arc my switzcrs? Let them 
guard the door : 
What is the matter? 

Gent. Save yourself, my lord ; 

The ocean, overpecring of his list. 
Fats not the flats with more impitious' ha 
Thau young Laertes, in a riotous li 
I lYrbears your officers. The rabble callhim, lord ; 

I as the world were now but to begin, 
Antiquity forgot, custom not known, 
The ratifiers and props of every word, 
They cry, ' Choose we ; Laertes shall be King ! ' 
Caps, hands, and tongues, applaud it to the clouds, 
' Laertes shall be king, Laertes king !' 

Queen. How cheerfully on the false trail they 
O, this is counter, you false Danish dogs. 

■ In the quartos we find, after this, " And now behold." 
The word* are rejected in the folio. 

•nly — unwisely; like novices. 

« Hugger-mugger. The etymology ofthis ancient word is 
very uncertain. The Scotch have kvggrh-muggr 1 *, which 
' on interprets, " in a confused state " In 

North's Plutarch, the word Is applied to the burii 
"Antonius thinking good bis tcitatncni should 1 
Openly, and also thai hi< body should bchonoui. 
and not in hugger-mugger." 

"' Unrdi —a canon was so call J. 

o Impitioui — unpitying; the fol.o *>f 1032 givoi us 


King. The doors are broke. [Noise within. 

\.\\ in is, armed; Danes following. 

I r. \\ here is this king? — Sirs, stand you 
all \\ ithout. 
. No, let 's come in. 
/,.. I pray you, give me leave. 

Van. We will, we will. 

[They retin without the door. 
-. 1 thank you : — keep the door. — thou 
vile king, 
Give me my father. 

Queen. Calmly, good Laertes. 

Laer. That drop of blood that's calm, pro- 
claims mc bastard ; 
Cries, cuckold, to my father ; brands the harlot 
Even here, between the chaste unsmirched brow 
Of my true mother. 

King. "What is the cause, Laertes, 
Thai thy rebellion looks so giant-like? 
Let him go, Gertrude; do not fear our person ; 
There 's such divinity doth hedge a king, 
That treason cau but peep to what it would, 
Acts little of his will. Tell me, Laertes, 
Why thou art thus incensed; — Let him go, 

Gertrude ; — 
Speak, man. 
Laer. Where is my father? 
King. Dead. 

en. But not by him. 

King. Let him demand his till. 
Laer. How came he dead ? I'll not be juggled 

with : 
To hell, allegiance ! vows, to the blackest devil ! 
Conscience, and grace, to the profouudest pit ! 
I dare damnation : To this point I stand, — 
That both the worlds I give to negligence, 
Let come what comes ; oidy I '11 be revenged 
Most throughly for my father. 
King. AY ho shall stay you ? 
Laer. My will, not all the world : 
And, for my means, I '11 husband them so well, 
They shall go far with little. 

King. Good Laertes, 

If you desire to know the certainty 
i If your dear father's death, is 't writ in your 

That, sweepstake, you will draw both friend 

and foe, 
Winner and loser? 

•. None but his enemies. 
King. Will you know them then? 

A r. To his good friends thus wide I'll ope 
my arms; 
And, like the kind lil'c-reud'ring pelican, 2 
Repast them with my blood. 

Frank Stone, A.R.A., del.] 

[Dalziel Brothers, sculp. 

Op/ielia. " White his shroud as the mountain snow." ,,...„, 

r Hamlet, Act iv., so. o. 


Act IV.] 


[ScCKh VI. 

King. Why, now you speak 

Like a good child, and a true gentleman. 
That I am guiltless of your father's death, 
And am most sensibly in grief for it, 
It shall as level to your judgment pierce,* 
As day does to your eye. 

Banes. [Within.'] Let her come in. 

Laer. How now ! what noise is that ? 
Enter Ophelia, fantastically dressed with straws 

and flowers. 
heat, dry up my brains ! tears, seven times 

Bum out the sense and virtue of mine eye ! — 
By heaven, thy madness shall be paid by weight, 
Till our scale turns the beam. rose of May ! 
Dear maid, kind sister, sweet Ophelia ! — 
heavens ! is 't possible, a young maid's wits 
Should be as mortal as an old man's life ? 
Nature is fine in love : and, where 't is fine, 
It sends some precious instance of itself 
After the thing it loves. 

Oph. They bore him barefac'd on the bier; 
Hey non nonny, nonny, hey nonny; 
And on his grave rains many a tear ; — 

Fare you well, my dove ! 

Laer. Hadst thou thy wits, and didst persuade 
It could not move thus. 

Oph. You must sing, Down a-doivn, an you 
call him a-down-a. 0, how the wheel becomes 
it ! b It is the false steward, that stole his 
master's daughter. 

Laer. This nothing 's more than matter. 

Oph. There's rosemary, that's for remem- 
brance ; c pray, love, remember : and there is 
pansies, that 's for thoughts. 

Laer. A document in madness ; thoughts and. 
remembrance fitted. 

Oph. There 's fennel for you, and columbines : 
— there 's rue for you ; and here 's some for me : 
— we may call it, herb-grace o' Sundays : d — oh 
you must wear your rue with a difference. — 
There's a daisy : — I would give you some vio- 
lets ; but they withered all, when my father 
died : — They say, he made a good end, 

For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy,— 

Laer. Thought and affliction, passion, hell 
She turns to favour, and to prettiness. 

a Pierce, in the folio ; in the quarto, pear. 

t> This is explained, '-how well is this ditty adapted to 
the wheel," — to be sung by the spinners at the wheel. The 
burthen of a song, such as down a-down, was, according to 
Steevens, called the wheel. 

c Rosema-y was considered to have the power of strength- 
ening the memory. 

J Rue was meant to express ruth — sorrow. For the same 
reason it was called herb-grace; for "he whom Gotl lovctli 
he chasteneth." 

L 2 

Oph. And will he not come again ? 
And will he not come again ? 
No, no, he is dead, 
Go to thy death-bed, 
He never will come again. 

His beard is white as snow, 
All flaxen was his poll : 

He is gone, he is gone, 

And we cast away moan ; 
Gramercy on his soul ! 

And of all christian souls! I pray God. God 
be wi' you ! [Exit Ophelia. 

Laer. Do you see this, O God ? 
King. Laertes, I must common a with your 
Or you deny me right. Go but apart, 
Make choice of whom vour wisest friends you 

And they shall hear and judge 't wixt you and me : 
If by direct or by collateral hand 
They find us touch' d, we will our kingdom give, 
Our crown, our life, and all that we call ours, 
To you in satisfaction ; but, if not, 
Be you content to lend your patience to us, 
And we shall jointly labour with your soul 
To give it due content. 

Laer. Let this be so ; 

His means of death, his obscure burial — 
No trophy, sword, nor hatchment, o'er his bones, 3 
No noble rite, nor formal ostentation, — 
Cry to be heard, as 't were from heaven to earth, 
That I must call 't in question. 

King. So you shall ; 

And, where the offence is, let the great axe fall. 
I pray you, go with me. [Exeunt. 

SCENE VI. — Another Room in, the same. 
Enter Horatio, and a Servant. 

Hot. What are they that would speak with me ? 

Sen. Sailors, sir , 

They say, they have letters for you. 

Hor. Let them come in. — 

[Exit Servant. 
I do not know from what part of the world 
I should be greeted, if not from lord Hamlet. 

Enter Sailors. 

1 Sail. God bless you, sir. 

Hor. Let him bless thee too. 

1 Sail. He shall, sir, an 't please him. There's 
a letter for you, sir; it comes from the ambas- 
sador that was bound for England; if your 
name be Horatio, as I am let to know it is. 

" To amnion, now written commune, is to make C" 
-interchange thoughts. 


ACT IV. j 


[Si bkb Vil 

i/cr. [/(fj.^.] Horatio, when thou shall have overlooked 

this, lv. .Hows some mean- te ttu king; they have 

letteri for him. Ere we were two ila> s old ;it tea, a pirate of 
very warlike appointment gave u< chaoe: Finding oorselvea 

too slow of sail, we put on a compelled valour; in tin- grapple 
I boarded them: 0:1 the instant, they got clear of our ship; 
so I alone became their prisoner. They have dealt with me 
like thieves of mercy ; but they knew what they did; I am to 
do a good turn for them. Let the king have the letters I b It B 
sent ; and repair thou to me with as much haste as thou 
would'.-! My death. I have words to speak in thine ear, "ill 
make thee dumb; yet are they much too light for the bore of 
the matter. These good fellows will bring thee where I am. 
Rosinerantz and Guildetutern hold their course for England ; 
of them I have much to tell thee. Farewell. 

He that thou knowest thine, Hamlet. 

Come, I will give you way for these your letters ; 
And do't the speedier, that you may direct me 
To him from whom you brought them. [Exeunt. 

SCENE VII. — Another Room in the same. 

Enter Kixg and Laertes. 
King. Now must your conscience my acquit- 
tance seal, 
And you must put me in your heart for friend ; 
Sith you have heard, and with a knowing car, 
That he which hath your noble father slain, 
Pursu'd my life. 

Laer. It well appears : — But tell me, 

"Why you proceeded not against these feats, 
So crimeful and so capital in nature, 
As by your safety, wisdom, all things else, 
You mainly were stirred up. 

King. O, for two special reasons ; 

Which may to you, perhaps, seem much un- 

And yet to me they are strong. The queen, his 

Lives almost by his looks ; and for myself, 

virtue, or my plague, be it either which,) 
She 's so conjunctive to my life and soul, 
That, as the star moves not but in his sphere, 
1 ould not but by her. The other motive, 
Why to a pubbc count I might not go, 
Is the great love, the general gender bear him : 
Who, dipping all hb faults in their affection, 
1 1, like the spring that turneth wood to 

- to graces ; so that my arrows, 
timber'd for so loud a wind, 
Would have reverted to my bow again, 
And Dot where I had aini'd them. 

Laer. And in noble father lost; 

A sister driven into d :ns ; 

Whose worth, if praises may go back again, 

i challenger on mount of all the age 
For her perfections : — But my revenge will come. 
King. Break ps for that: you 

most not t! 

That wc arc made of stuff so flat and dull, 
That we can let our beard be shook with danger, 
And think it pastime. You shortly shall hear 

more : 
I loved your father, and wc love ourself ; 
And that, I hope, will teach you to imagine. — 
How now ? what news F 

Enter a Messenger. 

Met. Letters, my lord, from Hamlet : 

This to your majesty ; this to the queen. 

King. From Hamlet ! Who brought them ? 

Mess. Sailors, my lord, they say : I saw t hem not. 
They were given to me by Claudio, he receiv'd 

King. Laertes, you shall hear them :— Leave 
us. [Exit Messenger. 

[Reads.] High and mighty, you shall know, I am set naked 
on your kingdom. To-morrow shall I beg leave to see your 
kingly eyes: when I shall, first asking your pardon thereunto, 
recount the occasions of my sudden and more strange return. 


What should this mean ? Are all the rest come 

Or is it some abuse, or no such thing ? 

Laer. Know you the haud? 

King. 'T is Hamlet's character. ' Naked,' — 
And, in a postscript here, he says, ' alone : ' 
Can you advise me ? 

Laer. I am lost in it, my lord. But let him 
come : 
It warms the very sickness in my heart, 
That I shall live and tell him to his teeth, 
Thus diddest thou. 

King. li it be so, Laertes, 

As how should it be so ? how otherwise ? 
Will you be rul'd by me ? 

Laer. If so you 'II not o'er-rule me to a peace. 

King. To thine own peace. If he be now 
return' d, — 
As checking al his voyage, and that he means 
No more to undertake it, — I will work him 
To an exploit, now ripe in my device, 
Under the which he shall not choose but fall ; 
And for his death no wind of blame shall 

breathe ; 
But even his mother shall uncharge the prac- 
And call it, accident. 

[La> . My lord, I will be rul'd : 

The rather, if you could devise it so, 
That I might be the organ. 

King. It falls right. 

You have been talk'd of since your travel much, 
And that in Hamlet's hearing, for a quality 
Wherein, they say, you shine : your sum of parts 
Did not together pluck such envy from hi 

Acr IV.] 



As did that one ; and that, in my regard, 
Of the un worthiest siege. 

Laer. What part is that, my lord ? 

King. A very riband in the cap of youth, 
Yet needful too ; for youth no less becomes 
The light and careless livery that it wears, 
Than settled age his sables, and his weeds, 
Importing health and graveness. a — ] Some two 

months hence, 
Here was a gentleman of Normandy, — 
I have seen myself, and serv'd against the 

And they can 11 well on horseback: but this 

Had witchcraft in 't ; he grew into his seat ; 
And to such wondrous doing brought his horse, 
As he had been incorps'd and demi-natur'd 
With the brave beast : so far he pass'd c my 

That I, in forgery of shapes and tricks, 
Come short of what he did. 

Laer. A Norman, was 't ? 

King. A Norman. 
Laer. Upon my life, Lamound. 
King. The very same. 

Laer. I know him well : he is the brooch, 
And gem of all the nation. 

King. He made confession of you ; 
And gave you such a masterly report, 
For art and exercise in your defence, 
And for your rapier most especially, 
That he cried out, 't would be a sight indeed, 
If one could match you : [the scrimers 3 of their 

He swore, had neither motion, guard, nor eye, 
If you oppos'd them :] e Sir, this report of his 
Did Hamlet so envenom with his envy, 
That he could nothing do, but wish and beg 
Your sudden coming o'er, to play with him. 

Now, out of this, 

Laer. Why out of this, my lord ? 

King. Laertes, was your father dear to you ? 
Or are you like the painting of a sorrow, 
A face without a heart ? m 

Laer. Why ask you this ? 

King. Not that I think you did not love your 
father ; 
But that 1 know love is begun by time ; 
And that I see, in passages of proof, 
Time qualifies the spark and fire of it. 

a The pas-sage in brackets is not found in the folio 
j rinted from quarto (B). 

b Can well in quartos ; in folio, ran well, 
c Puss'd, in folio ; in quartos, topp'd. 
d Scrimers— fencers ; from escrimeurt. 
v The passage in brackets is not in the fjlio. 

but is 

[There lives within the very flame of love 

A kind of wick, or snuff, that will abate it ; 

And nothing is at a bke goodness still ; 

For goodness, growing to a plurisy a 

Dies in his own too-much : That we would do, 

We should do when we would ; for this would 

And hath abatements and delays as many, 
As there are tongues, are hands, are accidents ; 
And then this should is like a spendthrift sigh, 
That hurts by easing. But, to the quick o' the 

ulcer : b ] 
Hamlet comes back : what would you undertake, 
To show yourself your father's son in deed 
More than in words ? 

Laer. To cut his throat i' the church. 

King. No place, indeed, should murder sanc- 

tuarize ; 
Revenge should have no bounds. But, good 

Will you do this, keep close within your 

chamber ? 
Hamlet, return'd, shall know you are come home : 
We '11 put on those shall praise your excellence, 
And set a double varnish on the fame 
The Frenchman gave you ; bring you, in fine, 

And wager on your heads : he, being remiss, d 
Most generous, and free from all contriving, 
Wdl not peruse 6 the foils ; so that, with ease, 
Or with a little shuffling, you may choose 
A sword unbatcd/ and, in a pass of practice, 
Requite him for your father. 

Laer. I will do 't : 

And, for that purpose, I '11 anoint my sword. 
I bought an unction of a mountebank, 
So mortal, that but dip a knife in it, 
Where it draws blood, no cataplasm so rare, 
Collected from all simples that have virtue 
Under the moon, can save the thing from death, 
That is but scratch'd withal : I '11 touch my point 
With this contagion ; that, if I gall him slightly, 
It may be death. 

King. Let 's further think of this ; 

Weigh, what convenience, both of time and 

May fit us to our shape : if this should fail, 
And that our drift look through our bad per- 

•i Plurisy Warburton would read plethory. But plurisy 
was constantly used in the sense of fulness, abundance, by tha 
poets. Thus,'inMassingcr, wehave " plurisy of goodness," 
and " plurisy of blood." 

•> The lines in brackets are r.ot in the folio. 

c In deed. So the folio; in the quartos, " indeed your 
father's son." 

d Remiss — inattentive. 

c Peruse — examine. 

t Untatea — not blunted. 


ACT I \ 



'T were better not assay'd ; therefore this project 
Should hare a hack, or second, that might hold, 
If this should blast inpr Soft;— let me see:— 

\\ i • '11 make a solemn wager on your com- 

mings,* — 
I ha't. 
When in your motion you are hot and dry, 

r boats more violent to that end,) 
that he calls for drink, I'll have prepar'd 

A chalice for the nonce ; whereon but sipping, 
If he by chance escape your venom'd stuck, b 
Our purpose may hold there. 

Enter QtJEEN. 

How now, sweet queen ? 

Queen. One woe doth tread upon another's 
So fast they follow: — Your sister's drown'd, 
Laer. Drown'd !— O, where ? 

en. There is a willow grows aslant a 
brook, c 
That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream ; 
There, with fantastic garlauds did she come/ 

» Commingt— meetings in assault. The comming is the 
renw. In the quartos we have cunnings. 

b Mr. Grant White would read tuck, a rapier. Stuck has 
the same meaning. 

o Aslant a brook, in the folio; in quartos, ascaunt the brook. 

d So the folio. In the quarto we have 

'• There with fantastic garlands did she ink ; 
irhictl some editors corrupted into "therewith;" as if 
iia made her garments of the willow. To " make" is 
u*ed m ihe sense of ;o " come "—to make way-=-to pr.>ceeu 

Of crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples. 
That liberal shepherds give a grosser name, 
But our cold maids do dead men's fingers call 

them : 
There, on the pendent boughs her coronet weeds 
Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke; 
When down the weedy trophies, and herself, 
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread 

wide ; 
And, mermaid-like, a while they bore her up : 
Which time, she chanted snatches of old tunes ; 
As one incapable of her own distress, 
Or like a creature native and indued 
Unto that clement : but long it could not be, 
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink, 
Pull'd the poor wretch from her melodious lay 
To muddy death. 

Laer. Alas then, is she drown'd ? 

Queen. Drown'd, drown'd. 

Laer. Too much of water hast thou, poor 
And therefore I forbid my tears : But yet 
It is our trick ; nature her custom holds, 
Let shame say what it will : when these are gone^ 
The woman will be out. — Adieu, my lord ! 
I have a speech of fire that fain would blaze, 
But that this folly douts a it. [Exit. 

King. Let 's follow, Gertrude ; 

How much I had to do to calm his rage ! 
Now fear I this will give it start again ; 
Therefore let's follow. [Exeunt. 

■ ! ruts, in the folio ; in the Quartos, drawn. 

[Daniah Ships.] 

Richard Redgrave, R.A., del.] 


[Butteruorth and Heath, l 

Quern. " There is a willow grows aslant a brook, 
That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream , 
There with fantastic garlands did she come." 

Hamlet, Act iv., so. 7. 


[Cockle Hat and Staff.] 


1 Scene V. — " How should I your true lore know t" 

The music, still sung in the character of Ophelia, 
to the fragments of songs in the Fifth Scene of Act 
IV., is supposed to be the saine : or nearly so, that 
was used in Shakspere's time, and thence trans- 
mitted to us by tradition. When Drury -lane theatre 


was destroyed by fire, in 1812, the copy of theeo 
songs suffered the fate of the whole musical library ; 
but Dr. Arnold noted down the airs from Mrs. 
Jordan's recollection of them, and the present three 
stanzas, as well as the two beginning — "And will 
he not come again ?" are from his collection. 









— ei 




1st. How should I 




your true love know, 

From a - no - ther 





2nd. He is dead and gone, la 


He is dead 







e» — 


3rd. "White his shroud as the moun-tain snow, 

Lard - ed all with sweet 








-I — 


one? By his 000 - kle hat and staff, An<l hia san - dal 





bis head a grass-green turf, At his heels a stone. 

HL=r==^ a . P P I ; - " 


: P-«V 




< j 




3rd d twers, Which be-wept to the crave did not go, 


"With true - love Bhowers. 

^ i uj r i r r -lJ 

ID ^ . fealll I : : i : i !l 




— i 


_ L 


Moderately gay. 




V V 

-•— •- 


1st. To - mor - row is St. Valentine's day, All in the morning be- 



^ » [f ^ 



2nd. Then np he rose, and don'd his clothes, And dupp'd the chain - ber 


"To-morrow," are 
Win. Unify. I :-[.. 
as ho ii exqui 

'* The pt 

n-ity," n. 


We have given the melodies as noted by Dr. 
Arnold and Mr. W. Linley, but for tlieir bases 
and accompaniments, we hold ourselves alone 
responsible ; having added such as, in our opinion, 
are best adapted to the characters of the airs. 
musically viewed, and to the feeling of the scene, 
draniat ically considered. 

' Bhakapeare'i Dramatic Songs,' ii. SO. 





2=^3=— i 

j — •- 




V— ««. ^ 


1st. time, And I a maid at your window, To be your Va - len - tine. 


ffV?» P Iff ThW 

©-t-»-F — F-l — I — F-« 


• • * 

2nd. door, Let in the maid, that out a maid 






never de - part-ed more 

B- -9- '-#- -»- -#- -*- 


J ^ 

•— »- 

9 — 0- 



— © — ^— n# 

— -m— n * ^-T w 










1st. And will be not come 

iNzzzz^Vz— = 




gain ? - - 




2nd. His 

beard was as wbite 




snow, - 








— i- 

— r 



P k 

— r 









— tsztzSttN 

1st. will be not come a - gain? - 

* — V 








no, he is dead, Go 

2nd. flax - en was his poll ; - - 

He is "^gone ! he is gone, and we 












[ S-i> 



1st. to tbv death-bod; He 

ne - ver will come a - cain. - 

2 Bonn V.— '•' /,//■/• tkt hind, liferent 


In architectural ornaments, or monumental sculp- 

and in old books of 1 1 emblem; 

; always repn ',>. As an 

ornament in | structures of the 

raiddl it is of frequ and is 

rally found a* :i pendant from the point in 

or as a principal • a in the carve I Beats of 

stall*. < >t" the :' >n imple 

in the chnrch at Harfleur; and oftl there 


which fi : might haye 

ii. It 
' \ ' ; .ii 1 other 

fery Whitney, 1586.' Beneath the 
llowing lines : — 


" The pellican, for to revive her younge, 
Doth pierce her brest, and geve them of her blood. 
Then searche your breste, and as you have with tonge 
With penne proceede to doe our countrie good : 
Your zeal is great, your learning is profounde, 
Then help our vantes, with that you doe abounde." 

3 Scene V. — "No trophy, sword, nor hatchment, 
o'er his bones. 

Sir John Hawkins says, " not only the sword, 
but the helmet, gauntlet, spurs, and tabard (i e., a 
coat whereon the armorial ensigns were anciently 
depicted, from whence the term coat of armour) 
are hung over the grave of every knight. Wo 
subjoin a trophy of the period of Elizabeth, placed 
o'er the tomb of the Lennard family, in West- 
"Wickham Church, Kent. 


[Church at Elsinore.] 


SCENE I.— A Church-Yard. 
Enter Two Clowns, with spades, fyc. 

1 Clo. Is she to be buried in christian burial, 
that wilfully seeks her own salvation ? 

2 Clo. I tell thee, she is; and therefore make 
her grave straight : a the crowner hath sate on 
her, and finds it a christian burial. 

1 Clo. How can that be, unless she drowned 
herself in her own defence ? 

2 Clo. Why, 't is found so. 

1 Clo. It must be se offendendo ; it cannot be 
else. Eor here lies the point : If I drown myself 
wittingly, it argues an act : and an act hath three 
branches ; it is, to act, to do, and to perform : 
argal, she drowned herself wittingly. 

2 Clo. Nay, but hear you, goodman delver. 

1 Clo. Give me leave. Here lies the water; 
good: here stands the man; good: If the man 
go to this water, and drown himself, it is, will he, 
nill he, he goes ; mark you that ? but if the water 
come to him, and drown him, he drowns not 

» Straight— stralghtways —forthwith. 

himself: argal, he, that is not guilty of his own 
death, shortens not his own life. 
2 Clo. But is this law ? 

1 Clo. Ay, marry is't; crowner's-quest law. 1 

2 Clo. Will you ha' the truth on't? If this 
had not been a gentlewoman, she should have 
been buried out of christian burial. 

1 Clo. Why, there thou say'st : And the more 
pity, that great folk should have countenance in 
this world to drown or hang themselves, more 
than then even christian. 51 Come, my spade. 
There is no aucient gentleman but gardeners, 
ditchers, and grave-makers ; they hold up Adam's 

2 Clo. Was he a gentleman ? 2 

1 Clo. He was the first that ever bore amis. 

2 Clo. Why, he had none. 

1 Clo. What, art a heathen? How dost thou 
understand the scripture? The scripture says, 
Adam digged ; Could he dig without arms ? I '11 
put another question to thee : if thou answerest 
me not to the purpose, confess thyself — 

a Even-christiau — fellow-Christian, equal christian. The 
expr^sion is used by Chaucer. 


.\< T V.] 


[ScFxr 1 

2 Clo. Go to. 

1 Clo. "What is he, that buflds stronger than 
either the mason, the shipwright, or the car- 
penter ? 

2 Clo. The gallows-maker; for that frame 
outlives B thousand tenants. 

1 Clo. I like thy wit well, in good faith; the 
gallows does well : but how does it well ? it docs 
well to those that do ill : now thou dost ill to 
Bay, the gallows is built stronger than the church; 

\ a, the gallows may do well to thee. To't 
again ; come. 

2 < '■>. Who budds stronger than a mason, a 
shipwright, or a carpenter ? 

1 Clo. Ay, tell me that, and unyoke." 

2 Clo. Marry, now I can tell. 

1 Clo. To't." 

2 Clo. Mass, I cannot tell. 

Enter Hamlet and Hokatio at a distance. 

1 Clo. Cudgel thy brains no more about it ; 
for your dull ass will not mend his pace with 
beating : and when you are asked this question 
next, say a grave-maker; the houses that he 
makes last till doomsday. Go, get thee to 
Yaughan ; fetch me a stoup of liquor. 

[Exit 2 Clown. 

1 Clown digs, and sings. 

In youth, when I did love, did love, 

MethougUt, it was very sweet, 
To contract, O. the time, for, ah, my behove 

O, methought, there was nothing meet.3 

Ham. Hath this fellow no feeling of his busi- 
. that he sings at grave-making? 

Hor. Custom hath made it in him a property 
of easiness. 

Ham. 'T is e'en so : the hand of little employ- 
ment hath the daintier sense. 

1 Clo. But age with his stealing steps, 
Hath caught b me in his clutch, 
And hath shipped me intill c the land, 
As if 1 had never been such. 

[Throws up a scull. 

Ham. That scull had a tongue in it, and 

could sing once : How the knave jowls it to the 

ground, as if it were Cain's jaw-bone, that did 

first murther! It might be the pate of a 

politician, which this ass o'er-officcs ; d one that 

could circumvent God, might it not ? 

//or. It might, my lord. 

Ham. Or of a courtier; which could say, 

Go l-morrow, sweet lord! How dost thou, 

•\ Unyoke— finish your work; unyoke your team. 

'i ', in folio ; in quarto*, r aw'd. 

c Intill, In folio; in quarto*, Into. 

4 O'er-tfflcn, in folio ; in quarto*, o'rrrrachrs. , 


good lord ? ' This might be my lord Such-a one, 
that praised my lord Such-a-onc's horse, when 
he meant to beg it ; might it not ? 

Hot. Ay, my lord. 

Ham. Why, e'en so : and now my lady 
Worm's; chaplcss, and knocked about the maz- 
zanl with a sexton's spade: Here's fine revo- 
lution, if we had the trick to see't. Did these 
bones cost no more the breeding, but to play 
at loggats with them r 4 mine ache to think on't. 

1 Clo. A pickaxe, and a spade, a spade, 
For — and a shrouding sheet: 
O, a pit of clay for to be made 
For such a guest is meet. 

[Throws up a scull. 

Ham. There 's another ! Why might not that 
be the scull of a lawyer ? "Where be his quiddits a 
now, his quillets, b his cases, his tenures, and his 
tricks ? Why docs he suffer this rude knave now 
to knock him about the sconce with a dirty shovel, 
and will not tell him of his action of battery ? 
Humph ! This fellow might be in 's time a great 
buyer of laud, with his statutes, his recognizances, 
his fines, his double vouchers, his recoveries : Is 
this the fine of his fines, and the recovery of his 
recoveries, to have his fine pate full of fine dirt? 
will his vouchers vouch him no more of his 
purchases, and double ones too, than the length 
and breadth of a pair of indentures ? The very 
conveyances of his lands will hardly be in this 
box; and must the inheritor himself have no 
more? ha! 

Hor. Not a jot more, my lord. 

Ham. Is not parchment made of sheep-skins ? 

Hor. Ay, my lord, and of calves'-skins too. 

Ham. They are sheep, and calves, that seek 
out assurance in that. I will speak to this 
fellow :— Whose grave's this, sir ? 

1 Clo. Mine, sir. — 

O, a pit of clay for to be made 
For such a guest is meet. 

Ham. I think it be thine, indeed; for thou 
best in't. 

1 Clo. You lie out on't, sir, and therefore it is 
not yours : for my part, I do not lie in 't, and 
yet it is mine. 

Ham. Thou dost lie in 't, to be in 't. and say it 
is thine: 'tis for the dead, not for the quick; 
therefore thou best. 

1 Clo. 'Tis a quick lie, sir; 't will away again, 
from me to you. 

Ham. What man dost thou dig it for? 

s Quiddtts— quiddities— subtleties. 

b duiihis— quidlibet— (what you please)— a frivolous <);* 

ii net ion. 

Act v.] 


[ScEKE 1 

1 Clo. For no man, sir. 

Ham. What woman then? 

1 Clo. For none neither. 

Ham. Who is to be bnried in 't ? 

1 Clo. One that was a woman, sir ; but, rest 
her soul, she 's dead. 

Ham. How absolute the knave is ! we must 
speak by the card, a or equivocation will undo 
us. By the lord, Horatio, these three years I 
have taken note of it ; the age is grown so 
picked, b that the toe of the peasant comes so 
near the heel of the courtier, he galls his kibe. — 
How long hast thou been a grave-maker ? 

1 Clo. Of all the days i' the year, I came to 't 
that day that our last king Hamlet o'ercame 

Ham. How long is that since ? 

1 Clo. Cannot you tell that ? every fool can 
tell that : It was the very day that young 
Hamlet was born : he that was mad, and sent 
into England. 

Ham. Ay, marry, why was he sent into 
England ? 

1 Clo. Why, because he was mad : he shall 
recover his wits there ; or, if he do not, it 's no 
great matter there. 

Ham. Why? 

1 Clo. 'T will not be seen in him ; there the 
men are as mad as he. 

Ham. How came he mad ? 

1 Clo. Very strangely, they say. 

Ham. How strangely ? 

1 Clo. 'Faith, e'en with losing his wits. 

Ham. Upon what ground ? 

1 Clo. Why, here in Denmark. I have been 
sexton here, man and boy, thirty years. 

Ham. How lonsc will a man lie i' the earth ere 
he rot ? 

1 Clo. 'Faith, if he be not rotten before he 
die, (as we have many pocky corses now-a-days, 
that will scarce hold the laying in,) he will last 
you some eight year, or nine year : a tanner will 
last you nine year. 

Ham. Why he more than another ? 

1 Clo. Why, sir, his hide is so tanned with his 
trade, that he will keep out water a great while ; 
and your water is a sore decayer of your whore- 
son dead body. Here 's a scull now : this 

a The card— " the seaman's card" of Macbeth. A sea- 
chart in Shakspere's time was called a card. But thedrawing 
of the points of the compass is also called the card. Steevens 
and Malone differ as to whether a compass-card or a chart is 
here meant. 

1) Picked, is spruce, affected, smart; to pick being the 
same as to trim. Some, however, think that the word was 
derived from picked, peaked boots, which were extrava- 
gantly long-^and hence the association with the " toe of the 

scull has lain iu the earth thrce-and-tweutj 

Ham. Whose was it? 

1 Clo. A whoreson mad fellow's it was ; Whose 
do you think it was ? 

Ham. Nay, I know not. 

1 Clo. A pestilence on him for a mad rogue ! 
a poured a flagon of Rhenish on my head once. 
This same scull, sir; this same scull, sir, b was 
Yorick's scull, the king's jester. 

Ham. This? 

1 Clo. E'en that. 

Ham. Let me see. Alas poor Yorick ! — I 
knew him, Horatio ; a fellow of infinite jest, of 
most excellent fancy : he hath borne me on his 
back a thousand times ; and now how abhorred 
my imagination is ! d my gorge rises at it. 
Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know 
not how oft. Where be your gibes now ? your 
gambols ? your songs ? your flashes of merriment, 
that were wont to set the table on a roar ? Not 
one now, to mock your own jeering ? e quite chap- 
fallen? Now get you to my lady's chamber, 
and tell her, let her paint an inch thick, to this 
favour she must come ; make her laugh at that. 
— Prithee, Horatio, tell me one thing. 

Hor. What 's that, my lord ? 

Ham. Dost thou think Alexander looked o' this 
fashion i' the earth ? 

Hor. E'en so. 

Ham. And smelt so ? puh ! 

[Throws down the scull. 

Hor. E'en so, my lord. 

Ham. To what base uses we may return, Ho- 
ratio ! Why may not imagination trace the no- 
ble dust of Alexander, till he find it stopping a 
bung-hole ? 

Hor. 'T were to consider too curiously, to con- 
sider so. 

Ham. No, faith, not a jot ; but to follow him 
thither with modesty enough, and likelihood to 
lead it. As thus ; Alexander died, Alexander 
was buried, Alexander returneth into dust; the 
dust is earth ; of earth we make loam : And why 
of that loam, whereto he was converted, might 
they not stop a beer-barrel ? 

Imperial f Caesar, 5 dead, and turn'd to clay. 

Might stop a hole to keep the wind away : 

a So the folio. The quartos read, " Here 's a scull now hath 
iyen you i' the earth," &c. 

b The repetition does not occur in the quartos. 

cZe<mesee,isnotinthequartos. It supersedes the stage 
direction of " takes the scull." 

<t So the folio. The reading of the quarto (B) is, ' and 
how abhorred in my imagination it is." Abhorred is used in 
the sense of disgusted. 

e Jceriwj, in the folio; in the quartos, grinntng. 

t Imperial, in the folio; in the quartos, imprri ml. 


:\CT V.] 


[SCEI.T 1. 

( \ that that earth, which kept the world in awe, 
Should patch a wall to expel the winter's Haw ! 

But soft ! but soft! aside: — Here comes the 


Enter Fries! of 

Ophelia, Laertes and Mourners following ; 

King, Qieex, their Trains, : 

Tlic queen, the courtiers : Who is that they fol- 
low ? 
Ami with such maimed rites ! This doth betoken, 
The corse they follow did with desperate hand 
Fordo its own life. 'T was of some estate : 
Couch wc a while, and mark. 

Retiring with Horatio. 
Zaer. What ceremony else ? 
Ham. This is Laertes, 

A very noble youth : Mark. 
Laer. "What ceremony else ? 
1 Priest. Her obsequies have been as far en- 
As we have warrantise : Her death was doubtful ; 
And, but that great command o'ersways the 
ordcr, u 
-hould in ground unsanctificd have lodg'd 
Till the last trumpet ; for charitable prayers, 1 ' 
Shards, flints, and pebbles, should be thrown on 

S • here she is allowed her virgin rites, ' 
Her maiden strewments, and the bringing home 
Of bell and burial. 

!. r. Must there no more be doi. 
IP, Tso more be dour ! 

We should profane the service of the dead, 
To sing sage requiem? and such rest to her, 
A- to peace-parted souls. 

/ ter. Lay her i' the earth ; 

And from her fair and unpolluted flesh 
May violets spring ! I tell thee, churlish priest, 
A minisfring angel shall my sister be, 
When thou best howling. 

II ■ . What, the fair Ophelia ! 

Queen. Sweets to the sweet : Farewell ! 

[Scattering flowers. 
I hop'd thou sbould'st have been my Hamlet's 
wife ; 

' rder — rule, canon, of ecclesiastical authority. 

I F r chanl'ihle prayers — instead of charitable prayers. 

c Shnrdi. A ihard ii a thing iharcd — divided. Shards are 
therefore fragment! of ware — rubbish. 

d Rite*. So the folio. Thereadlng of the quarto, which is 
usually followed, is cranti, which means garlands. But the 
"maiden stre«ments " are the flowers, the garlands, which 
piety scatters over ihe bier of the yeungand innocent. The 
rttt* included these, and ''the bringing home of bell and 
burial " — ■ itk bell and burial. 

• Sage requiem, in the folic; in tl.c quartos, a requiem. 
Sage is said to be used for grave lulemn. We suspect some 

I thought thy bride-bed to have deck'd, sweet 

And not t' have strew'd thy grave. 

Laer. 0, treble woe 

Fall ten times treble on that cursed bead, 
Whose wicked deed thy most ingenious sense 
Deprived thee of '.—Hold off the earth a while, 
Till I have causrbt her once more in mine 
arms : 

[Leaps into the grave. 
Now pile your dust upon the quick and dead ; 
Till of this flat a mountain you have made, 
To o'er-top old Pelion, or the skyish head 
Of blue Olympus. 

Ham. [Advancing."] What is he, whose grief 
Bears such an emphasis ? whose phrase of sor- 
Conjures the wand' ring stars, and makes them 

Like wonder-wounded bearers ? this is I, 
Hamlet the Dane. [Leaps into the grace. 

Laer. The devil take thy soul ! 

[Grappling with him. 
Ham. Thou pray'st not well. 
I prithee, take thy fingers from my throat ; 
Sir, though I am not splenetive and rash, 
Yet have I something 1 in me dangerous, 
Which let thy wiseness b fear : Away c thy hand. 
King. Pluck them asunder. 
Queen. Hamlet, Hamlet ! 

Gentlemen. Good my lord, be quiet.* 1 

[The Attendants /w/ them, and they 
come out of the grat 
Ham. "Why, I will fight with him upon this 
Until my eyelids will no longer wag. 
Queen. my son ! what theme ? 
Ham. I lov'd Ophelia; forty thousand hro- 
Could not, with all their quantity of love, 
Make up my sum. — What wilt thou do for her ? 
King. 0, he is mad, Laertes. 
Queen. For love of God, forbear him. 
Ham. Come, show me what thou 'It do : 
Woul't weep? woul't fight? [woul't fast?] 

woul't tear thyself? 
Woul't drink up Esil ? 6 cat a crocodile ? 
I '11 do 't. — Dost thou come here to whine ? 
To outface me with leaping in her grave ? 
Be buried quick" with her, and so will I ; 

* Something in me. So the folio; the quartos, in me some- 

» Wiscness, in the folio; in the quartos, wisdom. 
« Away, in the folio ; in the quartos, hold off. 
<1 In the folio, this entreaty is given to Horatio; and ' • Gen- 
tlemen " i-i ejaculated by Alt 

• Qjich — alive 

1CT V.] 



And, if thou prate of mountains, let them throw 
Millions of acres on us ; till our ground, 
Singeing his pate against the burning zone, 
Make Ossa like a wart ! Nay, an thou 'It mouth, 
I '11 rant as well as thou. 

a Queen. This is mere madness : 

And thus a while the fit will work on him ; 
Anon, as patient as the female dove, 
When that her golden couplets are disclos'd, 
His silence will sit drooping." 

Hum. Hear you, sir ; 

What is the reason that you use me thus ? 
I lov'd you ever : But it is no matter ; 
Let Hercules himself do what he may, 
The cat will mew, and dog will have his day. 

King. I pray you, good Horatio, wait upon 

him. — [Exit Horatio. 

Strengthen your patience in our last night's 

speech; [To Laertes. 

We '11 put the matter to the present push. — 
Good Gertrude, set some watch over your son. — 
This grave shall have a living monument : 
An hour of quiet shortly shall we see ; 
Till then, in patience our proceeding be. [Exettnt. 

SCENE 11.— A Hall in the Castle. 


Enter Hahlet and Horatio. 

Ham. So much for this, sir : now let me b see 
the other; 
You do remember all the circumstance ? 

Hor. Remember it, my lord ? 

Ham. Sir, in my heart there was a kind of 
That would not let me sleep : methought, I lay 
Worse than the mutines ° in the bilboes. d Rashly, 
And praise be rashness for it, — Let us know, 
Our indiscretion sometimes serves us well, 
When our dear e plots do pall ; and that should 

teach us, 
There 'a a divinity that shapes our ends, 
Rough-hew them how we will. 8 

Hor. That is most certain. 

Ham. Up from my cabin, 
My sea-gown scarf d about me, in the dark 
Grop'd I to find out them : had my desire ; 
Finger'd their packet ; and, in fine, withdrew 

" I n the folio, this speech is given to the King; in the quartos, 
to the Queen. We think that the assignment in the folio of so 
beautiful and tende.- an image as" that of " the female dove" 
to a man drawn by the poet as a coarse sensualist, proceeds 
from a typographical error, which not unfrequently occurs. 

b Let me, in the folio; in the quartos, shall you. 

c Mutines— mutineers. 

d Biiboes — a bar of iron with fetters attached to it. 

e Dear, in the folio; in the quartos, deep. 

To mine own room again : making so bold, 

My fears forgetting manners, to unseal 

Their grand commission ; where I found, Horatio, 

royal knavery, an exact command, 
Larded with many several sorts of reason, 
Importing Denmark's health, and England's too, 
With, ho ! such bugs and goblins in my life, 
That, on the supervise, no leisure bated, 

No, not to stay the grinding of the axe, 
My head should be struck off. 

Hor. Is 't possible ? 

Ham. Here 's the commission ; read it at more 
But wilt thou hear me how I did proceed? 

Her. Ay, 'beseech you. 

Ham. Being thus benetted round with villains, 
Ere I could make a prologue to my brains, 
They had begun the play : I sat me down ; 
Devis'd a new commission ; wrote it fair : 

1 once did hold it, as our statists do, 

A baseness to write fair, and labour 'd much 
How to forget that learning ; but, sir, now 
It did me yeoman's service : Wilt thou know 
The effects of what I wrote ? 

Hor. Ay, good my lord. 

Ham. An earnest conjuration from the king, — 
As England was his faithful tributary ; 
As love between them as the palm should 

flourish ; 
As peace should still her wheaten garland wear, 
And stand a comma 'tween their amities ; a 
And many such like as 's of great charge, — 
That on the view and know of these contents, 
•Without debatement further, more, or less, 
He should the bearers put to sudden death, 
Not shriving-time allow'd. b 

Hor. How was this seal'd ? 

Ham. Why, even in that was heaven ordinate ; 
I had my father's signet in my purse, 
Which was the model of that Danish seal : 
Folded the writ up in form of the other ; 
Subscrib'd it ; gave't the impression; plac*d it 

The changeling never known : Now, the next day 
Was our sea-fight : and what to this was sequent 
Thou know'st already. 

Hor. So Guildenstern and Roseucrantz go to 't. 
Ham. Why, man, they did make love to this 
employment ; 
They are not near my conscience ; their defeat c 

a Caldecott explains this—" continue the passage or inter- 
course of amity between them, and prevent the interposition 
of aperiod to it." This is not satisfactory, but we thoroughly 
agree with Mr. Dyce, who savs of certain conjectures, tliat 
"all the tampering of critics with the passage does not 
prove that it is corrupt." 

b Shriving-time— time of thrift, or confession. 

c Defeat, in the quartos ; in the folio, debate. 


Act V.] 


[SCENi. 11. 

Docs by their own insinuation grow : 
'Tis dangerous, when the baser nature OOmes 
Between the pass and fell incensed points 
Of mighty opposites. 

Hor. Why, w hat B king is this ! 

Ham. Docs it not, think'st thee, stand me 
now upon — 
lie that hath kill'd my king, and whor'd my 

mother ; 
Popp'd in between the election and my hopes ; 
Thrown out his angle for my proper life, 
And with Such cozenage; is't not perfect con- 
To quit him with this arm ? and is 't not to be 

To let this canker of our nature come 
In further evil ? 

Hor. It must be shortly known to him from 
\\ hat is the issue of the business there. 

Ham. It will be short : the interim is mine; 
And a man's life 's no more than to say, one. 
But I am very sorry, good Horatio, 
That to Laertes I forgot myself ; 
For by the image of my cause, I see 
The portraiture of his : I'll count his favours : 
But, sure, the bravery of his grief did put me 
Into a towering passion. 

Hor. Peace ; who comes here ? 

Enter Osric. 

Osr. Your lordship is right welcome back to 

Ham. I humbly thank you, sir. — Dost know 
this water-fly ? 

Hor. No, my good lord. 

Ham. Thy state is the more gracious ; for 't is 
a vice to know him : He hath much land, and 
fertde ; let a beast be lord of beasts, and his crib 
shall stand at the king's mess : 'T is a chough ; 
but, as I say, spacious in the possession of dirt. 

Osr. Sweet lord, if your friendship a were at 
leisure, I should impart a thing to you from his 

i. I will receive it with all diligence of 
spirit : Put your bonnet to his right use ; 'tis for 
the 1 e 

T t hank your lordship, 't is very hot. 
II. im. No, believe me, 'tis very cold; the wind 
is northerly. 

Osr. It is indifferent cold, my lord, indeed. 

» Friendship, in the folio : in quartos, lordthip. Mr. Collier 
etl\lfri*nd$k i p a corruption. Wc have retained the " corrup- 
tion," believing in the proprii ty of the correction in the 
folio. Oricisthei presentative of euphuism— the affected 
phraseology of Shakspere's age — and this is one of the forms 
nt the affectation which mm through all that Osric rrys. 

Ham. Methinks it is very sultry and hot, for 

my complexion. 

Oar. Exceedingly, my lord ; it is very sultry, 
— as 't were, — I canuot tell how — But, my lord, 
his majesty bade me signify to you, that he has 
laid a great wager on your head : Sir, this is the 

Ham. I beseech you, remember 

[Hamxet moves him to put on his hat. 

Osr. Nay, in good faith ; for mine ease, in 
good faith. [Sir, here is newly come to court, 
Laertes: believe me, an absolute gentleman, 
full of most excellent differences, of very soft 
society, and great showing: Indeed, to speak 
feelingly of him, he is the card or ca.endar of 
gentry, for you shall find in him the continent 
of what part a gentleman would see. 

Ham. Sir, his definement suffers no perdition 
in you; — though, I know, to divide him inven- 
torially, would dizzy the arithmetic of memory ; 
and yet but raw neither, in respect of his quick 
sail. But, in the verity of extolment, I take him 
to be a soul of great article ; and his infusion of 
such dearth and rareness, as, to make true dic- 
tion of him, his semblable is his mirror; and, 
who else would trace him, his umbrage, nothing 

Osr. Your lordship speaks most infallibly of 

Ham. The concernancy, sir? why do we wrap 
the gentleman in our more rawer breath ? 

Osr. Sir ? 

Hor. Is't not possible to understand in another 
tongue ? You will do 't, sir, really. 

'. What imports the nomination of this 
gentleman ? 

Osr. Of Laertes ? 

Hor. His purse is empty already; all his 
golden words are spent. 

Ham. Of him, sir. 

Osr. I know, you are not ignorant — 

Ham. I would, you did, sir; yet, in faith, if 
vou did, it would not much approve me. — Well, 
sir. 1 ] 

Osr. You are not ignorant of what excellence 
Laertes is at his weapon. 

[Ham. I dare not confess that, lest I should 
compare with him in excellence; but, to know a 
man well, were to know himself. 

Osr. I mean, sir, for this weapon ; but in the 
imputation laid on him by them, in his meed 
he's uufellowed.] 

» The long passage in brackets is not given in the folio, 
hut is found in quarto (B). It was perhaps thought that 
il prolonged the main business somewhat too much. Several 
other passages in this scene, which wc find in the quarto, are 
omitted in the folio; and these we have placed in brackets 

Act V.] 


[SCEKE n. 

Ham. What 's his weapon ? 
Osr. Rapier and dagger. 
Ham. That's two of his weapons: but, well. 
Osr. The king, sir, hath waged a with him six 
Barbary horses : against the which he has im- 
poned, b as I take it, six French rapiers and 
poniards, with their assigns, as girdle, hangers, 
or so : Three of the carriages, in faith, are very 
dear to fancy, very responsive to the hilts, most 
delicate carriages, and of very liberal conceit. 
Ham. What call you the carriages ? 
[Hor. I knew you must be edified by the 
margent, ere you had done.] 

Osr. The carriages, sir, are the hangers. 10 
Ham. The phrase would be more german to 
the matter, if we could carry cannon by our sides : 
I would it might be hangers till then. But, on : 
Six Barbary horses against six French swords, 
their assigns, and three liberal conceited car- 
riages ; that 's the French bet against the Danish: 
Why is this imponed, as you call it ? 

Osr. The king, sir, hath laid, that in a dozen 
passes between you and him, he shall not exceed 
you three hits ; he hath laid on twelve for nine ; 
and that would come to immediate trial, if your 
lordship woidd vouchsafe the answer. 
Ham. How, if I answer no ? 
Osr. I mean, my lord, the opposition of your 
person in trial. 

Ham. Sir, I will walk here in the hall. If it 
please his majesty, it is the breathing time of day 
with me : let the foils be brought, the gentleman 
willing, and the king hold his purpose, I will wiu 
for him, if I can ; if not, I will gab nothing but 
my shame, and the odd hits. 

Osr. Shall I re-deliver you e'en so ? 
Ham. To this effect, sir; after what flourish 
your nature will. 

Osr. I commend my duty to your lordship. 


Ham. Yours, yours. He does well to commend 

it himself; there are no tongues else for's turn. 

Hor. This lapwing runs away with the shell 

on his head. 

Ham. He did comply" with his dug, before he 
sucked it. Thus has he (and many more of the 
same bevy, that, I know, the drossy age dotes on,) 
only got the tune of the time, and outward habit 
of encounter ; a kind of yesty collection, which 
carries them through and through the most fond 

a Waged, in the folio ; in the quartos, wagered. 

b Imponed, in the folio; in the quartos, impawned. 

c Comply — was complaisant. In Fulwel's 'Arte of Flat- 
terie,' 1579, we have the same idea: — " The very suckin;; 
babes hath a kind of adulation towards their nurses for the 

Tragedies. — Vol. I. M 

and winnowed opinions ; and do but blow them 
to their trials, the bubbles are out. 

[Enter a Lord. 
Lord. My lord, his majesty commended him 
to you by young Osric, who brings back to him, 
that you attend him in the hall : He sends to 
know, if your pleasure hold to play with Laertes, 
or that you will take longer time. 

Ham. I am constant to my purposes, they 
follow the king's pleasure : if his fitness speaks, 
mine is ready ; now, or whensoever, provided I 
be so able as now. 

Lord. The king, and queen, and all are coming 
Ham. In happy time. 

Lord. The queen desires you to use some gentle 

entertainment to Laertes, before you go to play. 

Ham. She well instructs me. [Exit Lord.] 

Hor. You will lose this wager, my lord. 

Ham. I do not think so ; since he went into 

France, I have been in continual practice ; I shall 

win at the odds. But thou wouldst not think, 

how ill all 's here about my heart : but it is no 


Hor. Nay, good my lord, — 
Ham. It is but foolery ; but it is such a kind 
of gain-giving, as would, perhaps, trouble a 

Hor. If your mind dislike anything, obey : I 
will forestal their repair hither, and say, you are 
not fit. 

Ham. Not a whit, we defy augury ; there 's a 
special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If 
it be now, 'tis not to come ; if it be not to come, 
it will be now ; if it be not now, yet it will come : 
t he readiness is all : Since no man has aught of 
what he leaves, what is 't to leave betimes ? a 

Enter King, Queen, Laertes, Lords, Osric, 
and Attendants with foils, §~c. 

King. Come, Hamlet, come, and take this 
hand from me. 
[The King puts the hand of Laertes into 
that of Hamlet. 
Ham. Give me your pardon, sir : I have done 
you wrong ; 
But pardon 't, as you are a gentleman. 
This presence knows, and you must needs have 

How I am punish'd with a sore distraction. 
What I have done, 

a So the folio. The reading of the quartos is, "Since no 
man, of aught he leaves, knows, what is 't to leave betimes ? 
Let be." 


Act V.| 


[Scene II 

That might your nature, honour, and exception, 
Roughly awake, 1 bear proclaim was mads 
W lit wrorj I 1. let : 

If ! ta'en away, 

And, when Laertes, 

Then Hamlet d \ HamL it. 

Who dies it then ? His madness : If 't I 
Hamlet is ot* the faction that is wrong'd ; 
His madness is poor Hamlet's enemy. 

!. • a purpos'd evil 

ie so far in your most generous thoughts, 
That I have shot mine arrow o'er the lion 
And hurt my broth 

Lc I am satisfied in nature, 

Whose motive, in tl . should stir me i 

To my revenge : but in my terms of honour, 
I stand aloof; and will no reconcilement, 
Till by some elder masters, of known honour, 
I have a voice and precedent of peace, 
To keep my name ungor'd : But till that time, 
I do receive your offcr"d love like love, 
And will not wrong it. 

11 I embrace it freely ; 

And will this brother's wager frankly play. 
Give us the foils ; come on. 

Laer. Come, one for me. 

// . 1 *11 be your foil, Laertes ; in mine ig- 
Your skill shall, like a star i' the darkest night, 
•k fiery off indeed. 
Laer. i mock me, sir. 

No, by tli is hand. 
King. Give them the foils, young Osric. 
Cousin Hamlet, 
You know the wag' 

H- Very well, my lord ; 

Your grace hath laid the odds o' the weaker 
Kin j. I do not fear it : I have seen you both. 
I since he 's bctter'd, we have therefore odds. 

•j heavy, let me see another. 
Ha This likes me well : These foils have all 
a lengl h ? {They prepare to play. 

\ >d lord. 

wine upon that 
If H | hit, 

Or q 

The kin breath; 

11 he throw, 

In Denmark's crown have worn. Give me the 

cups ; 
And let the kettle to the trumpet speak, 
The trumpet to the cannoneer without, 
The cannons to the heavens, the heaven to earth, 
Now the king drinks to Hamlet. — Come, begin ; — 
And you, the judges, bear a wary eye. 

Ham. Come on, sir. 

Laer. Come on, sir. [They play. 

Ham. One. 

Laer. No. 

Havi. Judgment. 

Osr. A hit. a very palpable hit. 

Laer. Well, — again. 

King. Stay, give me drink : Hamlet, this pearl 
is thine ; 
Here 's to thy^iealth. Give him the cup. 

{Trumpets sound ; and cannon shot off within. 

Ham. I '11 play this bout first, set it by awhile. 
Come. — Another hit ; What say you P 

^ [They play. 

Laer. A touch, a touch, I do confess. 

King. Our son shall win. 

Queen. He's fat, and scant of breath. 

Here, Hamlet, take my napkin, rub thy brows : a 
The queen carouses to thy fortune, Hamlet. 

Ham. Good, madam. 

King. Gertrude, do not drink. 

Queen. I will, my lord ; — I pray you, pardon 

King. It is the poison'd cup : it is too late. 

Ham. I dare not drink yet, madam ; by and by. 
Queen. Come, let me wipe thy face. 
Laer. My lord, I '11 hit him now. 
King. I do not think it. 

Laer. And yet it is almost against my con- 
science. [Aside. 
Ham. Come, for the third, Laertes : You but 
dally : 
I pray you, pass with your best violence ; 
I am afeard you make a wanton of me. 

Laer. Say you so? come on. [They play. 

Osr. Nothing neither way. 
Laer. Have at you now. 
[Laertes wounds Hajllet ; then, in scuffling, 
they change rapiers, and Hamlet wounds 
A Part them, they are incens'd. 

/A.' tin. [The QfEEN falls. 

Osr. Look to the queen there, ho ! 

//•/•. They bleed on both sides : — How is it 
my lord ? 

TJ%i' ' 

The quartos read, om,r. 

" So the quartos ; in the folio, the line >tands 
" Here's a napkin, rub thy brows." 

Act V.] 


; Scene If. 

Osr. How is % Laertes ? 

Laer. Why, as a woodcock to mine own springe, 
Osric ; 
I am justly kill'd with mine own treachery. 

Ham. How does the queen ? 

King. She swoons to see them bleed. 

Queen. No, no, the drink, the drink, — my 
dear Hamlet ! — 
The drink, the drink ; — I am poison'd ! [Lies. 

Ham. villainy ! Ho ! Let the door be 
lock'd : 
Treachery ! seek it out. [Laertes falls. 

Laer. It is here, Hamlet : Hamlet, thou art 
No medicine in the world can do thee good, 
In thee there is not half an hour of life ; 
The treacherous instrument is in thy hand, 
Unbated, and envenom' d : the foul practice 
Hath turn'd itself on me ; lo, here I lie, 
Never to rise again : Thy mother 's poison'd ; 
I can no more ; the king, the king 's to blame. 

Ham. The point 
Envenom' d too ! — Then, veuom, to thy work. 

[Stabs the King. 

Osr. §• Lords. Treason ! treason ! 

King. 0, yet defend me, friends; I am but 

Ham. Here, thou incestuous, murd'rous, 
damned Dane, 
Drink off this potion : — Is thy union here ? 
Follow my mother. [King dies. 

Laer. He is justly served ; 

It is a poison temper' d by himself. 
Exchange forgiveness with me, noble Hamlet : 
Mine and my father's death come not upon thee, 
Nor thine on me ! [Lies. 

Ham. Heaven make thee, free of it ! I follow 
I am dead, Horatio : — Wretched queen, adieu ! 
You that look pale and tremble at this chance, 
That are but mutes or audience to this act, 
Had I but time, (as this fell sergeant, death, 
Is strict in his arrest,) O, I coidd tell you, — 
But let it be : — Horatio, I am dead ; 
Thou liv'st ; report me and my cause aright 
To the unsatisfied. 

Hor. Never believe it. 

I am more an antique Roman than a Dane, 
Here's yet some liquor left. 

Ham. As thou 'rt a man, 

Give me the cup ; let go ; by heaven I '11 have it. 
0, good Horatio, what a wounded name, 
Things standing thus unknown, shall live be- 
hind me ? 
If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart, 
M 2 

Absent thee from felicity awhile, 

And in this harsh world draw thv breath in paiu, 

To tell my story. 

[March afar off, and shot within. 
What warlike noise is this ? 

Osr. Young Fortinbras, with conquest come 
from Poland, 
To the ambassadors of England gives 
This warlike volley. 

Ham. 0, I die, Horatio ; 

The potent poison quite o'er-crows my spirit ; 
I cannot Live to hear the news from England ; 
But I do prophesy the election lights 
On Fortinbras ; he has my dying voice ; 
So tell him, with the occurrents, more and less, 
Which have solicited. — The rest is silence. [Lies. 

Hor. Now cracks a noble heart. Good night, 
sweet prince ; 
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest ! 
Why does the drum come hither ? [March within. 

Later Fortinbras, the English Ambassadors, 
and others. 

Fort. Where is this sight ? 

Hor. What is it ye would see ? 

If aught of woe, or wonder, cease your search. 
Fort. This quarry cries on havoc— O proud 
death ! 

What feast is toward in thine eternal cell, 

That thou so many princes, at a shoot, 

So bloodily hast struck ? 

1 Amb. The sight is dismal ; 

And our affairs from England come too late : 

The ears are senseless that should give us hear- 

To tell him, his commandment is fulfiU'd, 

That Rosencrantz and Guildenstem are dead : 

Where should we have our thanks ? 

Hor. Not from his mouth, 

Had it the ability of life to thank you ; 

He never gave commandment for then- death. 

But since, so jump upon this bloody question, 

You from the Polack Mars, and you from Eng- 

Are here arriv'd, give order, that these bodies 

High on a stage be placed to the view ; 

And let me speak, to the yet unknowing world, 

How these things came about : So shall vou 

Of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts ; 

Of accidental judgments, casual slaughters ; 

Of deaths put on by cunning, and fore'd cause ; 

And, in this upshot, purposes mistook 

Fall'n on the inventors' heads : all this can I 

Truly deliver. 




• Lot m i it, 

And call the noblest lo the audit:. 

- me, with sorrow I embrace my fortune : 
I have some rights of memory in this kingdom, 
Which now to claim my vantage doth invite me. 
// r. Of that I shall have always cause to 
And from his mouth whose voice will draw on 
more : 

same be presently pcrfor: 
while men's minds are wild ; lest more mis- 

lots, and errors, happen. 
■/. four captains 

Hamlet, like a soldier, to the stage; 

Fur he was likely, had he been put on, 
I have prov'd most royally: and, for his pas- 
The soldier's music, and the rights of war, 
Speak loudly for him. 
Take up the body : a — Such a sight as this 
Becomes the field, but here shows much amiss. 
Go, bid the soldiers shoot. \A dead March. 

[Exeunl, marching ; after which a peal of 
ordnance is shot off. 

If, in the folio ; in the quartos, bodies. Fortinbras 
has ordered 

" Let four captains 
Bear Hamlet, like a soldier, to the stage." 
This was a peculiar honour which he meant for him. We 
give the concluding stage direction, as we find it in the folio. 
" F.xcunt, bearing uff the bodies," is a modern addition. 


5§F i?Jgt(£S 
mr.-> ■ --■ ■•"..? 

[Hamlet'a Grave.] 



1 Scene I. — " Crowners-quest law." 

Sir John Hawkins originally pointed out that 
this ludicrous description of " crovmer's-quest law" 
was, in all probability, " a ridicule on the case of 
Dame Hales, reported by Plowden in his Com- 
mentaries." This was a case regarding the for- 
feiture of a lease to the crown, in consequence of 
the suicide of Sir James Hales. Malone somewhat 
sneers at the belief that Shakspere should have 
known anything about a case determined before he 
was born ; adding, " Our author's study was pro- 
bably not much encumbered with old French re- 
ports." Plowden was not published till 1578, — in 
old French, certainly, as Malone says ; but we have 
not a doubt that Shakspere was familiar with the 
book, as the following extracts from the translation 
of 1779 will show. The clown says, " An act hath 
three branches, it is to act, to do, and to perform." 
Warburton observes that "this is a ridicule on 
scholastic divisions without distinction, and of dis- 
tinctions without difference." The precise thing, 
however, to be ridiculed is in the speech of one of 
the counsel in the case before us : — 

" Walsh said that the act consists of three parts. 
The first is the imagination, which is a reflection or 
meditation of the mind, whether or no it is conve- 
nient for him to destroy himself, and what way it 
can be done. The second is the resolution, which 
is a determination of the mind to destroy himself, 
and to do it in this or that particular way. The 
third is the perfection, which is the execution of 
what the mind has resolved to do. And this per- 
fection consists of two parts, viz., the beginning and 
the end. The beginning is the doing of the act 
which causes the death, and the end is the death, 
which is only a sequel to the act." 

Again, the clown says, " Here lies the water; 
good ; here stands the man ; good : If the man go 
to this water and drown himself, it is, will he, nill 
he, he goes ; mark you that P but if the water comes 
to him, and drown him, he drowns not himself! 
Argal, he that is not guilty of his own death, 
shortens not his own life." We have, of course, 
no such delicious exaggeration as that of the clown ; 
but the following reasoning of one of the judges 
is very nearly equal to it : 

" Sir James Hales was dead, and how came he 
to his death ? It may be answered, by drowning ; 
and who drowned him ? Sir James Hales ; and 
when did he drown him ? In his lifetime. So that 
Sir James Hales being alive caused Sir James 
Hales to die ; and the act of the living man was 
the death of the dead man. And then for this of- 
fence it i3 reasonable to punish the living man who 
committed the offence, and not the dead man. 
But how can he be said to be punished alive when 
the punishment comes after his death ? Sir, 
this can be done no other way but by divesting 

out of him, from the time of the act done in his 
life which was the cause of his death, the title 
and property of those things which he had in his 

The determination in this case, that the verdict 
of felo de se was legal, shows that the complaint of 
the clown, "that great folks shall have countenance 
in this world to drown or hang themselves," was 
wholly unjust. 

2 Scene I. — "Was he a gentleman ? " 

This is a ridicule of the heraldic writers. In 
Leigh's 'Accidence of Armourie,' 1591, we have, 
" For that it might be known that even anon after 
the creation of Arlam there was both gentleness and 
ungentleness, you shall understand that the second 
man that was born was a gentleman, whose name 
was Abel." The same style of writing prevails in 
older works, as in the ' Book of St. Albans.' 

3 Scene I. — "In youth, when I did love, did 
love," &c. 

The three stanzas which the grave-digger sings 
are to be found, making allowance for the blunders 
of the singer, in ' The Songs of the Earl of Surrey 
and others,' 1557. The poem is reprinted in 
Percy's Reliques. It is ascribed to Lord Vaux. 
We give the stanzas out of which the clown's read- 
ings may be made : — 

" I loth that I did love, 

In youth that I thought swete, 
As time requires : for my behove 
Me thinkes they are not mete. 

For Age with steling steps 

Hath clawde me with his crowch, 
And lusty Youthe awaye he leapes, 

As there had bene none such. 

" A pikeax and a spade, 

And eke a shrowding shete, 
A house of clay for to be made 
For such a guest most mete. 

♦ * * * * 

" For Beautie with her band, 

These croked cares had wrought, 
And shipped me into the land, 
From whence I first was brought." 

4 Scene I. — " To play at loggats with them." 

The game of loggats is a country play, in which 
the players throw at a stake, or jack, with round 
pins. In Ben Jonson's ' Tale of a Tub ' we 
have : — 

" Now are they tossing of his legs and arms, 
Like loggats at a pear-tree." 
The scene of the grave-digeers has always been 



the fa the ol 1 1 

iv by :\ 

B I \ 


th the 

' Shak ," 


avec dee tetes de inert but le theatre. , 

» Scene I.—' i &c." 

The dwellings of our countrymen iu the time of 
Elizabeth were rude enough to render it often re- 
quisite to 

ip a hole, to keep the wind away." 

The following is from Harrison's ' Description of 
ad,' 1577: "In the fenny countries and 
northern parts, unto this day, for lack of wood they 
are enforced to continue the ancient manner of 
building (houses set up with a few posts and many 
raddles), so in the open and champain countries, 
they are enforced, for want of stuff, to use no 
at all, but only frank-posts, and such princi] 
with here and there a girding, whereunto they 
fasten their splints or raddles, and then cast it all 

■i'h (hick clay, to keep out the wind. ( 
this rude kind of building made the Spaniav 
Queen Mary's day to wonder, and say, ' these Eng- 
liah have their houses made of sticks and dirt, but 
:'are commonly so well as the king.' " 


[• The winter's flay.'] 

6 Scene I. - " Woul't drink up EtU ? " 
Esil was formerly a term in common use for 
vinegar; and thus some have thought that Hamlet 
here meant, will you take a draught of vinegar — 
of something very disagreeable. There is, how- 
ever, little doubt that he referred to the river 
. Lssel, «.r I/' 1, the most northern branch of 
the Rhine, and that which is the nearest to Den- 
mark. Stow and Drayton are familial' with the 

7 Scene I. — "Anon, as patient as the female 
dove," &c. 

To disclose was anciently used for, to hatch. 
The " couplets " of the dove are first covered with 
yellow down ; and the patient female sits brooding 
o'er the nest, cherishing them with her warmth for 
several days after they are hatched. 

[• Anon, as ja' ient n* the female dove.'] 


8 Scene II. 

There 's a divinity that shapes our ends, 
Rough-hew them how we will." 

Philosophy, as profound as it is beautiful ! says 
the uninitiated reader of Shakspere. But he that 
is endued with the wisdom of the commentators 
will learn, how easy it is to mistake for philosophy 
and poetry what really only proceeded from the 
very vulgar recollections of an ignorant mind 
"Dr. Farmer informs me," says Steevens, "that" 
these words are merely technical. A wood-man, 
butcher, and dealer in skewers, lately observed to 
him, that his nephew, (an idle lad) could only 
assist him in making them ; ' he could rough hew 
them, but I was obliged to shape their ends.' To 

shape the ends of wood skewers, i. e., to point 
them, requires a degree of skill ; any one can rough- 
hew them. Whoever recollects the profession, of 
Shakspere' s father, will admit that his son might 
be no stranger to such terms. I have frequently 
seen packages of wool pinn'd up with skewers." ! ! ! 

9 Scene II. — " The carriages, sir, are the hangers." 

The hangers are that part of the girdle or belt 
by which the sword was suspended. We find the 
word used in the directions for an installation of 
the Knights of the Garter. (See Ashmole's His- 
tory of the Order.) Garter presents the Lords 
Commissioners with "the hanger and sword" 
which they gird on the knight. 

[Sword Belts, or " Hangers."] 

[Hamlet.— Sir T. Lawrence.] 


The comprehension of this tragedy is the history of a man's own mind. In some shape or other, 
" Hamlet the Dane" very early becomes familiar to almost every youth of tolerable education. He 
is sometimes presented through the medium of the stage ; more frequently in some one of the 
manifold editions of the acted play. The sublime scenes where the ghost appears are known even 
the youngest schoolboy, in his 'Speakers' and 'Readers;' and so is the soliloquy, "To be, or 
to be." As we in early life become acquainted with the complete acted play, we hate the 
King, — we weep for Ophelia, — we think Hamlet is cruel to her, — we are perhaps inclined with 
Dr. Johnson to laugh at Hamlet's madness, — ("the pretended madness of Hamlet causes much 
mirth") we wonder that Hamlet does not kill the King earlier, — and we believe, as Garrick 
believed, that the catastrophe might have been greatly improved, seeing that the wicked and the 
virtuous ought not to fall together, as it were by accident. 

A few years onward, and we have become acquainted with the Hamlet of Shakspere, — not the 
let of the players. The book is now the companion of our louely walks; — its recollections 
hang about our most cherished thoughts. "We think less of the dramatic movement of the play, 
than of the glimpses which it affords of the high and solemn things that belong to our being. We 
see Hamlet habitually subjected to the spiritual part of his nature, — communing with thoughts that 
are not of this world, — abstracted from the business of life, — but yet exhibiting a most vigorous 
intellect, and an exquisite ta3te. But there is that about him which we cannot understand. Is he 
essentially " in madness," or mad " only in craft ? " "Where is the line to be drawn between his 
artificial and his real character? There is something altogether indefinable and mysterious in the 
]>oet's delineation character; — something wild and irregular in the circumstances with which 

the character is associated, — we see that Hamlet is propelled, rather than propelling. But why is 
turn given to the delineation ? We cannot exactly tell. Perhaps some of the very charm of 
the play to the adult mind is its myateriouaneaa. It awakes not only thoughts of the grand and the 
beautiful, but of the incomprehensible. Its obscurity constitutes a portion of its sublimity. This 
is the stage in which re content to rest, and, perhaps, advantageously so, with regard 

to the comprehension of Han. 


The final appreciation of the Hamlet of Shakspere belongs to the development of the critical 
faculty, — to the cultivation of it by reading and reflection. Without much acquaintance with tho 
thoughts of others, many men, we have no doubt, being earnest and diligent students of Shakspere, 
have arrived at a tolerably adequate comprehension of his idea in this wonderful play. In passing 
through the stage of admiration they have utterly rejected the trash which the commentators have 
heaped upon it, under the name of criticism, — the solemn commonplaces of Johnson, the flippant 
and insolent attacks of Steevens. When the one says, " the apparition left the regions of the dead 
to little purpose," — and the other talks of the " absurdities " which deform the piece, and " the im- 
moral character of Hamlet," — the love for Shakspere tells them, that remarks such as these belong 
to the same class of prejudices as Voltaire's ' monstruosites et fossoyeurs.' But after they have 
rejected all that belongs to criticism without love, the very depth of the reverence of another school 
of critics may tend to perplex them. This is somewhat our own position. The quantity alone 
that has been written in illustration of Hamlet is embarrassing. Goethe, Coleridge, Schlegel, 
Lamb, Hazlitt, and we may add Mrs. Jameson, — besides anonymous writers out of number, and 
Borne of the very highest order of excellence, — have brought to the illustration of this play a most 
valued fund of judgment, taste, and sesthetical knowledge. To condense what is most deserving of 
remembrance in these admirable productions, within due limits, would be impossible. We must 
endeavour, therefore, to feel ourselves in the condition of one who has, however imperfectly, worked 
out in his own mind a comprehension of the idea of Shakspere ; occasionally assisting our development 
of this inadequate comprehension, by a few extracts from some of the eloquent pages to which we 
have adverted. 

The opening of Hamlet is one of the most absorbing scenes in the Shaksperian drama. It pro- 
duces its effect by the supernatural being brought into the most immediate contact with the real. 
The sentinels are prepared for the appearance of the ghost, — Horatio is incredulous, — but they are 
all surrounded with an atmosphere of common life. " Long live the King," — " Get thee to bed," — 
"'Tis bitter cold,"— " Not a mouse stirring," — and the familiar pleasantry of Horatio, "a piece of 
him," — exhibit to us minds under the ordinary state of human feeling. At the moment when the 
recollections of Bernardo arise into that imaginative power which belongs to the tale he is about to 
tell, the ghost appears. All that was doubtful in the narrative of the supernatural vision — what left 
upon Horatio's mind the impression only of a " thing," — becomes as real as the silence, the cold, 
and the midnight. The vision is then, "most like the King," 

" Such was the very armour he had Ofi. 

The ghost remains but an instant ; and we are again amongst the realities of common life, — the 

preparations for war — the history of the quarrel that caused the preparation. The vision, in the 

mind of Horatio, is connected with the fates of his " climatures and countrymen." When the ghost 

re-appears there is still a tinge of scepticism in the soldiers :— 

" Shall I strike at it with my partisan ? " 

But their incredulity is at once subdued ; and a resolution is taken by Horatio upon the conviction 

that what he once held as a "fantasy," is a dreaded thing of whose existence there can be no 

doubt : — 

" Let us impart what we have seen to-night 

Unto young Hamlet : for upon my life 

This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him." 

We have here, by anticipation, all the deep and inexplicable consequences of this vision laid 
upon young Hamlet, it is his destiny — it is to him the — 

" Prologue to the cmen coming on." 

Goethe, in his ' Wilhelm Meister,' has made his hero describe the mode in which he endea- 
voured to understand Hamlet. " I set about investigating every trace of Hamlet's character, as 
it had shown itself before his father's death. I endeavoured to distinguish what in it was inde- 
pendent of this mournful event ; independent of the terrible events that followed ; and what most 
probably the young man would have been, had no such thing occurred." In this spirit he tells 
us, that he was pleasing, polished, courteous, united the idea of moral rectitude with princely 
elevation, desirous of praise, pure in sentiment, tasteful, calm in his temper, artless in his conduct, 
possessing more mirth of humour than of heart. This is ingenious, but it appears to us to refine 
somewhat too much. In Shakspere 's dramas, the characters, as they are developed by the incidents, 
expound themselves, and in the order in which the exposition becomes necessary. Wilhelm 



Jleister's preliminary analysis of Hamlet's character stands only iu the place of the description by 

which dramatists inferior to Shakspei I a character to an audience. Our poet first shov, 

what Hamlet is before his mind is hid under the terrific weight and responsibility of a revelation. 

His moral Bense is outraged by the indecent marriage of his mother. We have a Blight intimation 

that his honourable ambition was disappointed in the election of his uncle to the sovereignty. The 

len death of his father had called forth all the sensibilities that belonged to a deeply meditative 

nature ; 

" I have that within which passeth show." 

It is in this period that his own wounded spirit makes him look with a jaundiced eye upou "all 
uses of this world." and to indulge a wish, restrained only by a sense of piety, that the 
"un weeded garden" might be left by him to bo possessed by "things gross and rank by nature." 
But he communes with himself in a tone which bespeaks the habitual refinement of his thoughts; 
and his words shape themselves into images which belong to the high and cultivated intellect, 
mode in which he receives Horatio shows that his dejection is not habitual. It has been im- 
] r -sed on his nature by a sudden blow ; — a father dead,— a mother disgracefully married, — a 
crown snatched from him. He welcomes his old friend with the warmth and frankness of the 
gentleman ; but the abiding sorrow in a moment comes over him : — 

" I pray thee, do not mock me, fellow-student." 
The disclosure of Horatio's purpose in his visit is admirably managed in its abruptness. Nothing, 
it appears to us, within the power of language, can produce the effect of the questions which 
Hamlet puts to Horatio ; and his answer to the somewhat commonplace remark, " It would have 
much amazed you ; " — " very like, very like," is something beyond art ; it looks like an instinctive 
perception of the most complex mental processes. 

Coleridge calls the next scene, that between Laertes, Ophelia, and Polonius, " one of Shak- 
apere's lyric movements;" and he elegantly adds, "you experience the sensation of a pause without 
the sense of a stop." It was necessary to interpose a scene between Horatio's narrative and the 
appearance of the ghost to Hamlet, and this scene before us carries out the dramatic characters 
which are essential to the plot, without interrupting the main interest. But the hour of Hamlet's 
trial is come. The revelation is to be made. He is to endure an ordeal which is to shake his dis- 

" With thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls." 

The vision which, even when his incredulity has passed away, seeni3 to Horatio only a " thing 
majestical," is to Hamlet, "king, father, royal Dane." From the first word of Horatio's narrative 
to this moment of the real presence of the apparition, Hamlet has no doubts. The excited state of 
his mind had prepared him to welcome the belief that " there are more things in heaven and earth 
than are dreamt of in our philosophy." Beautifully characteristic is his determination to follow 
the vision ; and when the revelation comes, who could have managed it like Shakspere ! The 
images are of this world, and are not of this world. They belong at once to popular superstition. 
and to the highest poetry. Nothing can be more distinct than the narrative of the vision ; nothing 
more mysterious than the "eternal blazon" that "must not be to ears of flesh and blood." How 
exquisite are the last lines of the ghost ;— full of the poetry of external nature, and of the depth of 
human affections, as if the spirit that had for so short a time been cut off from life, to know the 
secrets of the " prison-house," still clung to the earthly remembrance of the beautiful and the 
tender that even a spirit might indulge : 

' The glow-worm shows the matin to he near, 
And 'gins to pale his ineffectual fire : 
Adieu, adieu, Hamlet! remember me." 
The modes in which Hamlet thinks aloud, after the spirit has faded away, suggests this subtle 
illustration to Coleridge: "Shakspere alone could have produced the vow of Hamlet to make his 
■blank of all maxims and generalized truths that 'observation had copied there,'— followed 
immediately by ti: t noting down the generalized fact 

' 1 hat one may smile, and smile, and be a villain.' " 

ridge, of coo; :i3 to offer this as a trait of the disturbance of Hamlet's intellect— (not 

:iess, even in the popular sense of the term,— certainly not madness, physiologically speaking, 

but unfixednes3, derangement, we would have said, had not that word become a sort of synonyme 

for madness), which Shak-pere intends 1, as it appears to us, to exhibit as the result of his super- 



natural visitation. Goethe says, " To me it is clear that Shakspere meant, iu the present case, to 
represent the effects of a great action laid upon a soul unfit for the performance of it." Coleridge, 
in speaking of that part of the scene after the interview with the ghost, in which Hamlet assumes 
what has been called " an improbable eccentricity," attributes to Hamlet " the disposition to escape 
from his own feelings of the overwhelming and supernatural by a wild transition to the ludicrous, 
a sort of cunning bravado, bordering on the flights of delirium." He adds, " For yoiu may perhaps 
observe that Ilamlefs wildness is but half false." It is under the immediate influence of this " disorder 
in his soul," — this "shaking and unsettling of its powers from their due sources of action,"* that 
Hamlet takes the instantaneous resolution of feigning himself mad. He feels that his mind is 
horridly disturbed with thoughts beyond mortal reach ; but he believes that the habitual powers of 
his intellect can control this disturbance, and even render it an instrument of his own safety. The 
very able writer from whose anonymous paper we have just quoted, says, " If there be any tiling 
disproportioned in his mind, it seems to be this only, — that intellect is in excess. It is even ungo- 
vernable, and too subtle. His own description of perfect man, ending with 'In apprehension how 
like a god ! ' appears to me consonant with that character, and spoken in the high and overwrought 
consciousness of intellect. Much that requires explanation in the play may perhaps be explained by 
this predominance and consciousness of great intellectual power. Is it not possible that the instanta- 
neous idea of feigning himself mad belongs to this ?" 

It is here, then, that the complexity of Hamlet's character begins. It is in the description of 
Ophelia that he is first presented to its, at some short period after the supernatural visitation : — 

" He took me by the wrist, and held me hard ; 
Then goes he to the length of all his arm ; 
And, -with his other hand thus o'er his brow, 
He falls to such perusal of my face, 
As he would draw it. Long staid he so; 
At last,— a little shaking of mine arm, 
And thrice his head thus waving up and down, — 
He rais'd a sigh so piteous and profound, 
That it did seem to shatter all his bulk, 
And end his being : That done, he lets me go : 
And, with his head over his shoulder turn'd, 
He seem'd to find his way without his eyes ; 
For out o' doors he went without their help, 
And, to the last, bended their light on me." 

This was not the "antic disposition" which Hamlet thought meet to put on. It wa3 not the 
" ecstacy of love," produced by Ophelia's coldness, according to Polonius. But it wa3 the utterance, 
as far as it could be uttered, of his sense of the hard necessity that was put upon him to go 
forth to a mortal struggle with evil powers and influences ; — to cast away all the high and pleasant 
thoughts that belonged to the cultivation of his understanding; — to tear himself from all the 
soothing and delicious fancies that would arise out of the growth of his affection for that simple 
maid upon whom he bestowed " a sigh so piteous." Under the pressure of the one absorbing 
" commandment " that had been imposed upon him, he had vowed that it should live " within 
the volume of his brain, unmixed with baser matter." All else in the world had become to him 
mean and unimportant. Love was now to him a " trivial, fond record," — the wisdom of philosophy, 
"the saws of books." All "that youth and observation copied," was to be forgotten in that 
dread word, "remember me." But Hamlet bad put the "antic disposition on." The king 
had seen his "transformation." The courtiers talked familiarly of his "lunacy." The disguise 
which he had adopted was not accidentally chosen. The subtlety of his intellect directed him to 
that tone of wayward sarcasm in which, while he appeared to others to be merely wandering, the 
bitterness of his soul might be relieved by the utterance of " wild and hurling words." But even 
in this disguise, his intellectual supremacy is constantly manifested. " He is far gone, far gone," 
says Polonius; but, "how pregnant his replies are," very quickly follows. In the scene with 
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern the natural Hamlet instantly comes back. They were his school- 
fellows ; they ought to have been his friends. To them, therefore, he is the Hamlet they once 
knew ;— -the gentleman— the scholar. He even discloses to them a glimpse of the deep melancholy 
with which his soul laboured : " God ! I could be bounded in a nut-shell, and count myself 
a king of infinite space; were it not that I have bad dreams." But he goes no further;— he 
sees through their purpose : " nay, then I have an eye of you." They were to be spies upon him ; 

* Blackwood's Magazine, Vol. II. page 504. 



and from that moment he hatefl them. They Btood, or tiny appeared to stand, between him and 
the great purpose of his life. But he suppresses his feelings and bursts out in that majestic piece 
of rhetoric which could only have been conceived by a being of the highest intellectual power, in 
the full possession of that power: "What a piece of work is p. man ! How n<>blc in reason! how 
infinite in faculties ' i;i form and moving, how express and admirable ! in action, how like an on 
in apprel how like a god!" The writer in Blackwood truly Bays, that this is "spoken in 

the high and over-wrought consciousness of intellect." Hamlet has described his melancholy to 
his old school-fellows,— the indifference with which he views "this visible world." Here again, 
unquestionably, ho is not feigning. He knows that the admission of his melancholy will put the 
spies up.>n a false scent. Burton's 'Anatomy' was not published when Shakspere wrote this 
1 lay ; and yet how consonant is the following passage of that book, with Shakspere's conception of 
the melancholy Hamlet: "Albertus Durer paints Melancholy like a sad woman, leaning on her 
ami with fixed looks, neglected habit, &c, held therefore by some, proud, soft, sottish, or half-mad, 
as the Abderites esteemed of Democritus : and yet of a deep reach, excellent apprehension, judicious, 
I witty." In the scene with the players Hamlet is perfectly at ease, "judicious, wise, and 
witty." He has escaped for a moment out of the dense clouds of the one o'er-mastering thought, 
into the sunny region of taste and fancy in which he once dwelt. But even here the one thought 
follows him : — " Dost thou hear me, old friend ? Can you play the murder of Gonzago ? " Then 
comes, "Now I am alone;" and, as Charles Lamb has beautifully expressed it, "the silent meditations 
\\ ith which his bosom is bursting are reduced to words, for the sake of the reader." But in the midst 
of his paroxysm, bis intellectual activity predominates : " About, my brains ; " and he escapes from 

the thought — 

" I should have fatted all the region kites 
With the slave's offal." 
into — 

" I'll have grounds 
More relative than this : The play's the thing." 

The indecision of Hamlet is thus described by Goethe : " A lovely, pure, noble, and most moral 

nature, without the strength of nerve which forms a hero, sinks beneath a burden which it cannot 

bear, and must not cast away." The writer in Blackwood's Magazine takes another view of this 

indecision, which, to our minds, is more philosophic : " He sees no course clear enough to satisfy 

his understanding." Hamlet, be it observed, is not without nerve. Let us recollect — " I will watch 

to-night," — and, 

" My fate cries out, 
And makes each petty artery in this body 
As hardy as the Nemean lion's nerve." 

He is not without nerve. But his will is subject to higher faculties. He would have been greater, 
had he been less great. 

We are scarcely yet cognizant of the depths of Hamlet's meditations. Under the first pressure of 
his wounded sensibilities we have heard him exclaim — 

" O that this too too solid flesh would melt ; " 
but he has since communed with unearthly things, aud he now fearlessly approaches the great 
questions that have reference to the "something after death," as if the mystery could be pierced by 
the eye of reason. Of the soliloquy, "To be, or not to be," Coleridge remarks, "This speech is of 
absolutely universal interest, — and yet to which of all Shakspere's characters could it have been 
appropriately given but to Hamlet?" But we must mark the period of its introduction. It imme- 
diately precedes the scene of Hamlet's abrupt behaviour to Ophelia. It does so in the original 
sketch. She comes upon him with 

" My lord, I have remembrances of yours," 
at a moment when his mind had surrendered itself to a train of the most solemu thought, induced 
by following out all the mysterious and fearful circumstances connected with his own being, and 
the awful responsibilities that were imposed upon him. It appears to us, that his rude denial of 
having given Ophelia "remembrances," and bis "Ha, ha! are you honest?" with all the bitter 
! i that follow, are meant to indicate the disturbance which is produced in his mind by the clashing 
of his love for her with the predominant thought that now makes all that belongs to his per 
sonal happiness worthless. His invective against women is not more bitter than his invective 
tgainst himself : — " What should such fellows as I do crawling between heaven and earth ! " His 
bitterness escapes in generalizations : it is not against Ophelia, but against her sex, that he exclaims. 


To that gentle creature, the harshest thing he says is, " Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, 
thou shalt not escape calumny." Coleridge thinks that the " certain harshness " in Hamlet's manner 
is produced by his perceiving that Ophelia was acting a part towards him, and that they were 
watched. We doubt whether Shakspere intended Hamlet to be here feigning. The passionate 
words are merely the exponents of the contest within, — the contest between his love and the 
purpose which appeared to him to exclude all other thoughts. There was a real disturbance of his 
soul, which could only recover its balance by such an outbreak. The character of the disturbance 
is indicated by the contradiction of "I did love you once," and " I loved you not;" and, perhaps, 
as Lamb expresses it, these " tokens of an unhinged mind " are mixed " with a profound artifice of 
love, to alienate Ophelia by affected discourtesies, so to prepare her mind for the breaking off of that 
loving intercourse, which can no longer find a place amidst business so serious as that which he has 
to do." At any rate, the gentle and tender Ophelia is not outraged. Her pity only is excited ; 
and if the apparent harshness of Hamlet requires a proper appreciation of his character to reconcile 
it with our admiration of him, Shakspere has at this moment most adroitly presented to us that 
description of him which Goethe anticipated — 

" The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's, eye, tongue, sivord, 
The expectancy and rose of the fair state." 

Hamlet recovers a temporary tranquillity. He has something to do ; and that something is 
connected with his great business. It is more agreeable that it postpones that one duty, while it 
seems to lead onward to it. He has to prepare the players to speak his speech. Those who look upon 
the surface only may think these directions uncharacteristic of Hamlet ; but nothing can really be 
more appropriate than that these rules of art, so just, so universal, and so complete, should be put 
by Shakspere into the mouth of him who had pre-eminently " the scholar's tongue." Hamlet 
revels in this lesson; and it has produced a calm in his spirits, which is displayed in that affectionate 
address to Horatio, in which he appears to repose upon his friend as one 

" Whose blood and judgment are so well co-mingled," — 
to be, as it were, a prop to his own " weakness and melancholy." Be it observed that this is the first 
indication we have had that he has admitted Horatio into his confidence : — 

" There is a play to-night before the king : 
One scene of it comes near the circumstance 
Which I have told thee of my father's death." 

The satisfaction he takes in the device of the " one scene " — the hopes which he has that his doubts 
may be resolved — lend a real elevation to his spirits, which may pass for his feigned " madness." 
He utters whatever comes uppermost ; and the freedoms which he takes with Ophelia, while they 
are equally remote from bitterness or harshness, are such as in Shakspere's age would not offend 
pure ears. The mixture in his wild speeches of fun and pathos, is nevertheless most touching. 
" What should a man do but be merry," comes from the profoundcst depths of a wounded spirit. 
The test is applied ; the King is "frighted with false fire," — his "occulted guilt" has unkennelled 
itself. The elation of Hamlet's mind is at its height. His contempt of the King is openly 
pronounced to his creatures ; — Rosencrantz and Guildenstern quail before his biting sarcasm ; — 
Polonius is his butt. All this is, as he thinks, the coruscations of the cloud before the deadly flash. 
" Xow could I drink hot blood," is the feeling that is at the bottom of all. Then comes the scene 
in which the King prays, and Hamlet postpones his revenge, with an excuse almost too dreadful to 
belong to human motives. They were not his motives. Coleridge discriminates between " impetuous, 
horror-striking fiendishness," and " the marks of reluctance and procrastination ; " and it is sufficient 
to note this distinction, without entering into any refutation of opinions which show that it is 
easier to write mouthingly or pertly, as some have done, than to understand Shakspere. It is in 
the scene with the Queen that Hamlet vindicates his own sanity — 

" It is not madness 
That I have uttered : bring me to the test, 
And I the matter will re-word ; which madness 
Would gambol from." 
This is ' Shakspere's Test of Insanity ; ' — the title of an Essay by Sir H. Halford, in which he 
illustrates from his experience the accuracy of our great poet's delineations of the phenomena of 
mental disorder. Our readers will find a very able article on this Essay in the ' Quarterly Review,' 
Vol. 49, p. 181. 

Hamlet abstained from killing the King when he was " praying." This was a part of his weakness. 
But he did not abandon his purpose. The forced devotion of the guilty man,— the "physic," 



as Hamlet calls it, did but pi s " sickly days." Poloniua fella by an accident, instead cf his 

The "wretched, rash, intruding fool," wad sacrificed to a sudden impulse, whi 
in the i I determinate exercise of the will. Hamlet lent:— "take 

thy fortune." His mind is eased by his colloquy with his mother. The vision again appears to 

is done His intellect is again at its subtleties :-- 

" There 's lettt and my two school-fellows, — 

Whom I will trust, as I will adders'd,— 
They bear the mandate ; they must sweep my way, 
And marshal me to knavery : Let it work ; 
For 't is the sport, to have the engineer 
ll"i>t with his own petar: and 't shall go hard, 
But I will delve one yard below their mines, 
And blow them at the moon." 

asts himself like a feather upon the great wave of fate ; — he embraces the events that marshalled 

h'uu. "to ku.v ;eroua as they be, they are better than doubt. He believes that he pierces 

the darkness of his fate :— " I see a cherub, that sees him." He leaves for England; not 

forgetting him wt 

" Form and cause coiijoin'd, preaching to stones, 

Id make them capable ; " 
but still meditating instead of acting. It would be a curious problem to be solved, but it will never 
I, whether Shakspere himself obliterated the scene which only appears in the second quarto, 
in which the workings of Hamlet's mind at this juncture are so distinctly revealed to us. That he 
meant the character to be mysterious, though not inexplicable, there can be no doubt. Does it become 
too plain when Hamlet's meeting with the Norwegian captain leads him into a train of thought, at 
first made up of generalizations, but in the end most conclusive as to the causes of his indecision ? — 

'• Now, whether it be 

Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple 

Of thinking too precisely on the event — 

(A thought, which quarter'd, hath but one part wisdom, 

And ever, three parts coward) — I do not know 

Why yet I live to say, This thing's to do; 

Sith I have caus?, and will, and strength, and means, 

To do *t." 

It was not "bestial oblivion." — no. The eternal presence of the thought — "this thing's to do." 

made him incapable of doing it. It was the " thinking too precisely on the event " that destroyed 

his will. It was in the same spirit that his will had been "puzzled" by the "dread of something 

after death," — that his conscience — (consciousness) — " sicklied o'er " his " native hue of resolution." 

The "delicate and tender prince" exposed what was mortal and unsure to fortune, death, and danger, 

even for an egg-shell. Twenty thousand men, for a fantasy and trick of fame, went to their 

graves like beds. But then, the men and their leader "made mouths at the invisible event." The 

'large discourse" of Hamlet, "looking before and after," absorbed the tangible and present. In 

OS that appear indirectly to advance the execution of the great " commandment " that was laid 

upon him, he has decision and alacrity enough. His relation to Horatio (we are somewhat 

.rating) of his successful device against Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, would appear to come 

a mm who is all will. His intellectual activity revels in the telling of the story. Coleridge has 

irably pointed out in 'The Friend,' how "the circumstances of time and place are all stated 

with equal ( m and rapidity;" but still, with the relator's general tendency to generalise. 

The event his happened, and H unlet does not think too precisely of its consequences. The issue 


" It w;;i be short — the interim is mine. 
And a man's life no more than to say— one." 

TkU looks like decision, growing out of the narrative of the events in which Hamlet had exhibited 

his decision. But even in his own account, the beginning of this action was bis "indiscretion," 

ding from sudden and indefinable impulses : — 

- r, in my heart there was a kind of fight 
That would not let me sleep." 

kspere managed w the old history- "How Fengon devised to 

send Hamlet to the king of England, with secret letters to have him put to death, and how 

Hamlet when his companions slept, read the letters, and instead of them, counterfeit ei 

willing the king of England to put the two messengers to death," — without destroying the unity of 

his own conception of Ha 



Mrs. Jameson, in her delightful ' Characteristics of Women,' has sketched the character of 
Ophelia with all a woman's truth and tenderness. One passage only can we venture to take, for it 
is an image that to our minds is far better than many words : " Once at Murano, I saw a dove caught 
in a tempest ; perhaps it was young, and either lacked strength of wing to reach its home, or the 
instinct which teaches to shun the brooding storm ; but so it was — and I watched it, pitying, as it 
flitted, poor bird ! hither and thither, with its silver pinions shining against the black thunder-cloud, 
till, after a few giddy whirls, it fell blinded, affrighted, and bewildered, into the turbid wave beneath, 
and was swallowed up for ever. It reminded me then of the fate of Ophelia ; and now, when I think 
of her, I see again before me that poor dove, beating with weary wing, bewildered amid the storm." 
And why is it, when we think upon the fate of the poor storm-stricken Ophelia, that we never 
reproach Hamlet? We are certain that it was no "trifling of his favour" that broke her heart. We 
are assured that his seeming harshness did not sink deep into her spirit. We believe that he loved her 
more than " forty thousand brothers " — though a very ingenious question has been raised upon that 
point. And yet she certainly perished through Hamlet and his actions. But we blame him not ; for 
her destiny was involved in his. We cannot avoid transcribing a passage from the article in Black- 
wood's Magazine, which we have already mentioned : " Soon as we connect her destiny with Hamlet, 
we know that darkness is to overshadow her, and that sadness and sorrow will step in between her 
and the ghost-haunted avenger of his father's murder. Soon as our pity is excited for her, it 
continues gradually to deepen; and when she appears in her madness, we are not more prepared to 
weep over all its most pathetic movements, than we afterwards are to hear of her deatb. Perhaps the 
description of that catastrophe by the queen is poetical rather than dramatic ; but its exquisite beauty 
prevails, and Ophelia, dying and dead, is still the same Ophelia that first won our love. Perhaps the 
very forgetfuluess of her, throughout the remainder of the play, leaves the soul at full liberty to 
dream of the departed. She has passed away from the earth like a beautiful air — a delightful dream. 
There would have been no place for her in the agitation and tempest of the final catastrophe." 

Garrick omitted the grave-diggers. He had the terror of Voltaire before his eyes. The English 
audience compelled their restoration. Was it that " the groundlings" could not endure the loss of 
the ten waistcoats which the clown had divested himself of, time out of mind ? — or, was there in this 
scene something that brought Hamlet home to the humblest, in the large reach of his universal 
philosophy ? M. Villemain, in his Essay on Shakspere, appears to us utterly to have mistaken this 
scene : * " Strike not out from the tragedy of Hamlet, as Garrick had attempted to do, the labours and 
the pleasantries of the grave-diggers. Be present at this terrible buffoonery ; and you will behold 

terror and gaiety rapidly moving an immense audience Youth and beauty contemplate with 

insatiable curiosity images of decay, and minute details of death ; and then the uncouth pleasantries 
which are blended with the action of the chief personages, seem from time to time to relieve the 
spectators from the weight which oppresses them, and shouts of laughter burst from every seat. 
Attentive to this spectacle, the coldest countenances alternately manifest their gloom or their gaiety ; 
and even the statesman smiles at the sarcasm of the grave-digger who can distinguish between the 
skull of a courtier and a buffoon." This may be the Hamlet of the theatre ; but M. Villemain should 
have looked at the Hamlet of the closet. The conversation of the clowns before Hamlet comes upon 
the scene is indeed pleasantry intermixed with sarcasm ; but the moment that Hamlet opens his lips, 
the meditative richness of his mind is poured out upon us, and he grapples with the most familiar and 
yet the deepest thoughts of human nature, in a style that is sublime from its very obviousness and 
simplicity. Where is the terror, unless it be terrible to think of " the house appointed for all living;" 
and what is to provoke the long peals of laughter, where the grotesque is altogether subordinate to 
the solemn and the philosophical ? It is the entire absorption of the fellow who " has no feeling of 
his business," by him of "daintier sense," who considers it "too curiously," that makes this scene so 
impressive to the reader. 

Of Hamlet's violence at the grave of Ophelia we think with the critic on Sir Henry Halford's Essay, 
(hat it was a real aberration, and not a simulated frenzy. His apparently cold expression, " What, the 
fair Ophelia. ! " appears to us to have been an effort of restraint, which for the moment overmastered 
his reason. In the interval between this " towering passion " and the final catastrophe, Hamlet is 
thoroughly himself — meditative to excess with Horatio — most acute, playful, but altogether gentle- 
manly, in the scene with the frivolous courtier. But observe that he forms no plans. He knows the 
danger which surrounds him ; and he still feels with regard to the usurper as he always felt.* 

• We translate from the Paris edition of his Essay, 1839. 



•• is't ool perfect conscience, 
To quit him with this arm ? " 

Hut hia will is still essentially powerless ; and now he yields to the seuse of predestination : " If it be 

. 'tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now ; if it be not now, yet it will come : the 

readiness is all." The catastrophe is perfectly in accordance with this prostration of Hamlet's mind. 

It is the result of an accident, produced we know not how. Some one has suggested a polite 

monial on the part of Hamlet, by which the foils might be exchanged with perfect consistency. 

We would rather not know how they were exchanged. "The catastrophe," says Johnson, "is not 

very happily produced ; the exchange of weapons is rather an expedient of necessity than a stroke of 

art. A scheme might easily be formed to kill Hamlet with the dagger, and Laertes with the bowl." 

loubt. A tragedy terminated by chance appears to be a capital thing for the rule-and-line men to 

lay hold of. But they forget the poet's purpose. Had Hamlet been otherwise, his will would have 

the predominant agent in the catastrophe. The empire of chance would have been over-ruled ; 

the guilty would have been punished ; the innocent perhaps would have been spared. Have we lost 

any thing ? Then we should not have had the Hamlet who is " the darling of every country in which 

the literature of England has been fostered;"* then we should not have had the Hamlet who is 

'' a concentration of all tho interests that belong to humanity ; in whom there is a more intense 

conception of individual human life than perhaps in any other human composition ; that is, a being 

with springs of thought, and feeling, and action, deeper than we can search ;"t then we should not 

have had the Hamlet, of whom it has been said, " Hamlet is a name ; his speeches and sayings but the 

idle coinage of the poet's brain. What then, are they not real? They are as real as our own thoughts. 

Their reality is in the reader's mind. It is we who arc Hamlet." + 

* Coleridge. 

t Blackwood Vol. II. 

t Ilazlitt. 

i willow grows aslant a lirook.'J 

'■ '/"■"■;■■. 


Tragedies. — Vol. I. ]V 



State of the Text, axd Chronology, of Cymbeline. 

"The Tragedie of Cymbeline" was first printed in the folio collection of 1623. The play is very 
carefully divided into acts and scenss — an arrangement which is sometimes wanting in other plays of 
this edition. Printed as Cymbeline must have been from a manuscript, the text, although sometimes 
difficult, presents few examples of absolute error. Of course some palpable errors do occur, and these 
have been properly corrected by the modern editors ; but they have in this, as in every other instance, 
carried their vocation too far.* We, upon the principle which we have invariably followed, have 
implicitly adhered to the text, except in those instances of manifest corruption which can be distinctly 
referred to the class of typographical errors. The Cymbeliue of the first edition is, in one respect, 
printed with very remarkable care ; it is full of such contractions as the following : — 

"His daughter, and the heire of's kingdome, whom." 
" It cannot be i'th'eye: fur apes and monkeys." 
" Contemne with mowes the other. Nor i'th'judgemcnl." 
" 3V th' truncke againe, and shut the spring of it." 

We find this principle occasionally followed in some other of the plays ; but in this it is invariably 
regarded. We do not, however, follow these elisions, which we may believe are not from the hand of 
the author, and which impair the freedom of his versification, without any real advantage to the 

* When the original edition of the Pictorial Shakspere was published, about twenty-five years ago, we designated by the 
term "modern editors" those generally known by the name of " variorum," including principally Johnson, Steevens, and 
Malone. Boswell's edition of Malone's Shakspere bears the date of 1S21 . When, therefore, we now use the term " modern 
editors," we do not mean to indicate those who have been the recent labourers in the same field as ourselves — such as 
Mr. Dyce, Mr. Collier, Mr. Staunton, Mr. Grant White, and the Cambridge editors. We have often, in this new edition, 
substituted some other word for " modern," but in other esses we leave the term " modern " with the signification whifii 
we originally attached to it. 

N 2 179 


j u j.i.l • lybe called tragedy, nlthougli we must adhere to the original 

classification) imi after R imeo and Juliet and Hainlet, we are called upon to state the 

ida upon which we classify it amongst the comparatively early plays. Malone lias assigned it to 

The external evidence adduced by Malone for this 

opinion appears to us not only extremely weak, hut to he conceived in the very lowest q irit of the 

eomprehei Shakspere, M iea that it was written after Lear and Macbeth, for the 

- :— The character of Edgar in Lear is formed on that of Leonatus in Sidney's 

'Arcadia.' " Shakspeare having occasion to turn to that hook while he was writing King Lear, the 

name of Leonatus adhered to his memory, and he has made it the name of one of the characters in 

.beline." Having occasion to turn to that hook! — a mode of expression which might equally 
applv to a tailor having occasion for a piece of buckram. Sidney's 'Arcadia' was essentially thr 
of Shakspere's age— more popular, perhaps, than the ' Fairy Queen,' as profoundly admired by the 
highest order of spirits, as often quoted, as often present to their thoughts. And yet the very highest 

.1 of that age, thoroughly imbued as he must have been with ail the poetical literature of his own 
,l.iv own country (we pass by the question of his further knowledge), is represented only to 

know the great work of his great contemporary as a little boy in a grammar-school knows what is 
called a crib-book. Bat this is not all. 

The story of Lear, according to Malone, lies near to that of Cymbeline in Holiushed's Chronicle, 
and some account of Duncan and Macbeth is <_-iven incidentally in a subsequent page ; and so this v< ry 
humble reader, who never looked into a book but when he wanted to get something out of it. 
composes Lear, Macbeth, and Cymbeline (two of them unquestionably the greatest monument - 
human genii- and the same time, because, forsooth, he happened about the same time to turn 

to Sidney's Arcadia and Holinshed"s Chronicle. But this sort of reasoning does not even stop here. 

ibeline is not only produced after Lear and Macbeth for these causes, but about the same period as 
the Roman plays. In this play mention is made of Cresar's ambition arid Cleopatra sailing on the 
Cydnus; ergo, says Malone, " I think it probable that about this time Shakspere perused the lives of 

ir, Brutus, and Mark Antony." Perused the lives ! But we really have not patience to waste 
another word upon this insolence, so degrading (for it is nothing lees) to the country and the age 
which pi it. George Chalmers fixes the date in 1606, because he conceives that Cloten's speech, 

in the second act, — "a J.ick-a-napee must take me up for swearing,"— alludes to the statute of 1 
for restraining the use of profane exp: the stage. There is nothing to which we object in 

ingenious su.- but it is not conclusive as to the date of Cymbeline : nor indeed can any 

lated passage be conclusr we know from the quartos that passing allusions were 

constantly inserted after the first production of Shakspere's plays. Drake assigns no reason for the 

which he gives of 1C"i5. 

In the Introductory Notice to Richard II. we have given an extract from "a book of plays and 

notes thereof, for common policy, "kept by Dr. Symon Forman, in 1610 and 1611. These notes, 

which were discovered and first printed by Mr. Collier, contain not only an account of some play of 

..ard II., at which the writer was present, but distinctly give the plots of Shakspere's Winter's 
Tale, Macbeth, and Cymbeline. * We shall take the liberty of reprinting from Mr. Collier's ' New 
Particulars' Forman's account of the plot of Cymbeline : — 

" Remember, also, the story of Cymbeline, King of England, in Lucius' time : how Lucius came from Octavius ( 
for tribute, and, being denied, after sent Lueius with a great army of soldiers, who landed at Milford Haven, and after 
d by Cymbeline, and Lucius taken prisoner, and all by means of three outlaws, of the which two of them 
were the sons of Cymbeline, stolen from him when they were but two vears old, by an old man whom Cymbeline had 
banished ; and he kept them as his own sons twenty years with him in a cave. And how one of them slew Cloten, that 
was t n, going to Milford Haven to seek the love of Imogen the King's daughter, whom he had banished also 

for li .au filter. 

'• And how the Italian that a her love conveyed himself into a chest, and said it was a chest of plate sent from 

her love and other» to be presented to the King. And in the deepest of the night, she being asleep, he opened the chest 
and came forth of it, and viewed her in her bed, and the marks of her body, and took away her bracelet, and after accused 
ner -■ *«■ And, In the end, how he came with the Romans into England, and was taken prisoner, 

an ' "ho had turned herself into man's apparel, and fled to meet her love at Milford Haven ; and 

.L-ed to fall on the cave in the re her two brothers were: and how by eating a sleeping dram they thought 

•he had been dead, and laid her in the woods, and the body of Cloten by her, in her love's apparel that he left behind him, 
and how she was found by Lucius, 4:c." 

' ,Ir - Colli cipally because it give3 the impression of the plot upon 

mind of the sixsctator, at about th- tit \\\- . ly yield 



our implicit assent to this. Forman's note-Look is evidence that the play existed in 1610 or 1611 ; 

but it is not evidence that it was first produced in 1610 or 1611. Mr. Collier, in his ' Annals of the 
Stage,' gives us the following entry from the books of Sir Henry Herbert, Master of the Revels: — 
" On Wednesday night the first of January, 1633, Cymbeline was acted at Court by the King's players. 
Well liked by the King." Here is a proof that for more than twenty years after Forman saw it 
Cymbeline was still acted, and still popular. By parity of reasoning it might have been acted, and 
might have been popular, before Forman saw it. 

In the absence, theD, of all specific information as to the chronology of Cymbeline, we must 
be guided by what is after all the safest guide in such cases — internal evidence. 

Coleridge, in the classification of 1819, places Cymbeline, as he supposes it to have been ori- 
ginally produced, in the first epoch, to which he assigns Pericles : " In the same epoch I place 
The Winter's Tale and Cymbeline, differing from the Pericles by the entire rifaccimento of it, 
when Shakspere's celebrity as poet, and hie interest no less than his influence as manager, enabled 
him to bring forward the laid-by labours of his youth." Tieck, whilst he considers it "the last 
work of the great poet, which may have been written about 1614 or 1615," adds, "it is also not 
impossible that this varied-woven romantic history had inspired the poet in his youth to attempt it 
for the stage." Tieck assigns no reason for believing that the play as we have received it is of so late 
a date as 1614 or 1615. We presume to think that he is wrong. But, on the other hand, there can 
be no doubt that, as it stands, it is fuller of elliptical construction, proceeding from the over-teeming 
thought, than any of the early plays. Malone has observed, and we think very justly (for in matters 
in which he was not tainted by the influences of his age his opinions are to be respected), that its 
versification resembles that of The Winter's Tale and The Tempest. To whatever age these romantic 
dramas shall be ultimately assigned we have no doubt that on every account — from the nature of the 
fable, as well as the cast of thought, and the construction of the language — Cymbeline will go with 
them. But, however this may be, we heartily join in the belief, so distinctly expressed by two such 
master-minds as Coleridge and Tieck, that the sketch of Cymbeline belongs to the youthful Shakspere 
We have fancied that it is almost possible to trace in some instances the dove-tailing of the original 
with the improved drama. The principal incidents of the story of Imogen are in Boccaccio. Of 
course, with reference to the knowledge of Shakspere, we do not hold with Steevens that they, "in 
their original Italian, to him at least, were inaccessible." Such a fable was exactly one which would 
have been seized upon by him who, from the very earliest period of his career, saw, in those reflections 
of life which the Italian novelists present, the materials of bringing out the manifold aspects of 
human nature in the most striking forms of truth and beauty. As far as the main action of the 
drama was concerned, therefore, we hold that it was as accessible to the Shakspere of five-and-twenty 
as it was to the Shakspere of five-and-forty ; and that he had not to wait for the publication in 1603 
of a story-book in which the tales which were the common property of Europe were remodelled with 
English scenes and characters, to have produced Cymbeline. All the historical accesssories too of the 
story were familiar to him in his early career. He threw the scene with marvellous judgment into the 
dim period of British history, when there was enough of fact to give precision to his painting, and 
enough of fable to cast over it that twilight hue which all young poets love, because it is of the very 
truth of poetry. Assuming, then, that Cymbeline might have been sketched at an early period, and 
comparing it more especially with Pericles, which assuredly has not been re-written, we venture to 
express a belief that the scenes have, in some parts, been greatly elaborated ; and that this 
elaboration has had the effect of thrusting forward such a quantity of incidents into the fifth act as 
to have rendered it absolutely necessary to resort to pantomimic action or dumb show, an example of 
which occurs in no other of Shakspere's works. Thia might have been remedied by omitting the 
" apparition " in the fifth act, which either belongs not to Shakspere at all, or belongs to the 
period when he had not clearly seen his way to shake off the trammels of the old stage. But would 
an audience familiar with that scene have parted from it ? We believe not. The fifth act, as we think, 
presents to us very strikingly the differences between the young and the mature Shakspere, always 
bearing in mind that the skill of such a master of his art has rendered it very difficult to conjecture 
what were the differences between his sketch and his finished picture. The soliloquy of Posthumus in 
that act, in its fullness of thought, belongs to the finished performance, — the minute stage directions 
which fullow to the unfinished. Nothing can be more certain than that the dialogue between 
Posthumus and the gaoler is of the period of deep philosophical speculation : while the tablet left 



rupiter has a wondrous resemblanoe to the odd things of the early stage.* We throw out these 
observations rather as hints fur to opinions in which we expect our 

.-.ill agree. The greater part of the piny is certainly such as no one but Shakspere could 
written, and not only so, but Shakspere in the full possession and habitual exercise of his 
The mount a with Imogen and her brothers are perhaps unequalled, even in the 

whole compass oi rian drama. They are of the very highest order of poetical beauty,— 

not such an outpouring oi in the Romeo and Juliet and The Midsummer Night's Dream, 

where the master of harmonious Terse revels in all the graces of his art— but of beauty entirely 
rvient to the peculiarities of the characters, the progress of the action, the sceuery, ay, and 
period of the drama, whatever Dr. Johnson may say oi "incongruity." There is nothing 
t.i us more striking than the c which is presented between the five natural lyrics sung by the 

brothers over the grave of Fidele, and the elegant poem which some have thought so much more 
tiful. The one is perfectly in keeping with all that precedes and all that follows; the other is 
entirely out of harmony with its associations. " To fair Fidele's grassy tomb" is the dirge of Collins 
over Fidele ; " Fear no more the heat o' the sun" is Fidele's proper funeral song by her bold brothers. 
It is this marvellous power of going out of himself that renders it so difficult to say that Shakspere is 
at any time inferior to himself. If it were not for this exercise of power, even in the smallest 
characters, we might think that Cloten was of the immature Shakspere. But then he has made Cloten 
his own, by one or two magic touches, so as to leave no doubt that, if he was at first a somewhat 
■•- sketch, he is now a finished portrait. ''The snatches in his voice and burst of speaking'' 
identify him as the " very Cloten" that none other but Shakspere could have painted. 


'■ Mr. PorE," says Steevens, " supposed the story of this play to have been borrowed from a novel of 
Boccace ; but he was mistaken, as an imitation of it is found in an old story-book entitled ' Westward 
for Smelts.' " This is unquestionably one of Steeveni'* random assertions. Malone has printed the 
and has expressed his opinion, in opposition to that of Steevens, that the general scheme of 
Cymbeline is founded on Boccaccio's novel (9th story of the second day of the Decameron). Mrs. 
Lennox has given, in her ' Shak^peare Illustiv.ted,' a paraphrase of Boccaccio's story; which she has 
mixed up with more irreverent impertinence towards Shakspere than can be perhaps found elsewhere 
in the English language, except in Dr. Johnson's judgment upon this play, which eouuds very like 
" prisoner at the bar. - ' It might have been supposed that the odour of Mrs. Lennox's criticisms upon 
Shakspere had been dissipated long before the close of the last century ; but, nevertheless, Mr. Dunlop, 
in his ' Hi.-tory of Fiction,' published in 1816, makes the opinions of Mrs. Lennox his own : "The 
'.c-nts of the novel have been very closely adhered to by Shakespeare, but, as has been remarked by 
an acute and elegant critic (Mrs. Lennox), the scenes and characters have been most injudiciously 

1 has a remarkable theory with reference to the apparition-scene, which we present to our readers. It is not 
ted tliat " tlie aged parents and brothers of Posthumus speak the language of a more simple olden time,'' but that 
.ik the language of poetry, such as Shakspere would have chosen " to ( xpress a feeble sound of wailing." 
f the speech of Jupiter has great truth. Nothing, for example, can be in a higher strain than — 

or shadows of Elysium, hence; and rest 
Upon your never-withering banks of flowers." 

"Pope, as Is well known, v a to declare whole scenes for interpolations of the players; but his 

opinions were not much listened to. evens still accedes to the opinion of Pope, respecting the apparition of 

the ghosts and of Jupiter in Cymbeline, ■ 'humus is Bleeping in the dungeon. Lint Posthumus finds, on waking, 

■. with a prophecj on , tuenu ni of the piece depends. Is it to be imagined that Shakspere 

:" in a wonder without a visible cause; la Posthumus to dream this tablet with 

gentlemen do not descend to this objection. The verses which the apparitions deliver do not 

appear to them good enough to be B ■ imagine I can discover why the poet ha* not given them more of the 

splendour parents and brothers "f Posthumus, who, from concern for hi- fate, return from 

the world below: tl tly, to speak the language of a more simple olden time, and their voices ought 

to appear as a feeble sound of wailin iitra-ted with the thundering oracular language of Jupiter. For I 

reason Shakspere CD which was very common before his time, but which was then getting out of 

fashion.!' itinued to especially in translations o poets. In some such manner 

might the shades express then listing translations of Homer and Virgil. The speech of Jupiter is on 

the other hand i .nd in form and it] . complete resemblance to the sonnets of Shakspere."— Lccturet on 

Dramatic Literature, vol. ii. 



altered, and the manners of a tradesman's wife, and two intoxicated Italian merchants, have been 
bestowed on a great princess, a British hero, and a noble Roman." Mr. Dunlop, however, bas given a 
neat abridgment of the tale; and in this matter it will be sufficient to refer the general reader to his 
work, and the Italian student to Boccaccio. 

Shakspere found his historical materials in Holinshed ; and he has adhered to them as far as is 
consistent with the progress of a romantic story. The following extracts include all in Holinsbed that 
bears upon the plot of this drama. 

" After the death of Cassibellane, Theomautius or Lenautius, the youngest son of Lud, -was made king of Britain in the 
year of the world 3921, after the building of Rome 706, and before the coming of Christ 45. ********* 
Theomautius ruled the land in good quiet, and paid the tribute to the Romans 'which Cassibellane had granted, and finally 
departed this life after he had reigned twenty-two years, and was buried at London. 

" Kymbeline or Cimbeline, the son of Theomautius, was of the Britains made king, after the decease of his father, in 
the year of the world 3944, after the building of Rome 728, and before the birth of our Saviour 33. This man (as some 
write) was brought up at Rome, and there made knight by Augustus Caesar, under whom he served in the wars, and was 
in such favour with him, that he was at liberty to pay his tribute or not. ******* Touching the con- 
tinuance of the years of Kymbeline's reign some writers do vary, but the best approved affirm that he reigned thirty-five 
years and then died, and was buried at London, leaving behind him two sons, Guiderius and Arviragus. But here is to 
be noted that, although our histories do affirm that as well this Kymbeline, as also his father Theomautius, lived in quiet 
with the Romans, and continually to them paid the tributes which the Britains had covenanted with Julius Csesar to pay, 
yet we find in the Roman writers, that after Julius Caesar's death, when Augustus had taken upon him the rule of the 
empire, the Britains refused to pay that tribute : whereat, as Cornelius Tacitus reporteth, Augustus (being otherwise 
occupied) was contented to wink ; howbeit, through earnest calling upon to recover his right by such as were desirous to 
see the uttermost of the British kingdom; at length, to wit, in the tenth year after the death of Julius Caesar, which was 
about the thirteenth year of the said Theomautius, Augustus made provision to pass with an army over into Britain, and 
was come forward upon his journey into Gallia Celtica, or, as we may say, into these hither parts of France. 

" But here receiving advertisements that the Pannonians, which inhabited the country now called Hungary, and the 
Dalmatians, whom now we call Slavons, had rebelled, he thought it best first to subdue those rebels near home, rather 
than to seek new countries, and leave such in hazard whereof he had present possession, and so, turning his power 
against the Pannonians and Dalmatians, he left off for a time the wars of Britain, whereby the land remained without 
fear of any invasion to be made by the Romans till the year after the building of the city of Rome 725, and about the 
nineteenth year of king Theomautius' reign, that Augustus with an army departed once again from Rome to pass over 
into Britain, there to make war. But after his coming into Gallia, when the Britains sent to him certain ambassadors to 
treat with him of peace, he staid their to settle the state of things among the Galles, for that they were not in very good 
order. And having finished there, he went into Spain, and so his journey into Britain was put off till the next year, that. 
is, the 726th after the building of Rome, which fell before the birth of our Saviour 25, about which time Augustus 
eftsoons meant the third time to have made a voyage into Britain, because they could not agree upon covenants. But as 
the Pannonians and Dalmatians had aforetime staid him, when (as before is said) he meant to have gone against the 
Britains; so even now the Salasstians (a people inhabiting about Italy and Switzerland), the Cantabrians and Asturians, 
by such rebellious stirs as they raised, withdrew him from his purposed journey. But whether this controversy, which 
appeareth to fall forth betwixt the Britains and Augustus, was occasioned by Kymbeline, or some other prince of the 
Britains, I have not to avouch : for that by our writers it is reported that Kymbeline, being brought up in Rome, and 
knighted in the court of Augustus, ever showed himself a friend to the Romans, and chiefly was loth to break with them, 
because the youth of the Britain nation should not be deprived of the benefit to be trained and brought up among the 
Romans, whereby they might learn both to behave themselves like civil men, and to attain to the knowledge of feats of 
war. But whether for this respect, or for that it pleased the Almighty God so to dispose the minds of men at that present, 
not only the Britains, but in manner all other nations, were contented to be obedient to the Roman empire. That this was 
true in the Britains, it is evident enough in Strabo's words, which are in effect as followeth : — ' At this present (saith he) 
certain princes of Britain, procuring by ambassadors and dutiful demeaners the amity of the emperor Augustus, have 
offered in the capitol unto the gods presents or gifts, and have ordained the whole ile in a manner to be appertinent, proper, 
and familiar to the Romans. They are burdened with sore customs which they pay for wars, either to be sent forth into 
Gallia, or brought from thence, which are commonly ivory vessels, shears, onches or earrings, and other conceits made of 
amber and glasses, and such like manner of merchandise : so that now there is no need of any army or garrison of men of 
war to keep the ile, for there needeth not past one legion of footmen, or some wing of horsemen, to gather up and receive 
the tribute; for the charges are rated according to the quantity of the tributes : for otherwise it should be needful to abate 
the customs, if the tributes were also raised ; and if any violence should be used, it were dangerous least they might be 
provoked to rebellion.' Thus far Strabo." 

[Coin of Cunobelinus.] 




'•'or the dress of our ancient British ancestors of the time of Cymbeline or Cunobelin we have no 
pictorial authority, and the notices of ancient British costume which we find scattered amongst the 
idassical historians are exceedingly scanty and indefinite. That the chiefs and the superior classes 
amongst them, however, were clothed completely and with barbaric splendour, there exists at present 
little doubt ; and the naked savages with painted skins whose imaginary effigies adorned the 'Pictorial 
Histories' of our childhood, are now considered to convey a better idea of the more remote and 
barbarous tribes of the Mateatse than of the inhabitants of Cantium or Kent, ("the most civilized of 
all the Britons" as early as the time of Csesar,) and even to represent those only when, in accordance 
with a Celtic custom, they had thrown off their garments of skin or dyed cloths to rush upon an 
invading enemy. 

That all the Britons stained themselves with woad, which gave a blueish cast to the skin and made 
them look dreadful in battle, is distinctly stated by Csesar : but he also assures us expressly that the 
inhabitants of the southern coasts differed but little in their manners from the Gauls, an assertion 
which is confirmed by the testimony of Strabo, Tacitus, and Pomponius Mela, the latter of whom says 
" the Britons fought armed after the Gaulish manner." 

The following description therefore of the Gauls by Diodorus Siculus becomes an authority for the 
arms and dress of the Britons, particularly as in many parts it corresponds with such evidence as 
exists in other cotemporaneous writers respecting the dress of the Britons themselves. 

" The Gauls wear bracelets about their wrists and anus, and massy chains of pure and beaten 
gold about their necks, and weighty rings upon their fingers,* and corslets of gold upon their 
breasts.+ For stature they are tall, of a pale complexion, and red-haired, not only naturally, but 
they endeavour all they can to make it redder by art.J They often wash their hair in a water 
boiled with lime, and turn it backwards from the forehead to the crown of the head, and thence to 

their very necks, that their faces may be fully seen Some of them shave their 

beards, others let them grow a little. Persons of quality shave their chins close, but their mous- 
taches they let fall so low that they even cover their mouths. § . . . Their garments are very 
strange, for they wear party-coloured tunics (flowered with various colours in divisions) and hose 
which they call Bracw. They likewise wear chequered sagas (cloaks). Those they wear in 
winter are thick, those in summer more slender. Upon their heads they wear helmets of brass 

with large appendages inade for ostentation's sake to be admired by the beholders They 

htTe trumpets after the barbarian manner, which in sounding make a horrid noise For 

swords they use a broad weapon called Spatha, which they hang across their right thigh by iron 
or brazen chains. Some gird themselves with belts of gold or silver." 

[Gaulish Captive wearing the Torque.] 

• riiny says the Briton* and Gauls wore a rim: on the- middle fincer. 

t A Briti-ii eorslel of gold found at Moid, i ;;ow in the British Museum. 

X Btrabo says the Britooi are taller than the Gauls; their hair not M yellow, and their bodies looser built. 

§ Caeaai teui were long-haired, and ihaved all the body except the head and the upper lip. 

d Martial has a lin- " Likl the old brachrr nf a n< I in." — Bpig. ix. 21. They appear on the legs of the Gaulish 

figures in many Roman sculpture! t'. have been a sort ol, terminating at the ankle, where they were met 

by a hljch shoe or bmgue. There can be little doubt that the Highland trutt i» a modification of this ancient tro'user, if not 
the identical weed Itself. 



In elucidation of the particular expression made use of by Diodorus in describing the variegated 
tissues of the Gauls, and which has been translated " flowered with various colours in divisions," 
we have the account of Pliuy, who, after telling us that both the Gavds and Britons excelled in the 
art of making and dyeing cloth, and enumeratiug several herbs used for dyeing purple, scarlet, and 
other colours, says that they spun their fine wool, so dyed, into yarn, which was woven chequer- 
wise so as to form small squares, some of one colour and some of another. Sometimes it was woven 
in stripes instead of chequers ; and we cannot hesitate in believing that the tartan of the High- 
landers (to this day called "the garb of old Gaul") and the checked petticoats and aprons of the 
modern Welsh peasantry are the lineal descendants of this ancient and picturesque manufacture. 
With respect to their ornaments of gold, we may add, in addition to the classical authorities, the 
testimony of the Welsh bards. In the Welsh Triads, Cadwaladyr, son of Cadwallon ab Cadwan, 
the last who bore the title of King of Britain, is styled one of the three princes who wore the golden 
bands, being emblems of supreme authority, and which, according to Turner, were worn round the 
neck, arms, and knees. 

Of the golden neck-chains, or torques (torch or dorch in Welsh), there are several existing spe- 
cimens. One has been found of silver, and several of brass. The bronze sword and small battle- 
axff, or celt, as it is called, of the ancient Britons, are to be found in many collections; and at 

[Spear-Head and Celt.] 

Goodrich Court are two veiy large round bronze shields of the earlier period, and an oblong one 
of the Roman-British era. There is a smaller round shield also in the British Museum. 

In the British Museum. [British Shields.] 

In the Merrick Collection. 



The Druids were divided into three classes. The sacerdotal order wore white, the hards blue, 
and the third order, the Ovatcs or Obydds, who professed letters, medicine, and astronomy, wore 

Dion Cassias describes the dress of a British queen in the person of the famous Bonduca or 
lice*. lie tells us that she woro a torque of gold, a tunic of several colours all in folds, and 
over it a robe of coarse stuff. Her light hair fell down her shoulders far below the waist. 

The costume and arms of the Romans will be noticed at considerable length in the Parts appro- 
[ to the Tragedies of Coriolauus and Julius Cssear. 



[Conflict between Romans and Barbarians. From the Arcli of Trajan.] 


u The people of Britain," says Strabo, "are generally ignorant of the art of cultivating gardens. 
By " the garden behind Cymbeline's palace " we should perhaps, therefore, in the spirit of minute 
antiquarianism, understand "a grove." But it is by no means clear that the Romans had not 
introduced their arts to an extent that might have made Cymbeline's palace bear some of the 
characteristics of a Roman villa. A highy-civilized people very quickly impart the external forms 
of their civilization to those whom they have colonised. We do not therefore object, even in a 
matter, that the garden, as our arl represented it, has more of ornament 

than belongs to the Dru rove. The houses of the inhabitants in general might retain in 

a great degree their primitive r "When Julius Caesar invaded Britain, the people of the 

southern coasts had aire liild houses a little more substantial and convenient than 

those of the inland inhs "The country," he remarks, "abounds in houses, which very 

much resemble those of Gaul." Now those of Gaul are thus di by Strabo: — "They 

build their houses of wood, in the form of a circle, with lofty tapering roofs." — Lib. v. The 
foundations of some of the most substantial of these circular houses were of stone, of which there 
are still some remains in Cornwall, Anglesey, and other places. Strabo says, " The forests of the 
Britons are their cities ; for, when they have enclosed a very large circuit with felled trees, they build 



within it Louses for themselves and hovels for their cattle." — Lib. iv. But Cymbeline was one of the 
most wealthy and powerful of the ancient British kings. His capital was Camuloduuum, supposed to 
be Maldon or Colchester. It was the first Roman colony in this island, and a place of great 
magnificence. We have not therefore to assume that ornament would be misplaced in it. Though 
the walls of Imogen's chamber, still subjecting the poetical to the exact, might by some be considered 
as proper to be of rude stone or wood, it may very fairly be supposed that it was decorated with the 
rich hangings and the other tasteful appendages described by Iachimo * — the presents of the Roman 
emperors, with whom Cymbeline and his ancestors had been in amity, or procured from the Greek 
and Phoenician merchants, who were constantly in commercial intercourse with Britain. (See, for 
fuller information on this subject, ' The Costume of the Original Inhabitants of the British Isles,' 
by S. It. Meyrick, LL.D., and Chas. Hamilton Smith, Esq.; fol. Loud. 1821.) But, after all, a play 
such as Cymbeline, is not to be viewed through the medium only of the literal and the probable. 
In its poetical aspect it essentially disregards the few facts respecting the condition of the Britous 
delivered down by the classic historians. Shakspere in this followed the practice of every writer of 
the romantic school. The costume (including scenery) had better want conformity with Strabo, than 
be out of harmony with Shakspere. 

* The "andirons" and "chimney-piece" belong to the age of Elizabeth. But Shakspere, when he commits what tvs 
all anachronisms, uses what is familiar to render intelligible what would otherwise be cbscure and remote. 





CXMBSLIXB, King of Britain. 
Cloten, son to the Queen by a farmer Inn and. 
I.i .osatts PoBTBTVMDB, husband to Imogen. 
Belarus, a banished lord, disguised under the naiiit 
of Morgan. 

, sons to Cymbeline, disguised under *V! 
(.iiMRivs, ( rte name* o/PolvdoreonrfCadwal 

ARVIRAGUS. I . . t, , . 

\ supposed sons to Belanus. 
Pn ilario. friend to Posthumus.'i 
1 vuixo, friend to Philario, J R 


A French Gentleman, friend to Pliilario. 
Cms Lucius, general of the Roman Forces. 
A Roman Captain. 

Iritish Cajitains. 
Pig \kio, Gentleman to posthumus. 
C'orneiivs, a physician. 
Two Gentlemen of Cymbeline'* Court. 
Two Gaolers. 

QiKEy. wife to Cymbeline. 

[mogen, daughter to Cymbeline by a former queen. 

IIklex, woman to Imogen. 

Lorils, Ladies, Roman Senators, Tribunes, Appari- 
tions, a Soothsayer, Musicians, Officers, Captains, 
intdiers. Messengers, and other Attendants. 

SC EN E, — sometimes in Britain; 
sometimes in Rom E. 

[The Ga« 


SCENE I.— Britain. The Garden behind 
Cymbeline's Palace. 

Enter Two Gentlemen. 

1 Gent. You do not meet a man but frowns : 

our bloods 
No more obey the heavens, than our courtiers 
Still seem as does the king. a 

2 Gent. But what's the matter? 

a The passage in the original edition (folio of 1623) stands 
thus : — 

" You do not meet a man but frowns. 
Our bloods no more obey the heavens 
Then our courtiers : 
Still seem, as do 's the king's." 
In several editions courtiers is sometimes printed as the 
genitive case; sometimes is cut off from the verb seem by 
a semicolon, and the king's is retained as the genitive case. 
This we have ventured to alter to king, as Tyrwhirt 
suggested. As we have punctuated the passage, we think 
it presents no difficulty. Blood is used by Shakspere for 
natural disposition, as in All's Well that Ends Well— 
'•' Now his important blood will nought deny 
That she'll demand." 
The meaning of the passage then is— You do not meet a 
man but frowns : our bloods do not more obey the heavens 
than our courtiers still seem as the king seems. As is 
afterwards expressed — 

" they wear their faces to the bent 

Of the king's looks." 

1 Gent. His daughter, and the heir of liis 

kingdom, whom 
He pm'pos'd to his wife's sole son, (a widow, 
That late he married,) hath referr'd herself 
Unto a poor but worthy gentleman : She 's 

wedded ; 
Her husband banish'd; she imprison'd : all 
Is outward sorrow ; though, I think, the king 
Be touch' d at very heart. 

2 Gent, None but the king ? 

1 Gent. He that hath lost her, too : so is the 

That most desir'd the match : But not a courtier, 
Although they wear their faces to the bent 
Of the king's looks, hath a heart that is not 
Glad at the thing they scowl at. 

2 Gent. And why so ? 

1 Gent. He that hath miss'd the princess is a 
Too bad for bad report : and he that hath he;-, 
(I mean, that married her,— alack, good man ! — 
And therefore banish'd,) is a creature such 
As to seek through the regions of the earth 


\lT I. J 



Fur one his like, there would be something failing 
In him Ilia! should compare. 1 do not think 
So fail an outward, ami such stuff within, 

Endows a man but lie. 

speak him far.* 
] Qeni. I do extend 11 him, sir. within himself; 
Crush him together, rather than unfold 
His measure duly. 

lent. What 's his name, ami birth F 

1 6 I oannol delve him to the root: lli> 

Was S who did join his honour, 

Against.the Romans, with Cassibelan; 
titles by Tenant ins, whom 
- rv'd with glory and admir'd success : 
So gain'd tin- sur-additioi Leonatus: 
A.. 1 had, besides this gentleman in question, 
Two other sons, who. in the wars o' the time. 
Died with their swords in hand ; tor which, their 

(Then old and fond of issue,) took such sorrow 
That he quit being; and his gentle lady, 
Big of this gentleman, our theme, deceas'd 
A- lie was born. The king, he takes the 1> 
To his protection; calls him Posthumus Leo- 
natus c ; 
Breeds him, and makes him of his bed-chamber : 
Puts to* him' 1 all the learnings that his time 

ild make him the receiver of; which lie took, 
As we do air. fast as 't was ministered, 
And in's spring became a harvest : e Liv'd in court, 
Which rare it is to do,) most prais'd, most lov'd : 
A sample to the youngest ; to th' more mature 
hat feated' them; and to the graver, 

» You carry your praise far. 

is here used in the same sense as in the fifth 
ne of this Act : '! His banishment, and the approbation 
of those that weep this lamentable divorce are wonderfully 
to extend him." The Gentleman says — I do extern! him — 
appreciate his pood qualities — but only within the real 
limits of what they are: instead of unfolding his measure 
duly, I crush him together— compress his excellence. 
Malone thinks that the terra ectenri is originally 1 
An ntent, according to Blackstone, is an order t.i the 
riff to appraise lands or poods to their full extended 
value. It is a well-known term in old Scotch law, meaning 
nearly the same n is or valuation. 

the folio. The variorum editors rejeeteu the Bi i i nd 
name, reading — 

"Tohii protection; calls him Posthumus." 

:.ake a Jine often syllables— as if dramatic rhythm had 

.iatlties— they have destroyed tl. I he name 

of Puithumm LlonatUI was given to connect the child with 

the memory of Ml lather, and to mark the circumstance of 

hi« being born after his father's death. 

d Putt to him is the original reading, which has l> I rj 
sometimes corrupted intopufi him to. 

arrange these two lines, as in t 
modem editors read — 

" As we do air, fas) nn<t 

In Aii spring became a ham I 

f Pealed. Johnson says, "a glass that formed them.'' 
Hut feat is Used by Shakspere for nice, exact, with pro- 
'.—as in The Tempest — 
" And look how well my garments sit upon me 
Much featrr than before;" 


and to this hour no guess in 

A child that guided dotards : to his mi-tress — 
Pot whom he now is banish'd, — her own juice 
Proclaims how she esteem'd him and his virtue; 
I'.y her election may be truly read 
What kind of man he k 

' . 1 honour him 

Even out of your report. But, 'pray you, tell me, 
Is she sole child to the king? 

1 6 His only child. 

He had two sons, (if this be worth your hearing, 
Mark it.) the eldest of them at three years old, 
1' the swathing clothes the other, from their 

Were stolen 

Which way they went. 

2 Gent. How long is this ago? 

1 Gent. Some twenty years. 

2 Gent. That a king's children should be so 

convey'd ! 
So slackly guarded ! And the search so slow, 
That could not traee them ! 

1 Gent. Howsoe'er 'tis strange, 

Or that the negligence may well be laugh' d at, 
Yet is it true, sir. 

,' Gent. I do well believe you. 

1 Gent. We must forbear : Here comes the. 
The queen, and princess* [Exeunt. 

SCENE Ik— The sami . 
Enter the Queen, Postiiujius, and Imogen. 

Queen. No, be assur'd, you shall not find me, 
After the slander of most step-mothers, 
Fvil-cy'd unto you: you are my prisoner, but 
Your gaoler shall deliver you the keys 
That lock up your restraint. For you, Posthumus, 
So soon as I can win the offended king, 
1 will be known your advocate : marry, yet 
The fire of rage is iu him ; and 't were good, 
You lean'd unto his sentence, with what patience 
Your wisdom may inform you. 

Post: Please your highness, 

1 will from hence to-day. 

Qtt You know the peril : — 

I '11 fetch a turn about the garden, pitying 
The pangs of bair'il affections ; though the king 

and. i tly, the glass which feats the mature who 

look upon Posthumus, is "the mark and glass, copy and 
hook," which renders their appearance and deportment as 
proper as his own. 

i e most Important person (with reference to this con- 
Ition) v. ho was coming is Posthumus — " the gentle- 
man." The editors, however, quietly drop him, reading— 
" We must forbear: here comes the queen, and prince ss." 
What can justify stub capricious alterations of the lextr 

Acr I.] 


[Scene 11 

Hath charg'd you should not speak together. 

[Exit Queen. 
Tmo. dissembling courtesy ! How fine this 
Can tickle where she wounds ! — My dearest 

I something fear my father's wrath ; but nothing 
(Always reserv'd my holy duty,) what 
His rage can do on me : You must be gone ; 
And I shall here abide the hourly shot 
Of angry eyes ; not comforted to live, 
But that there is this jewel in the world, 
That I may see again. 

Post. My queen ! my mistress ! 
0, lady, weep no more ; lest I give cause 
To be suspected of more tenderness 
Than doth become a man ! I will remain 
The loyal'st husband that did e'er plight troth. 
My residence in Rome, at one Philario's ; 
Who to my father was a friend, to me 
Known but by letter : thither write, my queen, 
And with mine eyes I'll drink the words you send, 
Though ink be made of gall. 

Re-enter Queen. 

Queen. Be brief, I pray you : 

If the king come, I shall incur I know not 
How much of his displeasure : Yet I '11 move him 

To walk this way : I never do him wrong, 
But he does buy my injuries to be friends ; a 
Pays dear for my offences. [Exit. 

Post. Should we be taking leave 

As long a term as yet we have to live, 
The loatlmess to depart would grow: Adieu ' 

Two. Nay, stay a little : 
Were you but riding forth to air yourself, 
Such parting were too petty. Look here, love ; 
This diamond was my mother's : take it, heart ; 
But keep it till you woo another wife, 
When Imogen is dead. 

Post. How ! how ! another ?— 
You gentle gods, give me but this I have, 
And sear up my embracements from a next 
With bonds of death ! — Remain thou here 

[Putting on the ring. 
While sense can keep it on ! And sweetest, 

As I my poor self did exchange for you, 
To your so infinite loss ; so, in our trifles 
I still win of you : For my sake wear this ; 

" This sentence is obscure; but the meaning of the 
crafty Queen appears to be, that the kindness of her 
husband, even when she is doing him wrong, purchases 
injuries as if they were benefits. 

It is a manacle of love ; I '11 place it 
Upon this fairest prisoner. 

[Putting a bracelet on her arm. 
Imo. O, the gods ! 

When shall we see again ? 

Enter Cymbeline and Lords. 

Post. Alack, the king ! 

Gym. Thou basest thing, avoid ! hence, from 
my sight ! 
If after this command thou fraught the court 
With thy unworthiness, thou diest : Away ! 
Thou art poison to my blood. 

Post. The gods protect you ! 

And bless the good remainders of the court ! 
I am gone. [Exit. 

lino. There cannot be a pinch in death 

More sharp than this is. 

Gym. disloyal thing, 

That should'st repair my youth ; thou heapest 
A year's age on me ! 

Imo. I beseech you, sir, 

Harm not yourself with yoiu 1 vexation ; I 
Am senseless of your wrath ; a touch more rare 3 
Subdues all pangs, all fears. 
Gym. Past grace ? obedience '-. 

Imo. Past hope, and in despair; that way, 

past grace. 
Gym. That might'st have had the sole son of 

my queen ! 
Imo. bless'd, that I might not ! I chose an 
And did avoid a puttock. b 

Gym. Thou took'st a beggar; would'st have 
made my throne 
A seat for baseness. 

Imo. No ; I rather added 

A lustre to it. 

Gym. thou vile one ! 

Imo. Sir, 

It is your fault that I have lov'd Posthumus : 
You bred him as my playfellow ; and he is 
A man worth any woman ; overbuys me 
Almost the sum he pays. 

Cym. What ! art thou mad ? 

Imo. Almost, sir: Heaven restore me! — 
'Would I were 
A neat-herd's daughter ! and my Leonatus 
Our neighbour shepherd's son ! 

Re-enter Queex. 


Thou foolish thing!— 

a A higher feeling. 

b Puttock—a kite— a worthless species of hawk. 




[Bonn HI., IV. 

They were again together : you have done 

[To the Qi 
N ' after our command. Away with her, 
pen her up. 

ten. 'Beseech your patience :— Peace, 

Dear Lady daughter, peace. — Sweel sovereign, 
e us to ourselves; and make yourself some 

of your best advice. 

Nay, let her languish 
A drop of blood a day ; and, being aged, 
Die of this fully ! [Exit. 

!' t PlS.VXIO. 

Qiteoi. !— you must give way : 

Here is your servant, -How, now, sir? "What 
new- P 
Pis. My lord your son drew on my master. 
Qu Ha ! 

harm, I trust, is done ? 

There might have been, 
?>ut that my master rather play'd than fought, 
And had no help of anger : they were parted 
By gentlemen at hand. 

,n. I am very glad on't. 

. Your son's my father's friend ; he takes 
his part, 
To draw upon an exile !— O brave sir! 

I would they were in Afric both toget; 
Myself by with a needle, that I might prick 
The goer back. — Why came you from your 

master ? 
On his command : He would not suffer 
To bring him to the haven. : left these not 
Uf what commands I should be subject to, 
When't pleas'd you to employ me. 

Queen. This hath been 

Your faithful servant : I dare lay mine honour, 

I I ■ ■ will remain so. 

I humbly thank your highness. 
Queen. Pray, walk a while. 
Imo. AU .'it some half hour hence, 

I pray you, speak with me : you shall, at li 

i- my lord abroad : for this time, leave me. 

B( 1 M'- II!. ./ Place. 

Enter <:•.■• i I. rds. 

1 / ,1 would advise you to shift a 

shirt ; tl. -lion hath i 

: Whi re air comes out, air 
comes in : there's none abroad so wholesome as 
that you vent. 

Co. It' my blurt wore bloody, then to shift it. 
Have I hurt him ? 

2 Lord. No, faith; not so much as his pa- 
tience. [A 

1 Lord. Hurt him ? his body 's a passable car- 
cass if he be not hurt : it is a thoroughfare for 
steel if it be not hurt. 

2 Lord. His steel was in debt : it went o' the 
back side the town. [Aside. 

Clo. The villain would not stand me. 

2 Lord. No ; but he fled forward still, toward 
your face. [Aside. 

1. Lord. Stand you ! You have land enough 
of your own: but he added to your having; 
gave you some ground. 

2 Lord. As many inches as you have oceans : 
Puppies ! [Aside. 

Clo. I would they had not come between us. 

2 Lord. So would I, till you had measured how 
long a fool you were upon the ground. [Aside. 

Clo. And that she should love this fellow, and 
refuse me ! 

1 Lord. If it be a sin to make a true election, 
she is damned. [At 

1 Lord. Sir, as I told you always, her beauty 
and her brain go not together : She 's a good 
sign, but I have seen small reflection of her wit. 

2 Lord. She shines not upon fools, lest the 
reflection should hurt her. [Aside 

Clo. Come, I '11 to my chamber : 'Would there 
had been some hurt done ! 

_' Lord. 1 wish not so ; unless it had been the 
fall of an ass, which is no great hurt. Aside. 

Clo. You '11 go with us ? 

1 Lord. I '11 attend your lordship. 
Clo. Nay, come, let 's go together. 

2 Lord. Well, my lord. [Ereun!. 

SCENE IV.— A Room in Cymbeline'* Palace. 
/' ter Imogen and Pisakio. 

. I would thou grew'st unto the shores 
o' the haven, 
And question'dst every sail : if he should write, 
And I 1 1 ' . t have it, 't were a paper lost, 
As offcr'd mercy is. What was the 1 
That he spake to theeP 

It was, 'His queen, his queen! ' 
/, to. Then wav*d his handkerchh 1": 

And kiss'd it, madam. 
. Senseless linen ! happier therein than I ! 
And that was all ? 

N '. madam ; for so long 
As be could make me with his eye or ear 
Distinguish him from others, he did keep 

Act I.] 


[Sceni: V. 

The deck, with glove or hat or handkerchief 
Still waving, az the fits and stirs of his mind 
Could best express how slow his soul sail'd on, 
How swift his ship. 

Into. Thou should'st have made him 

As little as a crow, or less, ere left 
To after-eye him. 

Pis. Madam, so I did. 

Imo. I would have broke mine eye-strings ; I 
crack' d them, but 
To look upon him ; till the diminution 
Of space had pointed him sharp as my needle : 
Nay, follow'd him, till he had melted from 
The smallness of a gnat to air ; and then 
Have turn'd mine eye, and wept. — But, good 

When shall we hear from him ? 

Pis. Be assur'd, madam, 

With his next vantage. 9, 

Imo. I did not take my leave of him, but had 
Most pretty things to say : ere I could tell him 
How I would think on him, at certain hours, 
Such thoughts, and such ; or I could make him 

The shes of Italy should not betray 
Mine interest and his honour ; or have charg'd 

At the sixth hour of morn, at noon, at midnight, 
To encounter me with orisons, for then 
I am in heaven for him ; or ere I could 
Give him that parting kiss, which I had set 
Betwixt two charming words, comes in my father, 
And, like the tyrannous breathing of the north, 
Shakes all our buds from growing. b 

Enter a Lady. 

Lady. The queen, madam, 

Desires your highness' company. 

Imo. Those things I bid you do get them de- 
spatch'd. — 
I will attend the queen. 

Pis. Madam, I shall. [Exeunt. 

SCENE V. — Rome. An Apartment in Phi- 
lario's House. 

Enter Philario, Iachimo, and a Frenchman. 

lack. Believe it, sir : I have seen him in Bri- 
tain : he was then of a crescent note ; expected 

a Vantage — opportunity. 
t> So in the ISth Sonnet— 

" Rough winds do shake the darling buds of Way.'' 

c In the stage-direction of the original, we have "a Dutch- 
man and a Spaniard" brought in, as well as a Frenchman. 
But these characters are mute; and may be therefore omitted 
ber», and in the list of persons represented. It was n« 
doubt the intention to show that the foolish wager of p ( .sthu- 
mus was made amidst strangers who had resorted to Home. 

Tkagi:die3.— Vol. I. O 

to prove so worthy as since he hath been allowed 
the name of : but I could then have looked on 
him without the help of admiration ; though the 
catalogue of his endowments had been tabled 
by his side, and I to peruse him by items. 

Phi. You speak of him when he was less fur- 
nished, than now he is, with that which makes 
him both without and within. 

French. I have seen him in France : we had 
very many there could behold the sun with as 
firm eyes as he. 

Iach. This matter of marrying his king's 
daughter, (wherein he must be weighed rather 
by her value than his own,) words him, I doubt 
not, a great deal from the matter. 

French. And then his banishment — 

Iach. Ay, and the approbation of those that 
weep this lamentable divorce, under her colours, 
are wonderfully to extend him ; be it but to for- 
tify her judgment, which else an easy battery 
might lay flat, for taking a beggar without less 
quality. 11 But how comes it he is to sojourn 
with you ? How creeps acquaintance ? 

Phi. His father and I were soldiers together ; 
to whom I have been often bound for no less 
than my life : — 

Enter Posthumus. 

Here comes the Briton : Let him be so enter- 
tained amongst you, as suits, with gentlemen of 
your knowing, to a stranger of his quality. — I 
beseech you all, be better known to this gentle- 
man, whom I connnend to you as a noble friend 
of mine : How worthy he is I will leave to ap- 
pear hereafter, rather than story him in his own 

French. Sir, we have known together in Or- 

Post. Since when I have been debtor to you 
for courtesies, which I will be ever to pay, and 
yet pay still. 

French. Sir, you o'er-rate my poor kindness : 
I was glad I did atone b my countryman and 
you; it had been pity you should have been 
put together with so mortal a purpose as then 
each bore, upon importance of so slight and 
trivial a nature. 

a Less quality. So the folio. It has been corrected into 
more quality ; but we doubt the propriety of the change. 
l\)!.thumus is spoken of by all as one of high qualifications— 
and he is presently introduced as " a siranger of his quality. 
He was bred as Imogen's " playfellow," and therefore cannot 
be spoken of as a low man— •' without more quality. As 
this play was first printed, like many others, after bliak- 
spere's death, it is probable that it contains some typogra- 
phical errors. We do not feel warranted in altering the text, 
or we would read, " for taking a beggar w it hoot his quality, — 
a btggar who does not follow the occupation of a beggar. 

l) Alone— to make at one. * Importance— import, mat: cr. 


Act 1 ] 

I YMI'.r.l.IXK. 

[SCLXE \ . 

Pout. By your pardon, sir, I was then B youDg 
vfllcr : rather shunned to go even with what 
T heard, than in in\ every action to be guided 
by others' experiences: but, upon my mended 
judgment, (if I offend not" to say it is mended,) 
my quarrel was not I r slight. 

to be put to the arbitrc- 
meut of swords ; and by such two that would, 
by all likelihood, have confounded one the 
other, or have fallen both. 

Iach. Can we, with manners, ask what was 
the difference? 

French. Safely, I think : 't was a contention 
in pubh'c, which may, without contradiction, 
suffer the report. It was much like an argu- 
ment that fell out last night, where each of us 
fell in praise of our country mistresses : Tins 
_ Dtleman at that time vouching, (and upon 
warrant of bloody affirmation,) his to be more 
fair, virtuous, wise, chaste, constant-qualified, 
and less attemptible, than any the rarest of our 
ladies in France. 

Iach. That lady is not now living ; or this 
- atleman's opinion, by this, worn out. 
Post. She holds her virtue still, and I my mind. 
Iach. You must not so far prefer her '"fore 
ours of Italy. 

Post. Being so far provoked as I was in 
France, I would abate her nothing; though I 
profess myself her adorer, not her friend. 

Iach. As fair, and as good, (a kind of hand- 
in-hand comparison,) had been something too 
fair, and too good, for any lady in Britany. If 
she went before others I have seen, as that dia- 
mond of yours outlustres many I have beheld, 
I could not but believe she excelled many : b 
but 1 have not seen the most precious diamond 
that is, nor you the lady. 

Post. I praised her as 1 rated her : so do I 
my stone. 
Iach. What do you esteem it at ? 
Post. More than the world enjoys. 
Iach. Either your uuparagoned mistress is 

I, or she's outprized by a trifle. 
P '. You are mistaken : the one may be sold, 
-'iven, if there were wealth enough for the 
pur. c merit for the gift : the other is not 

a thing for sale, and only the gift of the gods. 
I. Which the gods have | a? 

Post. Which, by their graces, I will keep. 
lack. You may wear her in title yours : but 

1 Not Is omitted 'n the original. 

b The pas Is in the folio— "I COtlU 

she excell'd many." The reasoning is then ini 

introduction o. ? the word but, bv V, 
the difficult)-. 


i know strange fowl light upon neighbouring 
ponds. Your ring may be stolen too: so : your 
brace of unprizeable estimations, the one is but 
frail, and the other casual ; a cunning thief, or 
a that -way-accomplished courtier, would hazard 
the winning both of first and last. 

Post. Your Italy contains none so accom- 
plished a courtier to convince the honour of 
my mistress ; if, in the holding or the loss of 
that, you term her frail. I do nothing doubt 
you have store of thieves ; notwithstanding I 
fear not my ring. 

Phi. Let us leave here, gentlemen. 
Post. Sir, with all my heart. This worthy 
signior, I thank him, makes no stranger of me ; 
we are familiar at first. 

Iach. With five times so much conversation 
I should get ground of your fair mistress : make 
her go back, even to the yielding ; had I admit- 
tance and opportunity to friend. 
Post. No, no. 

Iach. I dare, thereupon, pawn the moiety of 
my estate to your ring; which, in my opinion, 
o'ervalues it something : But I make my wager 
rather against your confidence than her repu- 
tation: and, to bar your offence herein too, I 
durst attempt it against any lady in the world. 

Post. You are a great deal abused in too bold 
a persuasion ; and I doubt not you sustain what 
you 're worthy of by your attempt. 
Iach. What 's that"? 

Post. A repulse : Though your attempt, as 
you call it, deserve more, — a punishment too. 

Phi. Gentlemen, enough of this : it came in 
too suddenly; let it die as it was bom, and, I 
pray you, be better acquainted. 

Iach. 'Would I had put my estate, and my 
neighbour's, on the approbation of what I have 
Post. What lady would you choose to assail ? 
Iach Y'ours ; whom in constancy you think 
stands so safe. I will lay you ten thousand 
ducats to your ring, that, commend me to the 
court where your lady is, with no more advan- 
tage than the opportunity of a second confer- 
ence, and I will bring from thence that honour 
of hers which you imagine so reserved. 

Post. I will wage against your gold, gold to ir : 

my ring I hold dear as my finger ; 'tis part of it. 

Iach. You arc a friend, 'and therein the wiser. 

If you buy ladies' flesh at a million a dram, you 

1 friend. So the original. Warburton suggested afraid, 

and the change la m bald's edition. Thouph we 

retained the original word, we believe the correction to 

! .iino taunts 1'o.ithumus. "You are afraid, 
therein the wiser." He adds, " I see you have come 
d in you, that you fear." 

Act I.] 


[Scene VI. 

cannot preserve it from tainting : But, I see yon 
have some religion in you, that you fear. 

Post. This is but a custom in your tongue ; 
you bear a graver purpose, I hope. 

lack. I am the master of my speeches ; and 
would undergo what 's spoken, I swear. 

Post. Will you ? — I shall but lend my diamond 
till your return : — Let there be covenants drawn 
between us : My mistress exceeds in goodness 
the hugeness of your unworthy thinking : I dare 
you to this match : here's my ring. 

Phi. I will have it no lay. 

lack. By the gods it is one : — If 1 bring you 
no sufficient testimony that I have enjoyed the 
dearest bodily part of your mistress, my ten 
thousand ducats are yours ; so is your diamond 
too. If I come off, and leave her in such 
honour as you have trust in, she your jewel, 
tlus your jewel, and my gold are yours : — pro- 
vided I have your commendation for my more 
free entertainment. 

Post. I embrace these conditions ; let us have 
articles betwixt us : — only, thus far you shall 
answer. If you make your voyage upon her, 
and give me directly to understand you have 
prevailed, I am no further your enemy : she is 
not worth our debate. If she remain unse- 
duced, (you not making it appear otherwise,) 
for your ill opinion, and the assault you have 
made to her chastity, you shall answer me with 
your sword. 

lack. Your hand ; a covenant : We will have 
these things set down by lawful counsel, and 
straight away for Britain; lest the bargain 
should catch cold, and starve. I will fetch my 
gold, and have our two wagers recorded. 

Post. Agreed. 

[Exeunt Posthumus and Iachimo. 

French. Will this hold, think you? 

Phi. Signior Iachimo will not from it. Pray, 

let us follow 'em. 


SCENE VI.— Britain. A Room in Cymbe- 
line's Palace. 

Enter Queen, Ladies, and Cornelius. 

Queen. Whiles yet the dew 's on ground, gather 
those flowers; 2 
Make haste : Who has the note of them ? 
1 Lady. I, madam. 

Queen. Despatch. [Exeunt Ladies. 

Now, master doctor, have you brought those 
Cor. Pleaseth your highness, ay : here they 
are, madam : [ Presenting a small box. 

But I beseech your grace, (without offence — 
My conscience bids me ask,) wherefore you have 
Commanded of me these most poisonous com- 
Which are the movers of a languishing death ; 
But, though slow, deadly ? 

Queen. I wonder, doctor, 

Thou ask'st me such a question : Have I not been 
Thy pupil long ? Hast thou not learn' d me how 
To make perfumes ? distd ? preserve ? yea, so, 
That our great king himself doth woo me oft 
Por my confections ? Having thus far pro- 
(Unless thou think' st me devilish,) is't not meet 
That I did amplify my judgment in 
Other conclusions ? a I will try the forces 
Of these thy compounds on such creatures as 
We count not worth the hanging, (but none 

To try the vigour of them, and apply 
Allayments to their act ; and by them gather 
Then* several virtues, and effects. 

Cor. Your highness 

Shall from this practice but make hard your 

heart : 3 
Besides, the seeing these effects will be 
Both noisome and infectious. 

Queen. 0, content thee. 

Enter Pisanio. 

Here comes a flattering rascal ; upon him 

Will I first work : he 's for his master, 
And enemy to my son. — How now, Pisanio? 
Doctor, your service for this time is ended ; 
Take your own way. 

Cor. I do suspect you, madam ; 

But you shall do no harm. [Aside. 

Queen. Hark thee, a word. — 

[To Pisanio. 

Cor. [Aside.'] I do not like her. She doth 
think she has 
Strange lingering poisons : I do know her spirit, 
And will not trust one of her malice with 
A drusr of such damn'd nature : Those she has 
Will stupify and dull the sense awhile : 
Which first, perchance, she '11 prove on cats and 

dogs ; 
Then afterward up higher ; but there is 
No danger in what show of death it makes, 
More than the locking up the spirits a time. 
To be more fresh, reviving. She is fool'd 
With a most false effect; and I the truer 
So to be false with her. 

" Conclusions— experi 


\ 1 

(V.M P.]; LINK. 


(ju No further service, doctor, 

Until I scud for tlicc. 

I humbly take my leave. 
Queen. Weeps she still, say'st thou? Dost 
thou think in time 
Bhe will not quench; and let instructions enter 
Where folly now possesses? Do thou work : 
i thou shalt bring me word she loves my 

I '11 tell thee, on the instant, thou art then 

great as is thy master: greater; for 

I I is fortunes all lie speechless, and his name 
Is at last gasp : Return he cannot, nor 
Continue where he is : to shift his being 

Is to exchange one misery with another; 
And every day that comes, comes to decay 
A day's work in him : What shalt thou expect, 
To be depender on a thing that leans, — 
Who cannot be new built, nor has no friends, 

[The Queen drops a box : Pisanio 
takes it up. 
So much as but to prop him ? — Thou tak'st up 
Thou know'st not what ; but take it for thy la- 
bour : 
It is a thing 1 made, which hath the king 
Five times redeem'd from death : I do not know 
What is more cordial : — Nay, I prithee, take it ; 
It is an earnest of a further good 
That I mean to thee. Tell thy mistress how 
The case stands with her ; do 't, as from thyself. 
Think what a chance thou changest on ; but 

Thou hast thy mistress still, — to boot, my son, 
Who shall take notice of thee : I '11 move the 

To any shape of thy preferment, such 
\» thou 'It desire; and then myself, I chiefly, 
That set thee on to this desert, am bound 

I hy merit richly. Call my women : 
Think on my words. [Exit Pisa.] — A sly and 
constant knave ; 
to he shak'd : the agent for his master; 
And the remembrancer of her, to hold 

andfast a tohcrlonl. — I have given him thc.t, 
i, if he take, shall quite unpeople her 
Of Liegers for her Bweei ; and which she, after, 
Except she bend her humour, shall be assur'd 

/, ■ PiSAKio and Ladies. 

To taste of too. — So, so ;— well dune, well dune : 
The violets, cowslips, and the primros 

e thee well, Pisanio; 
Think on my words. [1 I 1 1 : ■-..-■' 1. 

» Handfast, fiom tl xon handfctilnn. n pledge, 

en assurance, was the betrothal or contract of marriage. 


Pis. And shall do : 

Bui when to my good lord 1 prove untrue, 
I '11 choke myself : there 's all I '11 do for you. 


SCENE Nil.— Another Room in (he Palace. 

Enter Imogen. 

Imo. A father cruel, and a stcp-dame false ; 
A foolish suitor to a wedded lady, 
That hath her husband banish' d ;— O, that hus- 
band ! 
My supreme crown of grief! and those re- 
Vexations of it ! Had I been thief-stolen, 
As my two brothers, happy ! but most miserable 
Is the desire that 's glorious : Blessed be those, 
How mean soe'er, that have their honest wills, 
Which seasons a comfort. — Who may this be? 

Enter Pisanio and Iachimo. 

Pis. Madam, a noble gentleman of Rome, 
Comes from my lord with letters. 

Iaeh. Change you, madam ? 

The worthy Leonatus is in safety, 
And greets your highness dearly. 

[Presents a letter. 

You are kindly welcome. 

lack. All of her that is out of door, most rich . 

If she be furnish' d with a mind so rare, 
She is alone the Arabian bird ; and I 
Have lost the wager. Boldness be my friend ! 
Ann me, audacity, from head to foot ! 
Or, like the Parthian, I shall flying fight ; 4 
Rather, directly fly. 

Imo. [Reads.] ' He is one of the noblest note, to whose 
kindnesses I am most infinitely tied. Reflect upon him 

accordingly, as you value your trust b 

' Leonatus.' 

So far I read aloud : 

But even the very middle of my heart 

Is warm'd by the rest, and takes it thankfully. 

You are as welcome, worthy sir, as I 

1 lave words to bid you; and shall find it so 

In all that I can do. 

a Seasons is a vert). The mean have their honest, homely 
wills — (opposed to the desire that 's glorious) — and that cir- 
cumstance gives a relish to comfort. 

i> Trust. Imogen breaks off" in reading the letter of 
Leonatus. That whi'h is addressed to her in the tender- 
ness of affection is not "read aloud." Unmindful of this, 
the passage has been altered into " Reflect upon Irim 
accordingly, as you value your truest Leonatus." Toe 
signature is separated from the word which has been 
changed to truest, by the passage which Imogen glances a' 
in thankful silence. 

Thanks, good sir : 

AST I.] 



lack. Thauks, fairest lady. — 

What ! are men mad ? Hath nature given them 

To see this vaulted arch, and the rich crop 
Of sea and land, which can distinguish 'twixt 
The fiery orbs above, and the twinn'd stones 
Upon the number' d beach ? a and can we not 
Partition make with spectacles so precious 
Twixt fair and foul ? 

Imo. What makes your admiration ? 

lack. It cannot be i' the eye ; for apes and 
'Twixt two such shes, would chatter this way 

Contemn with mows the other : Nor i' the judg- 
For idiots, in this case of favour, would 
Be wisely definite : Nor i' the appetite ; 
Sluttery, to such neat excellence oppos'd, 
Should make desire vomit emptiness, b 
Not so allur'd to feed. 

Imo. "What is the matter, trow ? 

lack. The cloyed will, 

(That satiate yet unsatisfied desire, 
That tub both fill'd and running,) ravening first 
The lamb, longs after for the garbage. 

Imo. What, dear sir, 

Thus raps c you ? Are you well ? 

lack. Thauks, madam ; well :— 'Beseech you, 
sir, desire [To Pisaxio. 

My man's abode where I did leave him : he 
Is strange and peevish. 

Pis. I was going, sir, 

To give him welcome. [Exit Pisan'io. 

Imo. Continues well my lord? His health, 
'beseech you ? 

lack. Well, madam. 

Imo. Is he dispos'd to mirth? I hope he is. 

lack. Exceeding pleasant ; none a stranger 
So merry and so gamesome : he is call'd 
The Briton reveller. 

j m0 . When he was here 

He did incline to sadness ; and oft-times 
Not knowing why. 

Iach. I never saw him sad. 

There is a Frenchman his companion, one 
An eminent monsieur, that, it seems, much 

a The stones of the beach are each so like the other that 
the epithet twinn'd is appropriate. If number d be the 
right word it must be taken in the sense of numerous, 
numberous. Theobald read " th' unnumber'd beach." 

b Dr. Johnson has given an explanation of this passage, 
which is an amusing specimen of his Lexiphanit style: 
" to feel the convulsions of eructation without plenitude." 

c Raps you— transports you. We are familiar with the 
participle rapt, but this form of the verb is uncommon. 

A Gallian girl at home : he furnaces 

The thick sighs from him ; whiles the jolly 

(Your lord, I mean) laughs from 's free lungs, 

cries, ' ! 
Can my sides hold, to think that man, — who 

By history, report, or his own proof, 
What woman is, yea, what she cannot choose 
But must be, — will his free hours languish for 
Assured bondage ? ' 

Imo. Will my lord say so ? 

Iach. Ay, madam ; with his eyes in flood with 
It is a recreation to be by, 
And hear Mm mock the Frenchman : But, 

heavens know, 
Some men are much to blame. 

Imo. Not he, I hope. 

Iach. Not he : But yet heaven's bounty to- 
wards him might 
Be us'd more thankfully. In himself, 't is much ; 
In you, — which I account his, beyond all ta- 
lents, — 
AVhilst I am bound to wonder, I am bound 
To pity too. 

Imo. What do you pity, sir ? 

Iach. Two creatures, heartily. 

Imo. Am I one, sir? 

You look on me. "What wreck discern you in me 
Deserves your pity ? 

Iach. Lamentable ! What ! 

To hide me from the radiant sun, aud solace 
I' the dungeon by a snuff ? 

Imo. I pray you, sir, 

Deliver with more openness your answers 
To my demands. Why do you pity me ? 

Iach. That others do, 

I was about to say, enjoy your But 

It is an office of the gods to venge it, 
Not mine to speak on't. 

j mo . You do seem to know 

Something of me, or what concerns me. 'Pray 

(Since doubting things go ill often hurts more 
Than to be sure they do : For certainties 
Either are past remedies ; or, timely knowing, 
The remedy then born,) discover to me 
What both you spur and stop. 

j ac ] u Had I this check, 

To bathe my lips upon ; this hand, whose touch, 
Whose every touch, would force the feeler's soid 
To the oath of loyalty : this object, which 
Takes prisoner the wild motion of mine eye, 
Fixing it only here : should I (damnd then) 


.-.CT I.) 



Slaver with lips as common as the stairs 
That mount the Capitol : join gripes with h 
Made hard with hourly falsehood (falsehood, as 
'Willi labour); then, by-peeping' in an eye, 
Base ami onlustrons as the Bmoky lighl 
That 'a fed with stinking tallow ; it were fit, 
That all the plagues of hell should at one time 
1'ncounter such revolt. 

Into. My lord, I fear, 

II is i trgot Britain. 

lack. And himself. Not I, 

Inclin'd to this intelligence, pronounce 
The beggary of his change ; but 'tis your graces 
That, from my mutest conscience, to my tongue, 
Charms this report out. 

Imo. Let mc hear no more. 

Ictch. O clearest soul ! your cause doth strike 
my heart 
With pity, that doth make mc sick. A lady 

ir, and fasten'd to an empery, 
Would make the great 'st king double! To be 

ixtn< r'd 
With tomboys,* hir'd with that self-exhibition 
Which your own coffers yield ! with diseas'd 

That play with all infirmities for gold 
Which rottenness can lend nature! such boil'd 

As well might poison poison! Be reyeng'd : 
ihe that bore you was no queen, and you 
LI from your great stock. 

Revcng'd ! 
How shoidd I be revcng'd ? If this be true, 
- I have such a heart that both mine ears 
Must not in haste abuse,) if it be true, 
How shall I be reveng'd ? 

■//. Should he make mc 

Live like Diana's priest, betwixt cold sheets, 
Whiles he is vaulting variable ramps, 
In your despite, upon your purse? Revenge it. 

licate myself to your sweet pleasure ; 
Mure noble than that runagate to your bed; 
itinue fast to you on, 


/ • . What ho, Pisanio! 

I. Let mc my service tender on your lips. 
! — I do condemn mine ears that 
So long attended thee. — If thou wert honourable, 

* By-pteplno — so the original. Johnson changed It to 
"lie peeping;" but it appear» to us that "ty-p':eping" is 
clandestinely peeping. 

rstegan thus defines a tomboy: " Tumbe, to dance. 
Tumbed, danced. Hereof we yet call a wench that tklppeth 
or leapeth like a boy, a tomboy." 

c Diana' t prlett. In Pericles we have the expression, 
used by Diana, of " mci'Ien prictti." 

Thou WOuld'st have told this talc for virtue, not 
For such an end thou scck'st; as base, as 

Thou wrong'st a gentleman, who is as far 
From thy report, as thou from honour ; and 
Solicit'st here a lady, that disdains 
Thee and the devil alike. — What, ho ! Pisanio ! — 
The king my father shall be made acquainted 
Of thy assault; if he shall think it fit, 
A saucy stranger, in his court, to mart 
As in a Romish stew, and to expound 
1 1 is beastly mind to us ; he bath a court 
lie lit lie cares for, and a daughter whom 
He not respects at all.— What ho, Pisanio ! 

lack. happy Leonatus ! I may say: 
The credit that thy lady hath of thee 
Deserves thy trust ; and thy most perfect good- 
Her assur'd credit ! — Blessed live you long ! 
A lady to the worthiest sir, that ever 
Country call'd his ! and you his mistress, only 
For the most worthiest lit ! Give me your 

I have spoke this, to know if your affiance 
Were deeply rooted ; and shall make your lord 
That which he is, new o'er : And he is one 
The truest manner' d ; such a holy witch, 
That he enchants societies unto him : 
Half all men's hearts arc his. 
Imo. You make amends. 

lack. He sits 'mongst men, like a descended 

He hath a kind of honour sets him off, 
More than a mortal seemiug. Be not angry, 
Most mighty princess, that I have adventur'd 
To try your taking, a false report which hath 
Honour'd with confirmation your great judgment 
In the election of a sir so rare, 
Which, you know, cannot err : The love I bear 

Made mc to fan you thus ; but the gods made 

Unlike all others, chafflcss. Pray, your pardon. 
». All 's well, sir : Take my power i'thc court 

for yours. 
lac//. My humble thanks. I had almost forgot 
To entreat your grace but in a small request, 
And yet of moment too, for it concerns 
Your lord ; myself, and other noble friends, 
Arc partners in the business. 

Imo. Pray, what is 't ? 

Ictch. Some dozen Romans of us, and your 

(The best feather of our wing,) have mingled 



Act I.] 


[Scene VII. 

To buy a present for the emperor ; 

Which I, the factor for the rest, have done 

In France : 'T is plate, of rare device ; and 

Of rich and exquisite form ; their values great ; 
And I am something curious, being strange, 
To have them in safe stowage. May it please 

To take them in protection ? 

Imo. Willingly ; 

And pawn mine honour for their safety : since 
My lord hath interest in them, I will keep them 
In my bed-chamber. 

Tack. They are in a trunk, 

Attended by my men : I will make bold 
To send them to you, only fortius night. 
I. must aboard to-morrow. 

Imo. 0, no, no. 

lack. Yes, I beseech; or I shall short my 
By length'ning my return. From Gallia 
I cross'd the seas on purpose, and on promise 
To see your grace. 

I>no. I thank you for your pains ; 

But not away to-morrow ! 

lack. 0, I must, madam : 

Therefore, I shall beseech you, if you please 
To greet your lord with writing, do 't to-night : 
I have outstood my tune ; which is material 
To the tender of our present. 

Imo. I will write. 

Seud your trunk to me ; it shall safe be kept, 
Aud truly yielded you : You are very welcome. 



[This diamond was my mother's : take it, heart.] 


Scene IV. — " / would have broke mine eye- 
strings? d'C. 

In Arthur Golding's Translation of Ovid's Meta- 
morphoses (1567) there is a description which 
might have suggested to Shakspere this beautiful 

" She lifting up her watery eyes beheld her husband stand 
Upon the hatches, making signs by becking with his hand: 
And she made signs to him again. And after that the land 
Was far removed from the ship, and that the sight began 
To be unable to discern the face of any man, 
As long as ere she could she look'd upon the rowing keel. 
And when she could-no longer time for distance ken it weel 
She looked still upon the sails that flashed with the wind 
Upon the mast. And when she could the sails no longer 

She gat her to her empty bed with sad and sorry heait." 

2 Scene VI. — " Whiles yet the dew's on ground, 
gatlter those flowers." 

The Queen, distilling herbs for wicked purposes, 
is a striking contrast to the benevolent Friar in 
Romeo and Juliet. Shakspere has beautifully 
indicated the philosophy of the use or abuse by 
man of Nature's productions, in the Friar's soli- 
loquy : — 

" For nought so vile that on the earth doth live, 
But to the earth some special good doth give; 
Nor aught so good, but, strain'd from that fair use, 
Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse." 

* Scene VI. " Your highness 

Shall from this practice but make hard your heart." 

Dr. Johnson, in that spirit of kindness which 
essentially belonged to his nature, remarks upon 
this passage :— " The thought would probably have 
been more amplified had our author lived to be 
shocked with such experiments as have been pub- 
lished in later times by a race of men who have 
practised tortures without pity, and related them 
without shame, an i to erect their 

heads arnoDg huur ■ re by do va 

sure, however, that Shakspere meant to apply a 
sweeping denunciation to such experiments upon 
the power of particular medicines. There can be no 
doubt that, the medical art being wholly tentative, 
it becomes in some cases a positive duty of a scien- 
tific experimenter to inflict pain upon an inferior 
animal for the ultimate purpose of assuaging pain 
or curing disease. It is the useless repetition of 
such experiments which makes hard the heart. It 
is the exhibition of such experiments in the lecture 
room which i3 " noisome and infectious." The 
Queen was unauthorised by her position to 

" Try the forces 
Of these thy compounds on such creatures as 
^Ye count not worth the hanging." 

4 Scene VII.—" Or, like the Parthian, I shall 
flying fight." 

Every one will remember the noble passage in 
' Paradise Regained,' book iii.: — 

" He saw them in their forms of battle rang'd, 
How quick they wheel'd, and flying behind them shot 
Sharp sleet of arrowy show'rs against the face 
Of their pursuers, and overcame by flight." 

The editors of Milton refer to parallel passrges in 
Virgil and Horace as amongst the images with 
which our great epic poet was familiar. The com- 
mentators of Shakspere suffer his line to pass with- 
out a single observation. In the same scene we 
have the following most characteristic expression 
in the mouth of a Roman : — 

" As common as the stairs 
That mount the Capitol." 

Upon this Steevens remarks, " Shakspere has be- 
stowed some ornament on the proverbial phrase, 
' as common as the highway.'" Shakspere's phrase 
proves, amidst a thousand similar proofs, his per- 
fect familiarity with all the knowledge that was 
necessary to make his characters speak appropriately 
with reference to their social position. 

[Hark ! hark ! the lark at heaven's gate sings.] 


SCENE I.— Court before Cymbeline's Palace. 

Enter Cloten and Two Lords. 

Clo. Was there ever man Lad such luck ! 
when I kissed the jack, upon an up-cast to be 
hit away ! a I had a hundred pound on 't : And 
then a whoreson jackanapes must take me up 
for swearing; as if I borrowed mine oaths of 
him, and might not spend them at my pleasure. 

1 Lord. What got he by that ? You have 
broke his pate with your bowl. 

2 Lord. If his wit had been like him that 
broke it, it would have run all out. [Aside. 

Clo. When a gentleman is disposed to swear, 
it is not for any standers-by to curtail his oaths : 

a This is usually pointed, "when I kiss'd the jack upon 
an upcast, to be hit away." But the jack was kiss'd by 
Cloten's bowl, and the up-cast of another bowler hit it 
away. The same technical expressions of kiss anl rnst are 
used by Rowley, in " A Woman never vex'd : " — " This city 
iowlcr has kiss'd the mistress at the first cast." 

2 Lord. No, my lord ; nor [Aside.] crop the. 
ears of them. 

Clo. Whoreson dog ! — I give him satisCac- 
tion ? 'Would he had been one of my rank ! 

2 Lord. To have smelt like a fool, [Aside. 

Clo. I am not vexed more at auy thing in 
the earth, — A pox on 't ! I had rather not be so 
noble as I am. They dare not fight with me, 
because of the queen my mother: every jack- 
slave hath his belly full of fighting, and I must 
go up and down like a cock that no body can 

2 Lord. You are cock and capon too ; and 
you crow, cock, with your comb on. [Aside. 

Clo. Sayest thou ? 

2 Lord. It is not fit your lordship should 
undertake every companion 11 that you give of- 
fence to. 

a Companion is used here, and in other passages of 
Shakspere in the same sense as fellow is at present. Sir 
Hugh Evans denounces the host of the Garter as a 
" scurvy, cogging companion." 


Act II. I 


(S'CEN£ LI. 

Clo. No, I know that: but it is fit T should 
commit offence to mj inferiors. 

i I ■'. Ay, it i> lit for your lordsliip only. 

Clo. Why, so I 

1 Lord. Did you hear of a stranger thai 's 
come to court to-nig 

Clo. A stranger ! and I not know on 't ! 

9 /. rd. He "s a strange fellow himself, and 
knows it not. (side. 

1 Lord. There's an Italian come; and, 'tis 
thought, one of Leonatus' friends. 

I. •■mains ! a banished rascal; and he's 
another, whatsoever he be. Who told you of 
this rP 

1 I r '. One of your lordship's pages. 

Is it fit I went to look upon him ? Is 
there no derogation in't? 

1 Lord. You cannot derogate, my lord. 
Clo. Not easily, I think. 

2 Lord. You arc a fool granted ; therefore 
your issues, being foolish, do not derogate. 


Clo. Come, I'll go see this Italian: What I 
have lost to-day at bowls I'll win to-night of 
him. Come, go. 

2 Lord. I'll attend your lordship. 

[Exeunt Clotex and first Lord. 
That such a crafty devil as is his mother 
Should yield the world this ass ! a woman, that 
Bears all down with her brain ; and this her son 
Cannot take two from twenty for his heart, 
And leave eighteen. Alas, poor princess, 
Thou divine Imogen, what thou endur'st ! 
Betwixt a father by thy step-dame govern'd ; 
A mother hourly coining plots ; a wooer, 
More hateful than the foul expulsion is 
Of thy dear husband. From that horrid act 
Of the divorce he 'd make, the heavens hold firm 
The walls of thy dear honour ; a keep unshak'd 
That temple, thy fair mind; that thou may'st 

To enjoy thy banish'd lord, and this great land ! 


» This passage is usually printed thus : — 

" A wooer, 
• hateful than the foul expvJsion is 
Of thy dear husband, than that horrid art 
Of the divorce he M make ! Tit heavens hold firm 
The walls of thy dear horour! " 

The reading of the original is — 

" A -wooer 
More hateful than the foul expulsion Is 
Of thy dear husband. Then that horrid act 
Of the divorce hecl'd make the heavens hold firm 
The walls of thy dear honour." 

It appears to ut that, amid't such manifest incorrectness of 
raptar, a clearer sense it attained by the change of 
Then to From, tban by altering the construction 
sentence. The Lord implores that the honour of Imogen 
may be held firm, to resist the horrid act of the dl 
from her huibtnd which Cloten would make. 


SCENE II. — A Bed-Chamber; in one part of 
it a Trunk. 

Imogen reading in her bed} a Lady attending. 
Into. Who's there? my woman Helen? 
Lady. Please you, madam. 

Lmo. What hour is it ? 

TAubj. Almost midnight, madam. 

lmo. I have read three hours then : mine 
eyes arc weak : 
Fold down the leaf where I have left : To bed : 
Take not away the taper, leave it burning; 
Aud if thou canst awake by four o' the clock, 
I prithee, call me. Sleep hath sciz'd me wholly. 

Ei it Lad} . 
To your protection I commend me, gods ! 
From fairies, and the tempters of the night, 
Guard me, beseech ye ! 

[Sleeps. Iacuimo, from the trunk, 
lack. The crickets sing, and man's o'cr-la- 
bour'd sense 
Repairs itself by rest : Our Tarquin thus 
Did softly press the rushes, 1 ere he waken'd 
The chastity he wounded- — Cytherea, 
How bravely thou becom'st thy bed ! fresh 

And whiter than the sheets ! That I i 

touch ! 
But kiss ; one kiss ! — Rubies unparagon'd, 
How dearly they do't— 'Tis her breathing thai 
Perfumes the chamber thus : The flame o' the 

Bows toward her; and would under-pcep hci 

To see the enclosed lights, now canopied 
Under these windows, white and azure, lae'd 
With blue of heaven's own tinct. a — But my de- 

" This celel rated passage has produced some difference of 
I the commentators. First, ('apell sav- <■( 
the word windows, "the poet's meaning is shutters." Han- 
mer changed the word to " curtains." The window is the 
aperture through which light and air are admitted to a room 
— sometimes closed, at other times opened. It is the wind- 
We have the word in Homeo and Juliet, similarly 
applied — 

" Uhy eye's windows fall 

Like death, when he shuts'up the day of life " 
Capcll then goes on to say, that the "white and azure" 
refer to the white skin, generally, laced with blue veins. 

ly, Malone thinks that the epithets apply to the 
"enclosed lights"— the eyes. Lastly, Warburton decides 
that the eye-luls were intended. We are disposed to agree 
with him. The eye-lid of an extremely fair voung woman 
is often of a tint that may be properly called "white and 
azure ; " which is produced by the net-work of exceedingly 
fine veins that runs through and colours that beautiful 
structure. Shakspere has described this peculiarity ir: his 
Venus and Adonis— 

" Her two blue windows faintly she upheavcth." 
And in The Winter's Tale, w> have— 

" Violets dim, 
But sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes." 
Hut in the text before us, the eye-lids are not only of a " v hit. 1 

Act II.] 


[Scene III. 

To note the chamber. I will write all down : 
Such and such pictures : — There the window : 

The adornment of her bed : — The arras, figures," 
Why, such, and such : — And the contents o' the 

All, but some natural notes about her body 
Above ten thousand meaner moveables 
Would testify, to enrich mine inventory. 
sleep, thou ape of death, lie dull upon her ! 
And be her sense but as a monument, 
Tims in a chapel lying ! — Come off, come off; 

{Talcing off her bracelet. 
As slippery, as the Gordian knot was hard ! 
'T is mine ; and this will witness outwardly, 
As strongly as the conscience does within, 
To the madding of her lord. On her left breast 
A mole cinque-spotted, like the crimson drops 
F the bottom of a cowslip. Here 's a voucher, 
Stronger than ever law could make : this secret 
Will force him think I have pick'd the lock, and 

The treasure of her honour. No more. — To 

what end ? 
Why should I write this down, that 's riveted, 
Screw'd to my memory ? She hath been reading 

The tale of Tercus; here the leaf's turned down 
Where Philomel gave up ; — I have enough : 
To the trunk again, and shut the spring of it. 
Swift, swift, you dragons of the night, that 

May bare the raven's eye ! b I lodge in fear ; 
Though this a heavenly angel, hell is here. 

[Clock strikes. 
One, two, three, — Time, time ! 

[Goes into the trunk. The scene closes. 

and azure" hue, but they are also " lac'd with blue of hea- 
ven's own tinet " — marked with the deeper blue of the larger 
veins. The description is here as accurate as it is beautiful. 
It cannot apply with such propriety to the eye, which cer- 
tainly is not lac'd with blue ; nor to the skin generally, 
which would not be beautiful as " white and azure." It is, 
to our minds, one of the many examples of Shakspere's ex- 
treme accuracy of observation, and of his transcendant 
power of making the exact and the poeticai blend with, and 
support, each other. 

^ M. Mason would read " the arras-figures ; " but lachimo 
subsequently describes, not only the figures of the arras, but 
its particular quality — 

"Tapestry of silk and silver; the story 
Proud Cleopatra," &c. 

b The original reads, "may bearc the raven's eye." 
Theobald corrected it to bare. We are not quite sure of the 
propriety of the correction, though we are unwilling to dis- 
turb the received text. To bare the raven's eye, is to open 
the raven's eye— the eye of one of the earliest-waking and 
the quickest-seeing of birds. The predatory habits of the 
raven require that he should be up before the shepherd is 
about with his flocks ; and his piercing eye at once leads him 
where the feeble lamb lies in some hollow a ready victim, or 
where the leveret has crept abroad in the grey of the morn- 
ing from the safe form of its mother. The dawning may 
bare that eye; or the dawning may bear, may sustain, may 
be distinct enough to endure— the proof of that acute vision. 

SCENE III.— Without the Palace, under Imo- 
gen's Apartment. 

Enter Cloten and Lords. 

1 Lord. Your lordship is the most patient mau 
in loss, the most coldest that ever turned up ace. 

Clo. It would make any man cold to lose. 

1 Lord". But not every man patient after the 
noble temper of your lordship. You are most 
hot and furious when yon win. 

Clo. Winning will put any man into courage. 
If I could get this foolish Imogen, I should have 
gold enough. It 's almost morning, is 't not ? 

1 Lord. Day, my lord. 

Clo. I would this music would come : I am 
advised to give her music o' morniugs ; they say 
it will penetrate. 

Enter Musicians. 
Come on ; tune. If you can penetrate her with 
your fingering, so; we '11 try with tongue too : if 
none will do, let her remain ; but I '11 never give 
o'er. First, a very excellent good-conceited 
thing ; after, a wonderful sweet air, with ad- 
mirable rich words to it, — and then let her con- 


Hark ! hark! the lark at heaven's gate sings, 9 

And Phcebus 'gins arise, 
His steeds to water at those springs 

On chalic'd flowers that lies ?» 
And winking Mary-buds begin to ope their golden eyes ; •> 
With everything that pretty isc — My lady sweet, arise : 
Arise, arise. 

So, get you gone. If this penetrate, I will con- 
sider your music the better : if it do not, it is a 
voice d in her ears, which horse-hairs and calves' - 
guts, e nor the voice of unpaved eunuch to boot, 
can never amend. [Exeunt Musicians. 

a This apparently false concord is in truth a touch of our 
antique idiom, which adds to the beauty of this exquisite 
song. (See Illustration of Romeo and Juliet, Act n. 
Illust. C.) 

t> In one of Browne's Pastorals is a passage which illus- 
trates this : — 

*' The day is waxen old, 
And 'gins to shut up with the marigold." 

c Hanmer changed this to bin — a pretty word. Cut is 
occurs in the folio. We print the lines as they are printed 
in that edition ; by which, in all probability, a different time 
of the air was indicated — a more rapid movement. 

d Voice. So the old copies. It lias been changed to 

e Calres'-guts. So the old copy. Rowe changed this to 
cats'-guts, and he has been since followed. The word cats'- 
gut — or catgut — is essentially modem. W r e believe that 
there is not an example of it in any old author. In Bacon's 
Natural History we have a passage in which gut — a musical 
string made of an animal substance — is thus spoken of — 
" A viol should have a lay of wire-strings below, close to the 
belly, and the strings of guts mounted upon a bridge." 
Why not, then, calves' -guts, as well as cats'-guts i We know 
not how the name catgut arose, for cats have as little to do 
with the production of such strings as mice have. At any 
rate, if the text of Shakspere is an authority that such 
strings were made from calves, we are not called upon to 
destroy the record by insisting that they ought to have been 
made from cats. 


Act II.] 

( V MI', E LINK. 

[Scene III. 

Enter Ctmbbuhb i 

2 ford. Here comes the king. 

Clo. I am glad I was up BO late; for that's 
the reason I was up so early. He cannot 
choose hut lake this service I have done, fa- 
therly. Good morrow to your majesty, and to 
niv gracious mother. 

. Attend yon here the door of our stern 
Will she not forth? 

Clo. 1 have assailed her with musics, but she 
vouchsafes no notice. 

i. The exile of her minion is too new ; 
She hath not yet forgot him : some more time 
Must wear the print of his remembrance out, 
And then she 's yours. 

Queen. You are most bound to the king, 

Who lets go by no vantages that may 
Prefer you to his daughter. Frame yourself 
To orderly solicits ; and, befriended 
With aptness of the season, make denials 
Increase your services : a so seem, as if 
You were inspir'd to do those duties which 
You tender to her, that you in all obey her, h 
Save when command to your dismission tends, 
And therein you are senseless. 

Clo. Senseless ? not so. 

Enter a Messenger. 

Mess. So like you, sir, ambassadors from 
Rome ; 
The one is Caius Lucius. 

Qym. A worthy fellow, 

Albeit he comes on angry purpose now ; 
But that 's no fault of his : We must receive him 
According to the honour of his sender ; 
And towards himself, his goodness forcspentonus, 
We must extend our notice. Our dear son, 
When you have given good morning to your 
id the queen and us ; we shall have need 
] :iploy you towards this Roman. — Come, our 
\TSxeutU Cv.m., QjJEEN, Lords, and Mess. 
Clo. If she be up, I'll speak with her; if not, 

1 Tills is ordinarily printed, 

" And be friended 
With aptness of th ilala 

Increase juur servii 

H of Mom I '■' 
b 1 . illy pointed thus — 

u ir 

re in«pir'd in do those duties which 
You tender to her: that you in all obey her," Sre. 
The meaning of r- .that you in 

all oh If yon wen- inspir'd," &c. The cutting off 

of the last member of tl 
You are tcntelcti ha. the meaning of be you ten 


Let her lie still and dream. — By your leave, 

ho ! — [Knocks. 

I know her women arc about her. What 
If I do line one of their hands ? 'T is gold 
Which buys admittance ; oft it doth ; yea, and 

Diana's rangers false a themselves, yield up 
Their deer to the stand o' the stealer; and 'tis gold 
"Which makes the true man kill'd, and saves the 

Nay, sometime, hangs both thief and true man : 

Can it not do, and undo ? I will make 
One of her women lawyer to me ; for 
I yet not understand the case myself. 
By your leave. [Knocks. 

Enter a Lady. 

Lad//. Who 5 s there that knocks ? 

Clo. A gentleman. 

Lad//. No more ? 

Clo. Yes, and a gentlewoman's son. 

Ladj/. That 's more 

Than some, whose tailors arc as dear as yours, 
Can justly boast of: What's your lordship's 
pleasure ? 

Clo. Your lady's person : Is she ready ? 

Lady. Ay, 

To keep her chamber. 

Clo. There is gold for you ; sell me jour good 

Lady. How ! my good name ? or to report of 
What I shall think is good ? — The princess — 

Enter Imogen. 

Clo. Good-morrow, fairest : sister, your sweet 

Imo. Good-morrow, sir: You lay out too much 
For purchasing but trouble : the thanks I give 
Is telling you that I am poor of thanks, 
And scarce can spare them. 

Clo. Still, I swear I love yon. 

Imo. If you but said so 't were as deep wit h me : 
If you swear still, your rccompcncc is still 
That I regard it not. 

Clo. This is no answer. 

Imo. But that you shall not say I yield, being 
1 would not speak. I pray you, spare me : i' faith, 
I shall unfold equal discourtesy 
To your best kindness ; one of your great knowing 
Should learn, being taught, forbearance. 

a False is here used as a verb. See Note in The Comedy 
of Errors, Act II., Sc. II. 

Act II.] 


[ScENJi IV. 

Clo. To leave you in your madness, 't were 
my siu : 
I will not. 

Imo. Fools are not mad folks. 

Clo. Do you call me fool ? 

Imo. As I am mad, I do : 
If you '11 be patient, I '11 no more be mad ; 
That cures us both. I am much sorry, sir, 
You put me to forget a lady's manners, 
By being so verbal : a and learn now, for all, 
That I, which know my heart, do here pronounce, 
By the very truth of it, I care not for you ; 
And am so near the lack of charity, 
(To accuse myself,) I hate you; which I had rather 
You felt, than make't my boast. 


You sin against 

Obedience, which you owe your father. For 
The contract you pretend with that base wretch, 
(One bred of alms, and foster 'd with cold dishes, 
With scraps o' the court,) it is no contract, none : 
And though it be allow'd in meaner parties, 
(Yet who than he more mean ?) To knit their souls 
(On whom there is no more dependency 
But brats and beggary) in self-figur'd knot, 
Yet you are curb'd from that enlargement by 
The consequence o' the crown ; and must not soil 
The precious note of it with a base slave, 
A liilding for a livery, a squire's cloth, 
A pantler, not so eminent. 

Imo. Profane fellow ! 

Wert thou the son of Jupiter, and no more 
But what thou art besides, thou wert too base 
To be his groom : thou wert dignified enough, 
Even to the point of envy, if 't were made 
Comparative for your virtues, to be styl'd 
The under -hangman of his kingdom ; and hated 
For being preferr'd so well. 

Clo. The south-fog rot him ! 

Imo. He never can meet more mischance than 


To be but nam'd of thee. His meanest garment, 
That ever hath but clipp'd his body, is dearer, 
In my respect, than all the hairs above thee, 
Were they all made such men. — How now, 
Pisanio ? 

Enter Pisanio. 

Clo. His garment ? Now, the devil — 
Imo. To Dorothy my woman hie thee pre- 
sently : — 
Clo. His garment ? 

a So verbal. Johnson defines this, " so verbose, so full of 
talk." But neither Cloten nor Imogen have used many 
words. Imogen has heen parrying her strange admirer; 
but she now resolves to speak p'ainly— to be verbal— and 
thus to forget a lady's m.inners. 

Imo. I am sprightcd with a fool : 

Frighted, and anger'd worse :— Go, bid my woman 
Search for a jewel, that too casually 
Hath left mine arm ; it was thy master's : 'shrew 

If I would lose it for a revenue 
Of any king's in Europe. I do think 
I saw 't this morning : confident I am 
Last night 't was on mine arm ; I kiss'd it : 
I hope it be not gone, to tell my lord 
That I kiss aught but he. 

Pis. 'T will not be lost. 

Imo. I hope so : go and search. [Exit Pis. 

Clo. Yon have abus'd me : — 

His meanest garment ? 

Imo. Ay ; I said so, sir. 

If you will make 't an action call witness to 't. 

Clo. I will inform your father. 

Imo. Your mother too : 

She 's my good lady ; ft and will conceive, I hope, 
But the worst of me. So I leave you, sir, 
To the worst of discontent. [Exit. 

Clo. I '11 be reveng'd : — 

His meanest garment ? — Well. [Exit. 

SCENE IV. -Borne. An Apartment in 
Philario',? House. 

Enter Posthtjmus and Philario. 

Post. Fear it not, sir ; I would I were so sure 
To win the king, as I am bold her honour 
Will remain hers. 

Phi. What means do you make to him ? 

Post. Not any ; but abide the change of time ; 
Quake in the present winter's state, and wish 
That warmer days would come : In these sear'd 

hopes, b 
I barely gratify your love ; they failing, 
I must die much your debtor. 

Phi. Your very goodness, and your company, 
O'erpays all I can do. By this, your king 
Hath heard of great Augustus : Caius Lucius 
Will do his commission thoroughly : And, I think 
He '11 grant the tribute, send the arrearages, 
Or look upon our Eomans, whose remembrance 
Is yet fresh in their grief. 

Post. I do believe, 

(Statist though I am none, nor like to be,) 

a She's my good lad//. This phrase is used ironically. To 
" stand my good lord," is — to be my good friend. 

b Sear'd hopes. This was ordinarily printed fear' d hopes 
— a reading silently adopted by the commentators in the 
variorum editions, but explained by Eccles, in his edition of 
this drama (1801), as " hopes blended with frars." We have 
ventured to change the text to sear'd hopes. "In the present 
winter's state" the hopes of Posthuinus are tear'd; but they 
still exist, and in cherishing them, wither d as they are, he 
barely gratifies his friend's love. Mr. Dyce says that the 
alteration of fear'd to sear'd is marked in Tyrwhitt's copy 
of the second folio in the British Museum. We had not 
soen that copv when we made the change. 


A. II.] 


[Scene IV. 

That this will prove a war ; and you shall b 
The legions, now in Gallia, 
In our not-fearing Britain, than have tidings 
Of any penny tail 1. Our countrymen 

Are men more ordcr'd, than when Julius Caesar 
Smil'd at their lack of skill, but found their courage 
thy his i. - at : Their discipline 

I s with their courages) will make 
To their approvers, they are people such 
That mend upon the world. 

Enter Iaciiimo. 

Phi. See ! Tachimo ! 

Post. The swiftest harts have posted you by 
land : 
And winds cf all the corners kiss'd your sails, 
To make vour vessel nimble. 


Phi. Welcome, sir. 

Post. I hope the briefness of your answer made 
The speedincss of your return. 

lack. Your lady 

Is one of the fairest that I have look'd upon. 

Post. And therewithal the best: or let her 
Look through a casement to allure false hearts, 
And be false with them. 

Iach. Here are letters for you. 

Post. Their tenour good, I trust. 

Iach. 'T is very like. 

Phi. Was Caius Lucius in the Britain court, 
When you were there ? b 

Iach. He was expected then, 

But not approach'd. 

P< All is well yet. 

Sparkles this stone as it was wont ? or is 't not 
Too dull for your good wearing ? 

Iach. If I have lost it, 

nld have lost the worth of it in gold. 
I 'U make a journey twice as far, to enjoy 
A second night of such sweet shortness, which 
mine in Britain ; for the ring is won. 

Post. The stone 's too hard to come by. 

Iach. Not a whit, 

* Mingled. The folio is distinctly printed wing-led — the 

Howe to 

in the folio u ind 

has been printed for mind, i on in not very strong, 

itched thr ; mors 

"hat an un ordinarily substituted 

to the u xt, 

t part 
throws out such : 

j-lrd in I on. 

riginal, belongs to l'usthumus. 
Uut he is intent upon his letters. 

lady being so easy. 

Post. Make not, sir, 

Your loss your sport : I hope you know that wc 
Must not continue friends. 

Iach. Good sir, we must, 

If you keep covenant : Had I not brought 
The knowledge of your mistress home, I grant 
We were to question further : but I now 
Profess myself the winner of her honour, 
Together with your ring ; and not the wronger 
Of her, or you, having proceeded but 
By both your wills. 

Post. If you can make 't apparent 

That you have tasted her in bed, my hand, 
And ring, is yours : If not, the foul opinion 
You had of her pure honour gains, or loses, 
Your sword, or mine ; or masterless leaves both 
To who shall find them. 

Iach. Sir, my circumstances 

Being so near the truth as I will make them, 
Must first induce you to believe : whose strength 
I will confirm with oath ; which, I doubt not, 
You '11 give me leave to spare, when you shall find 
You need it not. 

Post. Proceed. 

Iach. First, her bed-chamber, 

(Where, I confess, I slept not ; but profess, 
Had that was well worth watching,) it was hang'd 
With tapestry of silk and silver ; the story 
Proud Cleopatra, when she met her Roman, 
And Cydnus swell'd above the banks, or for 
The press of boats, or pride : A piece of work 
So bravely done, so rich, that it did strive 
In workmanship, and value; which I wonder'd, 
Could be so rarely and exactly wrought, 
Since the true life on 't was — 

Post. This is true ; 

And this you might have heard of here, by me, 
Or by some other. 

Iach. More particulars 

Must justify my knowledge. 

Post. So they must, 

Or do your honour injury. 

Iach. The chimney 

Is south the chamber ; and the chimney-piece, 
Chaste Dian, bathing : never saw I figures 
So likely to report themselves : the cutter 
Was as another nature, dumb; outwent her, 
Motion and breath left out. 

Post. This is a thing 

Which you might from relation likewise n 
Being, as it is, much spoke of. 

la. . The roof o' the chamber 

With golden cherubins is fretted: 3 Her andirons 
(I had forgot them,) were two winking Cupids 

Act II.] 



Of silver, each on one foot standing, nicely 
Depending on their brands. 4 

Post. This is her honour ! a — 

Let it be granted you have seen all this, (and praise 
Be given to your remembrance,) the description 
Of what is in her chamber nothing saves 
The wager you have laid. 

lack. Then, if you can, 

[Pulling out the bracelet- 
Be pale: I beg but leave to air this jewel : b See! — 
And now 't is up again : It must be married. 
To that your diamond ; I '11 keep them. 

Post. Jove ! 

Once more let me behold it : is it that 
Which I left with her ? 

lack. Sir, (I thank her,) that : 

She stripp'd it from her arm ; I see her yet ; 
Her pretty action did outsell her gift, 
And yet enrich'd it too : She gave it me, and said 
She priz'd it once. 

Post. May be she pluck'd it off, 

To send it me. 

lack. She writes so to you ? doth she ? 

Post. 0, no, no, no ; 't is true. Here, take this 

too ; [Gives the ring. 

It is a basilisk unto mine eye, 

Kills me to look on 't : — Let there be no honour 

Where there is beauty ; truth, where semblance ; 

Where there 's another man : The vows of women 
Of no more bondage be to where they are 

Than they are to their virtues ; which is 

nothing : — 
0, above measure false ! 

Phi. Have patience, sir, 

And take your ring again ; 'tis not yet won : 
It may be probable she lost it ; or, 
Who knows if one of her women, being cor- 
Hath stolen it from her ? 

Posi. Very true ; 

And so I hope he came by 't : — Back my 

Render to me some corporal sign about her, 
More evident than this ; for this was stolen. 

lack. By Jupiter, I had it from her arm. 

a lachimo has just said — 

" I now 
Profess myself the winner of her honour." 

b Johnson interprets this reading, "if you can forbear to 
flush your cheek with rage." Boswell says, ''if you -can 
restrain yourself within bounds. To pale is commonly 
used for to confine or surround." lachimo has produced 
no effect upon Posthumus up to this moment; but he now 
says, if you can, be pale : I will see what this jewel will do 
to make you change countenance. 

PosC. Hark you, he swears ; by Jupiter he 
'T is true ; — nay, keep the ring — 't is true, I am 

She would not lose it : her attendants are 
All sworn, and honourable : — They indue'd to 

steal it ! 
And by a stranger ! — No, he hath enjoy'd her : 
The cognizance of her incontinency 
Is this, — she hath bought the name of whore 

thus dearly. 
There, take thy hire ; and all the fiends of hell 
Divide themselves between you 

Phi. Sir, be patient ! 

This is not strong enough to be belieVd 
Of one persuaded well of — 

Post. Never talk on 't ; 

She hath been eolted by him. 

lach. If you seek 

For further satisfying, under her breast 
(Worthy the pressing) lies a mole, right proud 
Of that most delicate lodging : By my life, 
I kiss'd it ; and it gave me present hunger 
To feed again, though full. You do remember 
This stain upon her ? 

Post. Ay, and it doth confirm 

Another stain, as big as hell can hold, 
Were there no more but it. 

Iach. Will you hear more ? 

Post. Spare your arithmetic : never count the 
turns ; 
Once, and a million ! 

Iach. I'll be swom, — 

Post. No swearing. 

If you will swear you have not done 't, you He ; 
And I will kill thee, if thou dost deny 
Thou hast made me cuckold. 

Iach. I '11 deny nothing. 

Post. O, that I had her here, to tear her limb- 
I will go there, and do't ; i' the court ; before 
Her father : — I '11 do something — [Exit. 

Phi. Quite besides 

The government of patience ! — You have won : 
Let 's follow him, and pervert 1 the present wrath 
He hath against himself. 

Iach. With all my heart. 


SCENE Y.—The same. Another Room in the 


Inter PosTHOirs. 

Post. Is there no way far men to be, but 

a Pervert— for svert. 


Act II.] 



Must be half-workers? We are all bastards ; 

And that most venerable man, winch I 
Did call my father, was 1 know nol where 
"When 1 was stamp'd; sonic coiner with his 

Made mc a counterfeit : Yet my mother seem'd 
The Dian of that time : so doth my wife 
The nonpareil of this.— O vengeance, ven- 
geance ! 
Me of my lawful pleasure she restraiu'd, 
And pray'd me, oft, forbearance : did it with 
A pudency so rosy, the sweet view on't 
Might well have warm'd old Saturn; that I 

thought her 
As chaste as unsunn'd snow : — 0, all the 

devils ! — 
This yellow Iachimo, in an hour, — was 't not? — 
Or less,— at first : Perchance he spoke not ; but, 
Like a full-acorn' d boar, a German one, 
Crv'd, oh ! and mounted : found no opposition 
15 ut what be look'd for should oppose, and she 
Should from encounter guard. Could I find out 

The woman's part in mc ! For there's no motion 
That tends to vice in man, but I affirm 
It is the woman's part : Be it lying, note it, 
The woman's ; flattering, hers ; deceiving, hers ; 
Lust and rank thoughts, hers, hers; revenges, 

hers ; 
Ambitions, covctings, change of prides, disdain, 
Kice longings, slanders, mutability, 
All faults that may be nam'd, nay, that hell 

Why, hers, in part or all; but rather, all: 
For cv'n to vice 

They are not constant, but are changing still 
One vice but of a minute old, for one 
Not half so old as that. I '11 write against them, 
Detest them, curse them : — Yet 't is greater skill 
In a true hate, to pray they have their will : 
The very devils cannot plague them better." 


a This is the same idea that is more piously expressed by 
Sir Thomas More — " God could not lightly do a mar. more 
vengeance than in this world to grant him his own foolish 


[Sleep hath teiz'd me wholly.] 

~^=% L\\ i 

[Monument in Lichfield Cathedral.] 


1 Scene II. — " Our Tarquin thus 

Did softly press the rushes." 

The whole of this scene in its delicacy and 
beauty has some resemblance to the night scene in 
Shakspere's Tarquin and Lucrece. Indeed Rhak- 
spere, in one or two expressions, seems to have 
had his own poem distinctly present to his mind. 
For example : 

" By the light he spies 
Lucretia's glove, wherein her needle sticks: 
He takes it from the rushes where it lies." 

Again ; Iachimo says of Imogen — 

" O sleep, thou ape of death, lie dull upon her ! 
And be her sense but as a monument, 
Thus in a chapel lying ! ' 

Lucretia is in the same way described as a mo- 
numental figure reposing upon a pillow : 

" Where, like a virtuous monument she lies." 

The best illustration of this beautiful image is 
presented by Chantrey's exquisite monument of 
the Sleeping Children. 

2 Scene T&.—« Hark, hark, the lark." 

Steevens asserts, without offering the slightest 
evidence in support of his assertion, that George 
Tragedies.— Vol. I. P 

Peele was the author of this song. The mode, 
however, in which Cloten speaks of it, " A won- 
derful sweet air, with admirable sweet words to it," 
is not exactly in Shakspere's manner ; and yet, if 
it had been the work of any other poet, the com- 
pliment from the mouth of such a character as 
Cloten would have been rather equivocal. In our 
poet's 29th Sonnet we have these lines : — 

" Like to the lark at break of day arising 
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate." 

But in Lyly's Alexander and Campaspe, which 

was first printed in 158-1, we have the image even 

more closely resembling the words of the song. 

Our readers will not object to see Lyly's poem 


'• What bird so sings, yet so does wail ? 
O 'tis the ravish'd nightingale. 
Jug, jug, jug, jug, teureu she cries, 
And still her woes at midnight rise. 
Brave prick song ! who is 't now we hear I 
None but the lark so shrill and clear; 
Now at heaven's gates she claps her wings 
The morn not waking till she sings. 
Hurl;, hark, with what a pretty throat 
Poor robin red-breast tunes his note ; 
Hark, how the jolly cuckoos sing, 
Cuckoo to welcome in the spring. 
Cuckoo to welcome in the spring." 



■^ENR TV. — " The roof o' the chamber 

With golden cherubim it fretted." 

Steevens calls this "a tawdry image." Douce 

justly pays, "The in this instance, given 

a faithful description of the mode iu which the 

rooms in great houses were sometimes ornamented." 

* Scene IV. — "Her andirons 

{ I had forgot them) were two winking Cupids," &c. 
We have no doubt that in this description Shak- 

spore literally describes some work of art which he 
had seen. At Kuowle, one of the most interesting 
of ancient mansions, their are " andirons," of which 
the " two winking Cupids of silver" are not, indeed, 
"each on one foot standing," but in an attitude 
sufficiently graceful to show us that such furniture 
was executed not only of costly materials, but with 
a skill such as the Florentine artists applied to the 
ornamental appendages of the palaces of the 

L Kestoration of the Roman Forum. Scene vn.J 


SCENE L— Britain. A Roon of State in 
Cymbeline's Palace. 

Enter Cyjibeline, Queen, Cloten, and Lords, 
at one door ; and at anollier, Caius Lucius 
and Attendants. 

Cgm. Now say, what would Augustus Caesar 

with us ? 
Luc. When Julius Caesar (whose remem- 
brance yet 
Lives in men's eyes; and will to ears and 

Be theme and hearing ever) was in this Britain, 
And conquer'd it, Cassibelan, thine uncle, 
(Famous in Caesar's praises, no whit less 
Than in his feats deserving it,) for him, 
And his succession, granted Rome a tribute, 
Yearly three thousand pounds; which by thee 

Is left untender'd. 

Queen. And, to kill the marvel, 

Shall be so ever. 

Clo. There be many Caesars, 

Ere such another Julius. Britain is 
A world by itself ; and we will nothing pay 
For wearing our own noses. 

Queen. That opportunity, 

Which then they had to take from us, to resume 
We have again. — Remember, sir, my liege, 
P 2 

The kings your ancestors ; together with 
The natural bravery of yoor isle, which stands 
As Neptune's park, ribbed and paled in 
With rocks a unscaleable, and roaring waters ; 
With sands that will not bear your enemies 1 

But suck them up to the top-mast. A kind of 

Caesar made here ; but made not here his brag 
Of came, and saw, and overcame : with, shame 
(The first that ever touch'd him) he was carried 
From off our coast, twice beaten; and his ship- 
(Poor ignorant baubles !) on our terrible seas, 
Like egg-shells mov'd upon their surges, crack'd 
As easily 'gainst our rocks : For joy whereof, 
The fam'd Cassibelan, who was once at point 
(0, giglot b fortune!) to master Caesar's sword, 
Made Lud's town with rejoicing fires bright, 1 
And Britons strut with courage. 

Clo. Come, there's no more tribute to be 
paid : Our kingdom is stronger than it was at 
that time ; and, as I said, there is no more such 
Caesars : other of them may have crooked noses ; 
but to owe such straight arms, none. 

a Rocks. The original reads oaks. We have no doubt of 
the propriety of the correction, which is Hanmer's. 

b Gii/lot. The term may be explained by its application 
to Joan of Arc, in the First Part of Henry VI. — 
" Young Talbot was not born 
To be the pillage of a giglot wench." 


Act III .] 



Cy>n. Son, lei your mother end. 

We have yel many among us can gripe 
Bshard a- Cassibelan: 1 do not say! am one; 
but I have a hand.— Why tribute F why should 
wo pay tribute? If Caesar can hide the sun 
from na with a blanket, or put the moon in his 
pocket, we will pay him tribute for light; else, 
sir. no .more tribute, pray you now. 

;. You must know, 
Till the injurious Romans did extort 
This tribute from us, we were free: Caesar's 

(Which swell'd so much that it did almost stretch 
The sides o' the world, i against all colour, here 
Did put the yoke upon us; which to shake off 
Becomes a warlike people, whom we reckon 
Ourselves to lie. We do say then to Caesar, 
Our ancestor was that Mulmutius, which 
Ordain'd our laws; (whose use the sword of 

Hath too much mangled; whose repair and 

Shall, by the power we hold, be our good deed, 
Though Rome be therefore angry;) Mulmutius 

made our laws, b 
Who was the first of Britain which did put 
His brows within a golden crown, and call'd 
Himself a king.* 

I am sony, Cymbeline, 
That I am to pronounce Augustus Caesar 

jar that hath more kings his servants than 
Thyself domestic officers) thine enemy : 
Receive it from me, then : — War, and confusion, 
la Caesar's name pronounce I 'gainst thee : look 

* Steevens -would leave out from us in this line, as 
unnecessary words, which only derange the metre. We 
must again, and again, beg the reader to bear in mind 
that this mode of corrupting the text is totally at variance 
with the practice of all the great dramatists of Shakspere's 
age ; it sacrifices force and variety, to produce feebleness 
and monotony. 

b We have another example of a similar corruption, 
adopted from Haniaei by Steevens, who walks amidst 
the luxurious growth of Shakspere's versification like a 
gardener who has predetermined to have no shoot above 
Irn inches long in his whole parterre. This line, in all the 
ra editions (except Malone's of 1821), ,-tands thus — 

" Though Rome be therefore angry ;) Mulmutius." 

this merciless lopping are as follows : — 

" Tiie old copy, in contempt of metre, and regardless of 
the preceding words — 

Mulmutius, which 
Ordain'd our laws ; — 

most absurdly adds, 

made our laws." 

Is it not evident that the oratorical construction of the 
sentence requires this repetition, after the long parenthesis 
which occurs after the first mention of Mulmutius? The 
skill <■: re is shown in repeating the v 

repeating precisely the same words; of which skill 
are two other signal examples, in Love's Labour 'a I \ 
and in Troilus and Cressida. (See Illustiations of l 
Labour's Lost Act IT.) 


l'nr fury not to be resisted: — Thus defied, 
I thank thee for myself. 

Ct/h>. Thou art welcome, Cains. 

Thy Caesar knighted me; 1 my youth 1 spent 
Much under him ; of him I gather' d honour; 
Which he to seek of me again, perforce, 
Behoves me keep at utterance. 5 I am perfect b 
That the Pannonians and Dalmatians, for 
Their liberties, are now in arms : a precedent 
Which not to read would show the Britons cold : 
So Caesar shall not find them. 

Luc. Let proof speak. 

Clo. His majesty bids you welcome. Make 
pastime with us a day, or two, or longer: if 
you seek us afterwards in other terms, you Bball 
find us in our salt-water girdle : if you beat us 
out of it, it is yours ; if you fall in the adven- 
ture, our crows shall fare the better for you; 
and there 's an end. 

Luc. So, sir. 

C//rii. I know your master's pleasure, and he 
mine : 
All the remain is, welcome. [Exeunt, 

SCENE II. — Another Room in the Palace. 

Enter Pisamio, reading a Letter. 

Pis. How ! of adultery ? Wherefore write 
you not 
What monster 's her accuser ? c — Leonatus ! 
0, master ! what a strange infection 
Is fallen into thy ear ! What false Italian 
(As poisonous tongued as handed) hath pre- 
On thy too ready bearing ? — Disloyal ? Kb : 
She 's punish'd for her truth; and undergoes, 
More goddess-like than wife-like, such assaults 
As would take in some virtue. — 0, my master ! 
Thy miud to her is now as low as were 
Thy fortunes. — How ! that I should murthcr 

Upon the love, and truth, and vows, which I 
Have made to thy command P — I, her P — her 

blood ? 
If it be so to clo good service, never 
Let mc be counted serviceable. How look I, 
That I should seem to lack humanity 
So much as this fact comes to ? — Do 't : The 

• Utterance. To fight at utterance is to fight without 
quarter— to the death; the French— Combat it entrance. 
b Perfect— assured. So in The Winter's Tale — 

" Thou art perfect then, our ship hath touch'd upon 
The deserts of Bohemia." 

o The original has, what nmn tiers her accuse? The 
modern correction, which is Howe's, appears to be justilieu 
by the subsequent passage, wltat false Italian t 

Act III.] 


[Scene II. 

That I have sent her, by her own command 
Shall give thee opportunity : a — damn'd paper ! 
Black as the ink that 's on thee ! Senseless bauble, 
Art thou a feodary b for this act, and look'st 
So virgin-like -without ? Lo, here she comes. 

Enter Imogen. 

[ am ignorant in what I am commanded. 

Tmo. How now, Pisanio ? 

Pis. Madam, here is a letter from my lord. 

Imo. Who ? thy lord ? that is my lord ? Leo- 
natus ? 
0, learn'd indeed were that astronomer 
That knew the stars as I his characters ; 
He'd lay the future open. — You good gods, 
Let what is here contain' d relish of love, 
Of my lord's health, of his content, — yet not, 
That we two are asunder, let that grieve him, — 
Some griefs are med'cinable; that is one of 

For it doth physic love ; — of his content, 
All but in that ! — Good wax, thy leave : — 
Bless'd be 

a The original stage direction at the commencement of this 
scene is — " Enter Pisanio reading of a letter." The modern 
editors, when they come to the passage beginning do't, insert 
another stage direction — reading. Upon this Malone raises 
up the following curious theory: — "Our poet from negli- 
gence sometimes makes words change their form under the 
eye of the speaker, who in different parts of the same play 
recites them differently, though he has a paper or letter in 
his hand, and actually reads from it. * * * * • The 
words here read by Pisanio from his master's letter (which 
is afterwards given at length, and in probe) are not found 
there, though the substance of them is contained in it. This 
is one of many proofs that Shakspere had no view to the 
publication of his pieces. There was little danger that such 
an inaccuracy should be detected by the ear of the spectator, 
though it could hardly escape an attentive reader." Now, 
we would ask, what can be more natural — what can be 
mcr? truly in Shakspere's own manner, which is a reflection 
of nature — than that a person having been deeply moved 
by a letter which he has been reading, should comment 
upon the substance of it without repeating the exact words .' 
The very commencement of Pisanio's soliloquy — '"How! 
of adultery? '' — is an example of this. The \ioid adultery is 
not mentioned in the letter upon which he comments. 
Malone refers to a similar negligence in the last scene of 
All's Well that Ends Well, where Helena thus addresses 
Bertram — 

" There is your ring, 
And, look you, here's your letter: This it says, 
When from my finger you can get tins ring," &c. 

Malone adds, " she reads the words from Bertram's letter." 
He lias no right to assume this, nor does ho even give a 
stage direction to that effect in his edition; but, because the 
letter which Helena reads in Act in. contains these words 
— " when thou canst get the ring upon my finger," — Shakspere 
has been guilty of negligence, oversight, inattention, &c. &c., 
in not giving the exact words of the letter, when she offers 
it to Bertram. Really, a critic, putting on a pair of spec- 
tacles, to compare the recollections of deep feeling with the 
document which has stirred that feeling, as he would com- 
pare the copy of an affidavit with the original, is a ludicrous 

b Fcodary — feudary. Hanmer says, "A feodary is one 
who holds his estate under the tenure of suit and service 
to a superior lord." Malone says, "The feodary was the 
escheator's associate, and hence Shakspere, with his usual 
licence, uses the word for a confederate or associate in gene- 
ral." We beg to refer our readers to the Illustrations of 
Henry IV., Part r., Act I., in which we endeavour to show 
that the feudal vassal and the companion were each meant 
by the same word — fere— feudary — feodary. 

You bees that make these locks of counsel ! 

And men in dangerous bonds, pray not alike ; 
Though forfeiters you cast in prison, yet 
You clasp young Cupid's tables. 0, — Good news, 

gods ! [Reads. 

' Justice, and your father's wrath, should he take me in 
his dominion, could not be so cruel to me, an you, the 
dearest of creatures, would even renew me with your eyes. 15 
Take notice that I am in Cambria, at Milford-Haven: What 
your own love will out of this advise you, follow. So, he 
wishes you all happiness, that remains loyal to his vow, and 
your, increasing in love, 

' Leoxatus Posthcmtjs.' 

0, for a horse with wings ! — Hear'st thou, Pi- 
sanio ? 
He is at Milford-Haven : Read, and tell me 
How far 't is thither. If one of mean affairs 
May plod it in a week, why may not I 
Glide thither in a day ? — Then, true Pisanio, 
(Who long'st, like me, to see thy lord; who 

long'st, — 
O, let me 'bate, — but not like me: — yet 

long'st, — 
But in a fainter kind : — 0, not like me ; 
For mine's beyond beyond, ) say, and speak thick, 
(Love's counsellor should fill the bores of hearing, 
To the smothering of the sense,) how far it is 
To this same blessed Milford : And, by the way, 
Tell me how Wales was made so happy, as 
To inherit such a haven : But, first of all, 
How we may steal from hence ; and, for the gap 
That we shall make in time, from our hence- 

» This address to the bees contains one of Shakspere's 
legal allusions. The forfeiters (in the first folio forfeytours) 
had sealed to dangerous bonds; and in that age the seal 
was as binding as the signature, and rather more so. 

t> This sentence is very difficult: but it does not appear to 
us to be mended by the departure from the original reading, 
which we ordinarily find — "Justice, and your father's wrath, 
should he take me in his dominion, could not be so cruel to 
me, as you, O the dearest of creatures, would not even renew 
me with your eyes." Malone inserted not ; and explains the 
reading thus — Justice, &c, could not be so cruel to me, but 
that you would be able to renew me, &c. This may be the 
meaning : but it is scarcely borne out bv the construction of 
Malone's improved sentence. In the original it stands thus 
— "Justice, and your father's wrath, (should he take me in 
his dominion,) could not be so cruel to me, as you : (oh the 
dearest of creatures) would even renew me with your eyes.' 
It is here evident that the printer has mistaken the sense in 
his " could not be so cruel to me, as you : " and when printers 
have a crotchet as to the meaning of a sentence, they seldom 
scruple to deviate from the copy before them. The so re- 
quired therefore from them its parallel conjunction as. But 
if we alter a single letter we have a clear meaning, without 
any forced construction. An is often used familiarly for if by 
Sliakspereandtheother olddramatists.asitwasin discourse 
and correspondence. We have the word repeatedly in Mea- 
sure for Measure: — for example. "An he should, it were an 
alms to hang him." Let us therefore read the sentence with 
the substitution of an for a*— "Justice, and your father's 
wrath, should he take me in his dominion, could not be so 
cruel to me, an you. (O theuearest of creatures,) would even 
renew me with your eyes." Even is here used in the old 
sense of equally, even-so, and is opposed to " so cruel." 

c Beyond beyond. The second beyond is use : a> a sub- 
stantive, which gives us the meaning of further than beyond 
The Scotch have a saying—" at the back of beyont." 


■( r III.] 


[SCKKB 111. 

bid our retuni, to excuse: — but first, how 
hence : 

Why should ' be born or e'er begot ? 

We'll talk of thai hereafter. Prithee, speak, 

How many score of miles nay we well ride 
'Twixt hour and hour ? 

• score 'twixt sun and sun, 
Madam, 'a enough for yen ; and too much too. 

Imo. Why, one that rode to his execution, man, 
Could never go so slow : I have heard of riding 

Where horses have been nimbler than the sands 
That run i' the clock's behalf: — But this is 

foolery : 
Go, bid my woman feign a sickness ; say 
She 'U home to her father : and provide me, 

A riding suit ; no costlier than would fit 
A franklin's housewife. 4 

Pis. Madam, you're best consider. 

Imo. I see before me, man : nor here, nor here, 
Nor what ensues, but have a fog in them, 
That I cannot look tlirough. a Away, I prithee ; 
Do as I bid thee : There 's no more to say ; 
Accessible is none but Alilford way. \Exeunt. 

SCENE IIT. — Wales. A mountainous Country, 
with a Cave. 

Enter Belaritjs, Guiderius, and Arviragus. 

Bel. A goodly day not to keep house, with such 
Whose roof's as low as ours! Stoop, b boys: 

This gate 
Instructs you how to adore the heavens ; and 

bows you 
To a morning's holy office : The gates of mo- 

Are arch'd so high that giants may jet through 
And keep their impious turbands on, without 
Good morrow to the sun. — Hail, thou fair heaven. 
We house i'the rock, yet use thee not so hardly 
As prouder livers do. 

Out. Hail, heaven ! 

Arc. Hail, heaven ! 

Pel. Now for our mountain sport : Up to yon 

■ Monck Mason has, we think, given us the true interpret- 
ation of this passage. / see before me, man, is. I see clearly 
,: ' '« my COU I M Iford. A'i<r here, nor here, nor what 

-neither this way, nor that way, nur the way behind 
• have a fog in them. 

Die original r-a'N sleep — a manifest error. 
meted it tn tee; Malone would read tweet. The 
by Hanmet, la certainly conceived in a 
poetl It accords with — 

" TMi pate 
net? you ! - the h.-avens; and &ou'< vqu j 

l ii a morning i 


Your legs are young; 1 11 tread these fiats. 

When you above perceive me like a crow, 
That it is place which lessens and sets off ; 
And you may then revolve what talcs 1 have 

told you 
Of courts, of princes, of the tricks in war : 
This service is not service, so being done, - 
But being so allow'd : To apprehend thus, 
Draws us a profit from all things we see : 
And often, to our comfort, shall we find 
The sharded beetle 5 in a safer hold 
Than is the full-wing'd eagle. 0, this life 
Is nobler, than attending for a check ; 
Richer, than doing nothing for a bribe ; a 

* These lines are ordinarily printed, as in the folio — 

" O, this life 
Is nobler than attending for a check ; 
Richer than doing nothing for a babe." 
Conjecture has here exhausted itself, and has fallen hack 
upon ihe authority of the original text. We shall endeavour 
to explain the whole passage, and to justify our adoption of 
Hanmer's alteration of babe to bribe, by referring to the 
source of the ideas thus briefly expressed, which we think 
Shakspere had in his mind. We believe that source to have 
been Spenser's ' Mother Hubbard's Tale.' Belarius begs 
his boys to 

" revolve what tales I have told you 
Of courts, of princes;" 
and he then goes on to say that their own life 

" Is nobler than attending for a check." 
Spenser describes, in one of the finest didactic passages of 
our language, the condition of the man "whom wicked fate 
hath brought to court: " 

" Full little knowest thou, that hast not tried, 

What hell it is in suing long to bide: 

To lose good days that might be better spent ; 

To waste long nights in pensive discontent ; 

To speed to-day, to be put back to-morrow; 

To feed on hope, to pine with fear and sorrow; 

To have thy Prince's grace, yet want her Peers'; 

To have thy asking, yet wait many years ; 

To fret thy soul with crosses and with cares; 

To eat thy heart through comfortless despairs ; 

To fawn, to crouch, to wait, to ride, to run, 

To spend, to give, to want, to be undone. 

Unhappy wight, born to disastrous end, 

That doth his life in so long tendance spend ! " 
Here we have the precise meaning of attending furnished us 
by tendance ; and, we think, the meaning of check, which has 
been controverted, is supplied us by to be put back tomorrow. 
The whole passage is, indeed, a description of the alternate 
progress and check, which the "miserable man" of Spenser 
receives. Compared with such a life of humiliation, the 
wild mountain life is nobler. We have next the life de- 
scribed in a line, than which the mountain life is richer. 
According to the original text it is, " than doing nothing for 
a babe." If we take it in the common sense of babe, (in 
which sense it occurs again in the same scene — "I stole 
these babes,") it is impossible to extract a meaning from it. 
Warburton reads, therefore, bauble. Steevens bable, which 
lie says was the ancient spelling of bauble. Capell affirms 
that babe and bable are synonymous. Johnson would read 
brabe, from brabium, a badge of honour. Looking at the 
usual curse of typographical errors, we should sav. It is the 
easiest thing possible foi babe to be printed for bribe, even if 
the word were bribe in the manuscript. Rut, putting aside 
these considerations, and rejecting altogether the nonsense 
nl (icorge Chalmers, that the word was babee (the Scotch 
bawbee), what is the meaning of doing nothing for a babe, 
bable. or bauble? Is it, that the Courtier is idle, that he may 
receive some outward mark of honour — a title, as Capell says? 
We think not. Bpenser has told us distinctly what it is to 
do nothing for n bribe — to give nothing in return for a bribe; 
and we believe Shakspere had this in view. His mountain 
life is certainly richer than riches so corruptly derived. 

But there is a more recent conjecture as to the word of the 
original text. The Corrector of Mr. Collier's folio has bob, 

Act III.] 


iScr.xz III 

Prouder, than rustling in unpaid-for silk : 
Such gains the cap of him that makes him fine, 
Yet keeps his book uncross'd : a no life to ours. 
Gui. Out of your proof you speak : we, poor 

Have never wing"d from view o' the nest ; nor 

know not 
What air 's from home. Haply, this life is best, 
If quiet life be best ; sweeter to you, 
That have a sharper known ; well corresponding 
With your stiff age : but unto us it is 
A cell of ignorance ; travelling abed ; 
A prison for a debtor, that not dares 
To stride a limit. 

Are. What should we speak of, 

When we are old as you ? when we shall hear 
The rain and wind beat dark December, how, 
In this our pinching cave, shall we discourse 
The freezing hours away ? We have seen nothing : 
We are beastly ; subtle as the fox, for prey ; 
Like warlike as the wolf, for what we eat : 
Our valour is to chase what flies ; our cage 
We make a quire, as doth the prison'd bird, 
And sing our bondage freely. 

Bel. How you speak ! 

Did you but know the city's usuries, 
And felt them knowingly : the art o' the court, 
As hard to leave, as keep ; whose top to climb 
Is certain falling, or so slippery that 
The fear 's as bad as falling : the toil of the 

A pain that only seems to seek out danger 
F the name of fame and honour : which dies i' the 

search ; 
And hath as oft a slanderous epitaph 
As record of fair act ; nay, many times, 
Doth ill deserve by doing well : what 's worse, 

which Mr. Collier interprets to mean a blow. Shakspere 
uses bob in two senses. He has "beaten, bobbed, and 
thumped " (Richard III. Act v. Sc. II.). where bob has the 
meaning of a blow. But he also has, " You shall not bob 
us oiu ol' our melody " (Troilus and Cressida, Act in. Sc. i.). 
Massinger has one of his characters describing a king 1 
whispering, the object of which was, he says, "to give me 
the bob (Maid of Honour). The word in these cases seems 
to mean to get rid of— to put aside. In this sense 606 may 
be used in the passage before us. But, nevertheles, bribe 
will not be hastily rejected. 

a As we have had the nobler and the richer life, we have 
now the prouder. The mountain life is compared with that 

'" Rustling in unpaid-for silk." 

The illustrative lines which are added, we take it, mean that 
such a one as does rustle in unpaid-for silk receives the 
courtesy {gains the cap) of him that makes him fine, yet he, 
the wearer of silk, keeps his, the creditor's, book uncross'd. 
To cross the book is, even now, a common expression for 
obliterating the entry of a debt. It belongs to the rude age 
of credit. The original reading is, 

" Such gain the cap of him that makes him fine; " 

but the second him is generally altered to them. We have 
f dopted the slighter alteration of gaini. 

Must court'sy at the censure :— 0, boys, this 

The world may read in me : My body 's mark'd 
With Roman swords ; and my report was once 
First with the best of note : Cymbeline lov'd me ; 
And when a soldier was the theme my name 
Was not far off : Then was I as a tree 
Whose boughs did bend with fruit : but, in one 

A storm, or robbery, call it what you will, 
Shook down my mellow hangings, nay, my leaves, 
And left me bare to weather. 

Gut. Uncertain favour ! 

Bel. My fault being nothing (as I have told 

you oft) 
But that two villains, whose false oaths prevail'd 
Before my perfect honour, swore to Cymbeline 
I was confederate with the Romans : so, 
Follow' d my banishment ; and, this twenty years, 
This rock and these demesnes have been my 

world : 
Where I have liv'd at honest freedom ; paid 
More pious debts to heaven, than in all 
The fore-end of my time. — But, up to the 

mountains ; 
This is not hunters' language : — He that strikes 
The venison first shall be the lord o' the feast ; 
To him the other two shall minister ; 
And we will fear no poison, which attends 
In place of greater state. I'll meet you in the 

valleys. [Exeunt Gui. and Auv. 

How hard it is to hide the sparks of nature ! 
These boys know little they are sons to the 

king ; 
Nor Cymbeline dreams that they are alive. 
They think they are mine : and, though train'd 

up thus meanly 
I' the cave, wherein they bow, a their thoughts 

do hit 
The roofs of palaces ; and nature prompts them, 
In simple and low things, to prince it much 
Beyond the trick of others. This Polydore, — 
The heir of Cymbeline and Britain, whom 
The king his father call'd Guiderius, — Jove ! 
When on my three-foot stool I sit, and tell 
The warlike feats I have done, his spirits fly 

Into my story : say, — ' Thus mine enemy fell ; 
And thus I set my foot on his neck ' — even then 
The princely blood flows in his cheek, he sweats, 
Strains his young nerves, and puts himself in 


8 The old reading is, whereon the bowe— clearly a misprint. 
It was corrected bv Warburton, with this explanation: " 111 
this very cave, which is so low that they must bend or bow 
on entering it, yc-t are their thoughts so exalted," &c* 


Act III.] 



That acls my words. The younger brother, 

(Once Arviragus,) in aa like a figure 
Strikes life into my speech, and shows much 

iwn conceiving. J Lark ! thegameisrous'd! — 
« • Cymbeline ! heayen, and my conscience, knows 
Thou didst unjustly banish me : whereon, 
At three, and two years ohl, I stole these babes; 
Thinking to bar thee of succession, as 
Thou reft'st me of my lands. Euriphile, 
Thou wast their nurse ; they took thee for their 

And every day do honour to her grave : 
Myself, Belarius, that am Morgan call'd, 
They take for natural father. The game is up. 


SCENE IV.— Near Milford-Haven. 

Infer Pisanio and Imogex. 

Imo. Thou told'st me, when we came from 

horse, the place 
Was near at hand : — Ne'er long'd my mother so 
To see me first, as I have now : — Fisanio ! Man ! 
Where is Posthumus ? a What is in thy mind 
That makes thee stare thus ? Wherefore breaks 

t hat sigh 
From the inward of thee ? One, but painted thus, 
V. old be interpreted a thing perplex' d 
Beyond self-explication : Put thyself 
Into a 'haviour of less fear, ere wildness 
Vanquish my staidcr senses. What 's the matter? 
Why tender'st thou that paper to me, with 
A look untender ? If it be summer ne 
Smile to't before : if winterly, thou necd'st 
But keep that countenance still. — My husband's 

hand ! 
That drug-damn'd Italy hath out-craftied him, 
And he 's at some hard point. — Speak, man ; thy 

May take off some extremity, which to read 
Would be even mortal to me. 

* Posthumus. "Shakspere's apparent ignorance of quan- 
tity is not the least among many proofs of his want of learn 
pens, but he adds, with great candour, 
" It may be said that quantity in the ase of our author did 
not appear to have been much regarded." Ritson blunders 
upon the truth—" Shakspere's ignorance of the quantity of 
Posthumu3 is the rather remarkable as he gives it 1 
both when the name first occurs and in another place — 

protection; calls him Posthumu ' — 
* Struck the main-top 1 — 0, Po thumustala 

Doth these critics kii' ' y well that all the poet* of 

Shakspere's age were in the habit of changing i! 
• ion of pro] t to suit tin ir • :i ; and thai 

learning or no learning had nothing to do ittcr. 

b Summer-news. Our poet has the same idea in bis ysih 
Sonnet — 

" Yet r.ot the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell 
liferent Bowers In odour and in hue, 
d make me any tummeft ;tory tell." 


Pis. Please you read ; 

And you shall find me, wretched man, a thing 
The most disdain'd of fortune. 

Imo. [Reads.] 'Thy mistress, Pisanio, liatli played the 
strumpet in my bed : the testimonies whereof lie bleeding in 
me. I speak not out of weak surmises ; but from proof as 
Btrong as my grief, and as certain as I expect my revenge. 
That part, thou, Pisanio, must act for me. if thy faith lie not 
tainted with the breach of hers. Let thine own hands take 
away her life: I shall give thee opportunity at Milford- 
llaven : she hath my letter for the purpose : Where, if thou 
fear to strike, and to make me certain it is done, thou art the 
pandar to her dishonour, and equally to me disloyal.' 

Pis. What shall I need to draw my sword ' 
the paper 
llath cut her throat already. — No, 't is slan- 
der, — 
Whose edge is sharper than the sword ; whose 

Outvenoms all the worms of Nile ; whose breath 
Rides on the posting winds, and doth belie 
All corners of the world,— kings, queens, and 

Maids, matrons, — nay, the secrets of the grave 
This viperous slander enters. — What cheer, 
madam ? 
Imo. False to his bed! What is it to be 
false ? 
To lie in watch there, and to think on him ? 
To weep 'twixt clock and clock ? if sleep charge 

To break it with a fearful dream of him, 
And cry nyself awake? that's false to his bed ? 
Is it? ' 

Pis. Alas, good lady! 

Imo. I false ? Thy conscience witness : — 
Thou didst accuse him of incontinency , 
Thou then look'dst like a villain; now, mo- 
Thy favour 's good enough. — Some jay of Italy, 
Whose mother was her painting," hath bctray'd 
him : 

a Some jay of Italy, &c. The Italian putta has a double 

rig. The jav of Italy is the " Roman courtesan," as 

s the painted bird, 'i'h's is one of the many proofs oi 

Shakspere's with the Italian. Uut how shall 

we explain t) original reading, "whose mother was her 

painting! " Johnson saj s, " the creature not of nature but of 

painting. Iii this sense painting may be not improperly 

termed her mother." S .stration of this, gives 

a quotation from an old comedy: — "A parcel of conceited 

feather-caps, whose fathers wen- their garments." The 

readiii tinal, on the authority of the Corrector of 

changed by Mr. Collier to 

" Some jay of Italy, 

'17/0 r with painting, hath betray'd him." 

Mr. Collier, in hi. admiration of the correction, hazards the 

assertion, that " i avoids figures of speech." 

not an example of this proposition. 

Although tl passage may In- obscure, it contains 

a strong poetical Image. The correction is prosaic enough 

to suit any Shakspere made Easy. 

Act III.] 



Poor I am stale, a garmeut out of fashion ; 
And, for I am richer than to hang by the 

I must be ripp'd : 6 — to pieces with me !— 0, 
Men's vows are women's traitors ! All Erood 


By thy revolt, husband, shall be thought 
Put on for villainy ; not born where 't grows, 
But worn, a bait for ladies. 
Pis. Good madam, hear me. 

Imo. True honest men being heard, like false 

Were, in his time, thought false : and. Sinon's 

Did scandal many a holy tear ; took pity 
From most true wretchedness : So, thou, Post- 

Wilt lay the leaven on all proper men ; 
Goodly, and gallant, shall be false and perjur'd, 
Prom thy great fail. — Come, fellow, be thou 

honest : 
Do thou thy master's bidding : When thou see'st 

A little witness my obedience : Look ! 
I draw the sword myself : take it ; and hit 
The innocent mansion of my love, my heart : 
Pear not ; ; t is empty of all things but grief : 
Thy master is not there ; who was, indeed, 
The riches of it : Do his bidding ; strike. 
Thou may'st be valiant in a better cause, 
But now thou seem'st a coward. 

Pis. Hence, vile instrument ! 

Thou shalt not damn my hand. 

Imo. Why, I must die ; 

And if I do not by thy hand, thou art 
No servant of thy master's : Against self- 
There is a prohibition so divine 
That cravens my weak hand. Come, here 's my 

heart ; 
Something 's afore 't ; a — Soft, soft ; we '11 no 

defence ; 
Obedient as the scabbard. — What is here ; 
The scriptures of the loyal Leonatus, 
All turn'd to heresy ? Away, away, 
Corrupters of my faith ! you shall no more 
Be stomachers to my heart ! Thus may poor fools 
Believe false teachers : Though those that are 

Do feel the treason sharply, yet the traitor 
Stands in worse case of woe. 
And thou, Posthumus, that didst set up 
My disobedience 'gainst the king my father, 

a Afore' I. The original reads afoot— evidently an error. 

And make me put into contempt the suit 
Of princely fellows, shalt hereafter find 
It is no act of common passage, but 
A strain of rareness : and I grieve myself, 
To think when thou shalt be disedg'd by her 
That now thou tir'st on, how thy memory 
Will then be pang'd by me. — Prithee, despatch : 
The lamb entreats the butcher: Where's thy 

knife ? 
Thou art too slow to do thy master's bidding, 
When I desire it too. 

Pis. gracious lady, 

Since I receiv'd command to do this business, 
I have not slept one wink. 

Imo. Do 't, and to bed then. 

Pis. I '11 wake mine eye-balls blind first. 0, 

Imo. Wherefore then 

Didst undertake it ? Why hast thou abus'd 
So many miles, with a pretence ? this place ? 
Mine action, and thine own ? our horses' labour : 
The time inviting thee ? the perturb'd court, 
For my being absent ; whereunto I never 
Purpose return ? Why hast thou gone so far 
To be unbent when thou has ta'en thy stand, 
The elected deer before thee ? 

Pis. But to win time 

To lose so bad employment : in the which 
I have consider'd of a course. Good lady, 
Hear me with patience. 

Imo. Talk thy tongue weary ; speak : 

I have heard I am a strumpet ; and mine ear, 
Therein false struck, can take no greater wound. 
Tsor tent to bottom that. But speak. 

Pis. Then, madam, 

I thought you would not back again. 

Imo. Most like ; 

Bringing me here to kill me. 

Pis. Not so, neither : 

But if I were as wise as honest, then 
My purpose would prove well. It cannot be 
But that my master is abus'd : 
Some villain, ay, and singular in his art, 
Hath done you both this cursed injury. 

Imo. Some Roman courtezan. 

Pis. No, on my life. 

I '11 give but notice you are dead, and send him 
Some bloody sign of it ; for 't is commanded 
I should do so : You shall be miss'd at court, 
And that will well confirm it. 

Imo. Why, good fellow, 

What shall I do the while ? Where bide ? How 
live ? 

a In the original the line stands, '•I'll wake mine eve- 
balls first." Hanmer and Johnson suggested the insertion 
of blind. 


Ac r hi.] 


[SctNt \ 

Or in my life what comfort, when I am 
Dead to my husband ? 

1 1 you '11 back to the court,— 
No court, no father ; nor no more ado 
A\ itli tliat harsh, noble, simple, nothing: 
That Cloten, whose love-suit hath been to me 
As fearful as a siege. 

If not at court, 
Then not in Britain must you bide. Where then? 

Hath Britain all the sun that sliines ? Day, night, 
Are they not but in Britain? I' the world's volume 
Our Britain seems as of it, but not in it ; 
In a great pool, a swan's nest. Prithee, think 
There 's livers out of Britain. 


I am most triad 

You think of other place. The ambassador, 
Lucius the Roman, comes to Milford-Haven 
To-morrow : Now, if vou could wear a mind 
Dark as your fortune is— and but disguise 
That which, to appear itself, must not yet be, 
But by self-danger ; — you should tread a course 
Pretty, and full of view : yea, haply, near 
The residence of Posthumus : so nigh, at least, 
That, though his actions were not visible, yet 
Report should render him hourly to your ear, 
As truly as be moves. 

Imo. 0, for such means ! 

Though peril to my modesty, not death on't, 
I would adventure. 

Pis. Well then, here 's the point : 

You must forget to be a woman ; change 
Command into obedience ; fear, and niceness, 
(The handmaids of all women, or, more truly, 
Woman its pretty self,) to a waggish courage ; 
Ready in gibes, quick-answer'd, sauey, and 
As quarrellous as the weasel ; nay, you must 
Forget that rarest treasure of your cheek, 
Exposing it (but, 0, the harder heart ! 
Alack no remedy !) to the greedy touch 
Of common -kissing Titan : and forget 
Your laboursome and dainty trims, wherein 
You made great Juno angry. 

I Nay, be brief : 

1 see into thy end, and am almost 
A man already. 

Pis. First, make yourself but like one. 

Fore-thinking this, I have already fit, 

! in my cloak-bag,) doublet, hat, hose, all 
That answer tothem: AVouldyou, in their serving, 
And with what imitation you can borrow 
From youth of such a season, 'fore noble Lucius 
Present yourself, desire his service, tell him 
Wherein you are happy, (which you '11 make him 


If that Ids head have ear in music,) doubtless 
Withjoyhe will cmbraceyou; for he's honourable, 
And, doubling that, most holy. Your means 

You have mc, rich ; and I will never fail 
Beginning, nor supply ment. 

Imo. Thou art all the comfort 

The gods will diet me with. Prithee, away : 
There 's more to be consider'd ; but we '11 even 
All that good time will give us : This attempt 
I 'm soldier to, and will abide it with 
A prince's courage. Away, I prithee. 

Pis. Well, madam, we must take a short fare- 
well ; 
Lest, being miss'd, I be suspected of 
Your carriage from the court. My noble mistress, 
Here is a box : I had it from the queen ; 
What 's in't is precious ; if you are sick at 
Or stomach-qualm'd at land, a dram of this 
Will drive away distemper. — To some shade, 
And fit you to your manhood : — May the gods 
Direct you to the best ! 

Imo. Amen : I thank thee. 

/. euiit 

SCENE V.— A Room in Cymbeline'* Pal 

Enter Cyjhselixe, Qjjeex, Clotex, Lucius, 
and Lords. 

Oym. Thus far; and so farewell. 

Luc. Thanks, royal sir 

My emperor hath wrote ; I must from hence ; 
And am right sorry that I must report ye 
.My master's enemy. 

Cyr.i. Our subjects, sir, 

Will not endure bis yoke ; and for ourself 
To show less sovereignty than they, must needs 
Appear unkinglike. 

Luc. So, sir, I desire of you 

A conduct over land, to Milford-Haven. — 
Madam, all joy befal your grace, and you! 

Cym. My lords, you are appointed for that 
The due of honour in no point omit. 
So, farewell, noble Lucius. 

Luc. Your hand, my lord. 

Clo. Receive it friendly : but from this time 
I wear it as your enemy. 

Luc. Sir, the event 

• to name the winner : Fare you well. 

* Malone interprets this, "As fervour subsistence abroad, 
\ ou may rely on me." Surely abroad is not here used in the 
sense of being in foreign parts. It is the old adverb nr. 
bred-". The means of Imogen are far off — not at hand — all 
abroad — as we stiil say. liut Pisanio tells her, failing her 
own means, " you have me, rich." 

Act LU.i 


[Scene V. 

Cym. Leave not the worthy Lucius, good my 
Till he have cross'd the Severn. — Happiness ! 

[Exeunt Lucius and Lords. 

Queen. He goes hence frowning : but it 
honours us 
That we have given hiin cause. 

Clo. "I is all the better ; 

Your valiant Britons have their wishes in it. 

Cym. Lucius hath wrote already to the emperor 
How it goes here. It fits us therefore, ripely, 
Our chariots and our horsemen be in readiness : 
The powers that he already hath in Gallia 
"Will soon be drawn to head, from whence he 

His war for Britain. 

Queen. 'T is not sleepy business ; 

But must be look'd to speedily, and strongly. 

Cym. Our expectation that it would be thus 
Hath made us forward. But, my gentle queen, 
Where is our daughter ? She hath not appear'd 
Before the Roman, nor to us hath tender'd 
The duty of the day : She looks us like 
A thing more made of malice than of duty : 
We have noted it. — Call her before us ; for 
We have been too slight in sufferance. 

[Exit an Attendant. 

Queen. Royal sir, 

Since the exile of Posthumus, most retir'd 
Hath her life been ; the cure whereof, my lord, 
'T is time must do. 'Beseech your majesty, 
Forbear sharp speeches to her : She 's a lady 
So tender of rebukes, that words are strokes, 
And strokes death to her. 

Re-enter an Attendant. 

Cym. "Where is she, sir ? How 

Can her contempt be answer'd ? 

Atten. Please you, sir, 

Her chambers are all lock'd ; and there 's no 

That will be given to the loud'st of noise we make. 

Queen. My lord, when last I went to visit her- 
She pray'd me to excuse her keeping close ; 
Whereto constrain'd by her infirmity, 
She should that duty leave unpaid to you, 
Which daily she was bound to proffer : this 
She wish'd me to make, known ; but our great 

Made me to blame in memory. 

Cym. Her door 's lock'd ? 

Not seen of late ? Grant, heavens, that which I 

Prove false ! [Exit. 

Queen. Son, I say, follow the king. 

Clo. That man of hers, Pisanio, her old servant, 
I have not seen these two days. 

Queen. Go, look after — 

[Exit Clotex. 
Pisanio, thou that stand'st so for Posthumus ! — 
He hath a drug of mine : I pray, his absence 
Proceed by swallowing that ; for he believes 
It is a thing most precious. But for her, 
Where is she gone ? Haply, despair hath seiz'd 

Or, wing'd with fervour of her love, she 's flown 
To her desir'd Posthumus : Gone she is 
To death, or to dishonour ; and my end 
Can make good use of either : She being down, 
I have the placing of the British crown. 

Re-enter Cloten. 

How now, my son ? 

Clo. 'T is certain she is fled : 

Go in, and cheer the king ; he rages ; none 
Dare come about him. 

Queen. All the better: May 

This night forestall him of the coming day ! 

[Exit Queex. 

Clo. I love, and hate her : for she 's fair and 
royal ; 
And that she hath all courtly parts more exquisite 
Than lady, ladies, woman ; a from every one 
The best she hath, and she, of all compounded, 
Outsells them all : I love her therefore. But, 
Disdaining me, and throwing favours on 
The low Posthumus, slanders so her judgment, 
That what 's else rare is chok'd ; and, in that 

I will conclude to hate her, nay, indeed, 
To be reveng'd upon her. Por, when fools 

Enter Pisanio. 
Shall — Who is here ? What I are you packing, 

sirrah ? 
Come hither : Ah, you precious pander ! Villain* 
Where is thy lady ? In a word ; or else 
Thou art straightway with the fiends. 

Pin. 0, good my lord ! 

Clo. "Where is thy lady ? or, by Jupiter 
I will not ask again. Close villain, 
I '11 have this secret from thy heart, or rip 
Thy heart to find it. Is she with Posthumus ? 
Prom whose so many weights of baseness cannot 
A dram of worth be drawn. 

Pis. Alas, my lord, 

How can she be with him ? When was she miss'd? 
He is in Rome. 

■ There is a somewhat similnr form of expression in All 's 
Well that Ends Well, Act n., Sc. in.—" To any count; to 
all counts ; to what is man." 


Act III.] 

< YMl'.ELINE. 

[Scekni: iv. 

Clo. Where is she, sir? Come nearer; 

No further halting : satisfy me home 
What is become of her ? 

Pit. 0, my all-worthy lord ! 

Clo. All-worthy villain ! 

Discover where thy mistress is, at once, 
At the next word, — Xo more of worthy lord, — 

ik, or thy silence on the instant is 
Thy condemnation and thy death. 

Pit. Then, sir, 

This paper is the history of my knowledge 
Touching her flight. [Presenting a letter- 

Clo. Let 's see 't : — I will pursue her 

Even to Augustus' throne. 

Pis. Or this, or perish." 

She 's far enough ; and what he learns by this, 
May prove his travel, not her danger. [Aside. 

Clo. Humph ! 

Pis. I '11 write to my lord she 's dead. 
Safe may'st thou wander, safe return again ! 


Clo. Sirrah, is this letter true ? 

Pis. Sir, as I think. 

Clo. It is Posthuraus' hand ; I know 't. — 
Sirrah, if thou would'st not be a villain, but do 
me true service, undergo those employments 
wherein I should have cause to use thee, with a 
serious industry, — that is, what villainy soe'er 
I bid thee do, to perform it directly and truly, — 
I would think thee an honest man ; thou should'st 
neither want my means for thy relief nor my 
voice for thy preferment. 

Pis. Well, my good lord. 

Clo. Wilt thou serve me? Eor since patient ly 
and constantly thou hast stuck to the bare for- 
tune of that beggar Posthumus, thou canst not 
in the course of gratitude but be a diligent fol- 
lower of mine. Wilt thou serve me ? 

Pis. Sir, I will. 

Clo. Give me thy hand, here 's my purse. 
Hast any of thy late master's garments in thy 
possession ? 

Pis. I have, my lord, at my lodging, the same 
suit he wore when he took leave of my lady and 


Clo. The first service thou dost me, fetch that 
suit hither : lot it be thy first service ; go. 

Pit. I shall, my lord. [Exit. 

Meet thee at Milford-Haven : — I forgot 

to ask him one thing ; I 'U remember 't anon : — 

Even there, thou villain, Posthumus, will 1 kill 

* I'isanio, in giving Clotcn a letter which is to mislead 
him. mean* to say, I must either adopt this stratagem or 
perish by his fury. 


thee. — I would these garments were come. She 
said upon a time (the bitterness of it I now belch 
from my heart), that she held the very garment 
of Posthumus in more respect than my noble 
and natural person, together with the adornment 
of my qualities. With that suit upon my back 
will I ravish her : First kill him, and in her 
eyes; there shall she see my valour, which will 
then be a torment to her contempt. He on the 
ground, my speech of insultment ended on his 
dead body, — and when my lust hath dined 
(which, as I say, to vex her I will execute in 
the clothes that she so praised), to the court I '11 
knock her back, foot her home again. She hath 
despised me rejoicingly, and I '11 be merry in my 

Re-enter Pisaxio, with the clothes. 

Be those the garments ? 

Pis. Ay, my noble lord. 

Clo. How long is 't since she went to Milford- 
Haven ? 

Pis. She can scarce be there yet. 

Clo. Bring this apparel to my chamber ; that 
is the second thing that I have commanded thee ; 
the third is, that thou wilt be a voluntary mute 
to my design. Be but duteous, and true prefer- 
ment shall tender itself to thee. — My revenge 
is now at Milford : 'Would I had wings to fol- 
low it ! — Come, and be true. [Exit. 

Pis. Thou bidd'st me to my loss : for, true to 
Were to prove false, which I will never be 
To him that is most true. To Milford go, 
And find not her whom thou pursu'st. Flow, 

You heavenly blessings, on her ! This fool's speed 
Be cross'd with slowness : labour be his meed ! 


SCENE VI.— Before the Cave of Belarius. 

Enter Imogen, in bofs clothes. 

Imo. I see a man's life is a tedious one : 
I have tir'd myself; and for two nights together 
Have made the ground my bed. I should be sick. 
But that my resolution helps me. — Milford, 
When from the mountain-top Pisanio show'd 

Thou wast within a ken : Jove ! I think 
Foundations fly the wretched : such, I mean, 
Where they should be rcliev'd. Two beggars 

told me 
I could not miss my way : Will poor folks lie, 
That have afflictions on them ; knowing 't is 

Act HI.] 



A punishment, or trial ? Yes ; no wonder, 
When rich ones scarce tell true : To lapse in 

Is sorer than to He for need ; and falsehood 
Is worse in kings than beggars. — My dear lord ! 
Thou art one o' the false ones. Now I think on 

My hunger 's gone ; hut even before I was 
At point to sink for food. — But what is this ? 
Here is a path to it : 'T is some savage hold : 
I were best not call ; I dare not call : yet famine, 
Ere clean it o'erthrow nature makes it valiant. 
Plenty, and peace, breeds cowards ; hardness ever 
Of hardness is mother. — Ho ! who 's here ? 
If any thing that 's civil, speak ; — if savage- 
Take, or lend. a — Ho ! — No answer? then I'll enter. 
Best draw my sword ; and if mine enemy 
But fear the sword like me, he'll scarcely look on't. 
Such a foe, good heavens ! [She goes into the cave. 

Enter Belarxus, GuiDEiurs, and Arvtragus. 

Bel. You, Polydore, have prov'd best wood- 
man, and 
Are master of the feast : Cadwal, and I, 
Will play the cook, and servant ; 't is our match : 
The sweat of industry would dry, and die, 
But for the end it works to. Come ; our stomachs 
"Will make what 's homely savoury : "Weariness 
Can snore upon the flint, when resty b sloth 
Finds the down pillow hard. — Now, peace be here, 
Poor house that keep'st thyself ! 

Gui. I am throughly weary. 

Arv. I am weak with toil, yet strong in ap- 
Gui. There is cold meat i' the cave; we'll 
browze on that 
Whilst what we have kill'd be cook'd. 

Bel. Stay • come not in : 

\_Looking in. 

a It is scarcely necessary to affix a very precise meaning to 
words which are meant to be spoken under great trepidation. 
The poor wanderer entering the cave, which she fears is 
" some savage hold," exhorts the inhabitant to speak if civil 
—if belonging to civilized life. This is clear. But we doubt 
whether she goes on to ask the savage to take a reward for 
his food or to lend it; for, in that case, she would address 
ideas to the savage which do not belong to his condition. 
Yet this is the general interpretation of the passage. The 
take or lend more belong to the civilized being that may 
dwell in the cave, than to the savage one. We have, therefore, 
ventured to point the passage as if the expression, if savage, 
were merely the parenthetical whisper of her own fears — 
"If anything that's civil, speak; take or lend." The if 
savage is interposed, when no answer is returned to speak. 
Johnson suggested a transposition of the sentence — 

" If any thing that's civil, take or lend, 
If savage spsak." 

b Resttj. So the original (restie). Steevens, by one of 
his dashing corrections;changed the word to restive. Mesti/, 
reastij, raisty, is rancid— a provincial expression, generally 
applied to bacon spoiled by long keeping; which the Lon- 
doners have changed into rusty. Reasty and rusty are most 
probably the same wcrds, meaning, spoiled for want of use. 

But that it eats our victuals I should think 
Here were a fairy. 

Gin. What 's the matter, sir? 

Bel. By Jupiter, an angel ! or, if not, 
An earthly paragon ! — Behold divineness 
No elder than a boy ! 

Enter Imogen. 

Imo. Good masters, harm me not : 
Before I enter'd here I call'd ; and thought 
To have begg'd, or bought what I have took : 

Good troth, 
I have stolen nought ; nor would not, though I 

had found 
Gold strew'd i' the floor. Here 's money for my 

meat : 
I would have left it on the board, so soon 
As I had made my meal ; and parted 
With prayers for the provider. 

Gui. Monev, youth ? 

Arv. All gold and silver rather turn to dirt ! 
As 't is no better reckon' d, but of those 
Who worship dirty gods. 

Ino. I see you are angry : 

Know, if you kill me for my fault, I should 
Have died had I not made it. 

Bel. Whither bound ? 

Imo. To Milford-Haven. 

Bel. What is your name ? 

Imo. Pidele, sir : I have a kinsman who 
Is bound for Italy ; he embark'd at Milford ; 
To whom being going, almost spent with hunger, 
I am fallen in this offence. 

Bel. Prithee, fair youth, 

Think us no churls ; nor measure our good minds 
By this rude place we live in. Well encounter'd ! 
'T is almost night : you shall have better cheer 
Ere you depart ; and thanks, to stay and eat it. 
Boys bid him welcome. 

Gui. Were you a woman, youth, 

I should woo hard but be your groom. — In ho- 
I bid for you as I do buy. 

Arv. I '11 make 't my comfort, 

He is a man ; I '11 love him as my brother : — 
And such a welcome as I 'd give to him 
After long absence, such is yours : a — Most wel- 


Be sprightly, for you fall 'mongst friends. 

Ii,w. 'Mongst friends ! 

If brothers ? — Would it had been so, that they 
Had been my father's sons, then had my prize 
Been less ; and so more equal ballasting 
To thee, Posthumus. [Aside, 

a Such is yours. So the folio. Some modern editions 
read, such as yours, thereby spoiling the sense. 

2 -21 

act III. I 


[Sceke vn. 

Bel. He wrings at sonic distress. 

Out. 'Would I could frc< 

Arr. Or I ; what o'er it be, 

What pain it cost, what danger ! Gods ! 

llark, boys. [WhitpeHng. 

I mo. Great men, 
That had a court no bigger than this cave, 
That did attend themselves, and had the virtue 
Which their own conscience seal'd them (lav- 

ing by 

That nothing gift of differing multitudes), 1 
Could not out-peer these twain. Pardon me, gods ! 
I M change my sex to be companion with them, 
Since Leonatua false. 

Bel. It shall be so. 

Boys, we'll go dress our hunt. — Fair youth, 

come in : 
Discourse is heavy, fasting; when we have 

We '11 mannerly demand thee of thy story, 
So far as thou wilt speak it. 

Qui. Pray, draw near. 

Art. The night to the owl, and morn to the 
lark, less welcome. 

• Differing multitude!. In the Second Part of Henry IV. 
we have — 

" The still discordant, wavering multitude; 
and the word differing is most probably used here In the 
> ime « "nse. 

Imo. Thanks, sir. 

I pray, draw near. [Exeunt- 

SCENE VII.— Rome. 
Enter Two Senators and Tribunes. 

1 Ser.. This is the tenor of the emperor's writ : 
That since the common men are now in action 
'Gainst the Pannonians and Dalmatians, 

And that the legions now in Gallia are 
Pull weak to undertake our wars against 
The fallen- off Britons, that we do incite 
The gentry to this business. He creates 
Lucius pro-consul : and to you the tribunes, 
Por this immediate levy, he commands 
His absolute commission. Long live Caesar ! 
Tri. Is Lucius general of the forces ? 

2 Sen. Ay. 
Tri. Remaining now in Gallia ? 

1 Sen. With those legions 

Which I have spoke of, whereunto your levy 
Must be supplyant : The words of your com- 
Will tie you to the numbers, and the time 
Of their despatch. 

Tri. We will discharge our duty. 


[Well, madam, we must take a short farewell.] 

[Coin of Augustus.] 


1 Scene I. — " The f can' d Cassibelan, who was once 
at point 
(0, giglot fortune !) to master Ccesar's sioord. 
Made Lad's town ivith rejoicing fires bright." 

Malonu has the following observation upon 
this passage : " Shakspere has here transferred to 
Cassibelan an adventure which happened to his 
brother Nennius. ' The same historie (says Ho- 
linshed) also maketh mention of Nennius, brother 
to Cassibelane, who in fight happened to get 
Caesar's sword fastened in his shield, by a blow 
which Caesar struck at him.'" Malone has here 
fallen into an error, from a too literal acceptance 
of Shakspere's words. To be once at point to 
master Ccesar's sivorcl, is to be once nearly vanquish- 
ing Cresar. We can put our finger upon the 
passage in Holiushed's Chronicle which Shakspere 
had in view : " Our histories far differ from this 
(Caesar's account), affirming that Caesar, coming 
the second time, was by the Britains with valiancy 
and martial prowess beaten and repelled, as he 
was at the first, and specially by means that Cassi- 
belane had pight in the Thames great piles of 
trees, piked with iron, through which his ships, 
being entered the river, were perished and lost. 
And after his coming a land he was vanquished in 
battle, and constrained to flee into Gallia with 
those ships that remained. For joy of this second 
victory (saith Galfrid) Cassibelane made a great 
feast at Loudon, and there did sacrifice to the 
gods." The victory and the rejoicing are exactly 
in the same juxta-position as in Shakspere. 

The Lud's toicn of the old chroniclers is London. 
They considered that London was the town of 
Lud ; and, in a similar manner, that Lud-gate was 
the gate of Lud. The tradition that Lud rebuilt 
the ancient Troiuovant is given in Spenser : 
[Fairy Queen, cauto x. book ii.] 

" He had two sons, whose eldest, called Lud, 
Left of liis life most famous memory, 
And endless monuments of his great good. 
The ruin'd walls he did re-edify 
Of Troinovant, 'gainst force ot enemy, 
And built that gate, which of his name is hight." 

But Verstegan, in his very amusing ' Restitution 
of Decayed Intelligence concerning Britain,' ob- 
jects to the connexion both of Lud's town and 
Lud-gate with King Lud : — 

"As touching the name of our most ancient, 
chief, and famous city, it could never of Lud's- 
town take the name of London, because it had 
never anciently the name of Lud's-town, neither 
could it, for that town is not a British, but a 
Saxon word ; but if it took any appellation after 
King Lud, it must then have been called Caer-Lud. 
and not Lud's-town ; but, considering of how 
little credit the relations of Geffery of Monmouth 
are, who from Lud doth derive it, it may rather 
be thought that he hath imagined this name to 
have come from King Lud, because of some 
nearness of sound, for our Saxon ancestors, having 
divers ages before Geffery was born called it by 
the name of London, he, not knowing from whence 
it came, might straight imagine it to have come 
from Lud, and therefore ought to be Caer-Lud, or 
Lud's town, as after him others called it ; and some 
also of the name of London, in British sound made 
it L'hundain, both appellations, as I am persuaded, 
being of the Britains first taken up and used after 
the Saxons had given it the name of London. 

" But here I cannot a little marvel how Tacitus 
(or any such ancient writers) should call it by the 
name of Londinum (that having been, as it should 
seem, the Latin name thereof since it hath been 
called London), which appellation he could never 
have from the ancient Britains, seeing they never 
so called it. Julius Caesar seemed not to know of 
the name of Londinum, but nameth the city of 
the Trinobants ; and a marvel it is, that, between 
the time of Caesar and Tacitus, it should come to 
get the new name of Londinum, no man can tell 
how. To deliver my conjecture how this may 
chance to have happened, I am loth, for that it 
may peradventure be of some disallowed, and so, 
omitting it, I will leave the reader to note that the 
reign of Kiug Lud, from whom some will needs 
derive the name of London, was before Julius 
Caesar came into Britain, and not after, for Caesar 



first entered Britain iu the time of Cassibelan, 
who wns brother unto Lud, and succeeded next 
him : and in all likelihood, if Lud had given 
it after himself the new name of Cucr-Lud, or, as 
some more fondly have supposed, of Lud's-town, 
Julius Caesar, who came thither so soon after his 
death, could not have been so utterly ignorant of 
the new naming of that city, but have known it 
. ell as such writers as came after him. 

•• Evident it is, that our Saxon ancestors called 
it Lundeu, (in pronunciation sounded London) 
sometimes adding thereunto the ordinary termina- 
tion which they gave to all well-fenced cities, or 
rather such as had forts or castles annexed unto 
them, by calling it Luudeubirig, and Lunden- 
r, that is, after our latter pronunciation, 
Londonbury or London-chester. This name of 
Lunden, since varied into London, they gave it 
in regard and memory of the ancient famous 
metropolitan city of Lunden, in Sconeland or 
Sconia, sometime of greatest traffic of all the east 
pirts of Germany. 

•• And I find iu Crautzius that Eric, the fouith 
>>f that name, King of Denmark, went in person 
to Rome to solicit Pope Paschal the Second that 
Denmark might be no longer under the ecclesias- 
tical jurisdiction of the bishop of Hambrough, 
but that the Archbishop of Lunden should be the 
chief Prelate of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, 
the which in fine was granted. As for the name 
of Ludgate, which some will needs have so to 
have been called of King Lud, aud accordingly 
infer the name of the city, I answer, that it could 
never o* Lud be called Ludgate, because gate is 
no British word, and, had it taken name of Lud, 
it must have been Ludporth, and not Ludgate. 
But how cometh it that all the gates of London, 
yea, and all the streets and lane3 of the city, 
having English names, Ludgate only must remain 
British, or the one half of it, to wit, Lud, — gate, 
as before hath been said, being English ? This 
surely can have proceeded of no other cause than 
of the lack of heed that men have taken unto 
our ancient language ; and Geffery of Monmouth, 
or some other as unsure in his reports as he, by 
hearing ouly of thename of Ludgate, might easily 
fall into a dream or imagination that it must needs 
have had that name of King Lud. There is no 
doubt but that our Saxon ancestors (as I have 
said), changing all the names of the other gates 
about London, did also change this, and called 
it Ludgate, otherwise also written Leodgeat ; Lud 
and Leod is all one, and, in our ancient language, 
f<dk or people, and so i3 Ludgate as much to say 
as Porta populi. the gate or passage of the people. 
And if a mau do observe it, he shall find that, of 
all the gates of the city, the greatest passage of the 
i- through this gate; and yet must itneed3 
have been much more in time past before Newgate 
waa builded, which, as Mr. John Stow saith, was 

first builded about the reign of King Henry the 
Second. And therefore the name of Leod-gate, was 
aptly given in respect of tho great concourse of 
people through it." 

2 Scene I. — " Mulmutius made our laics," &c. 

According to Holinshed, Mulmutius, the first 
King of Britain who was crowned with a golden 
crown, " made many good laws, which were long 
after used, called Mulmutius' laws, turned out of 
the British speech into Latin, by Gildas Priscus, 
and long time after translated out of Latin into 
English, by Alfred, King of England, and mingled 
in his statutes." 

3 Scexk I. — " T/i>/ Casar knighted me." 
Shakspere still follows Holinshed literally : — 

" This man was brought up at Rome, and there 
was made knight by Augustus Caesar." Douce 
objects to the word knight as a downright ana- 
chronism ; as well as to another similar passage, 
where Cymbeline addresses Belarius and his 

sons : — 

" Bow your knees : 
Arise my knights o' the battle." 
Both Holinshed and Shakspere, in applying a term 
of the feudal ages to convey the notion of a Roman 
dignity, did precisely what they were called upon 
to do. They used a word which conveyed a dis- 
tinct image much more clearly than any phrase of 
stricter propriety. They translated ideas as well 
as words. 

4 Scene II. — " A franklin's houseivife." 

The franklin, in the days of Shakspere, had 
become a less important personage than he was 
in those of Chaucer : — 

" A Frankelein was in this compagnie; 

White was his herd as is the dayesie. 

Of his complexion he was sanguin. 

Wei loved he by the morwe a sop in win. 

To liven in delit was ever his wone, 

For he was Epicures owen sone, 

That held opinion, that plein delit 

Was veraily felicite partite. 

An housholder, and that a grete was he; 

Seint Julian he was in his contree. 

His brede, his ale, was alway after on ; 

A better enryued man was no wher mm. 

Withouten bake mete never was his hous, 

Of fish and flesh, and that so plent' 

It mewed in his hous of mete and drinke, 

Of alle deintees that men coud of thinke. 

After the sondry sesons of the ycre, 

So changed he his mete and his soupere. 

Ful many a fat partrich hadde he in mewe, 

And many a breme, and many a luce in Stewe. 

Wo was his coke, but if his sauce were 

l'oinant and sharpe, and redy all his gere. 

Hi- table dormant in his hallc alway 

Stode redy covered all the longe day. 
At sessions ther was he lord and sire. 

Ful often time he was knight of the shire. 

An anelace and a gipcierc all of silk, 

Heng at nil glrdel, white as morwe milk. 

A ihereve hadde he ben, and a countour. 

Was no wher iwiche a worthy vavasour." 

Prologue lo the Canterbury Tales, 333. 


But, a century aud a half later than Chaucer, he 
was still a dignified member of the landed aristo- 
cracy. " England is so thick spread and filled 
with rich and lauded men, that there is scarce a 
small village in which you may not find a knight, 
an esquire, or some substantial householder, com- 
monly called afranMcyne ; all men of considerable 
estates." This is the description of Sir John For- 
tescue, in the reign of Henry VI. The franklin 
in the time of Shakspere had, for the most part, 
gone upward into the squire, or downward into the 
yeoman ; and the name had probably become syno- 
nymous with the small freeholder and cultivator. 
" A franklin's housewife "' would wear " no costlier 
suit " than Imogen desired for concealment. La- 
timer has described the farmer of the early part of 
the sixteenth century : — "My father was a yeoman, 
and had no lands of his own, only he had a farm 
of three or four pound by year, at the uttermost, 
aud hereupon he tilled so much as kept half a 
dozen men. He had walk for an hundred sheep, 
and my mother milked thirty kine." 

5 Scene III.—" The sharded beetle." 

There is a controversy about the meaning of 
the word shai-d as applied to a beetle. In Hainlet, 
the priest says of Ophelia — 

" Shards, flints, and pebbles should be thrown on her." 
A shard here is a thing divided ; and it is used for 
something worthless, — fragments. Mr. Toilet says 
that shard signifies dung ; and that " the shard- 
bom beetle " in Macbeth is the beetle born in 
dung. This is certainly only a secondary meaning 
of sha rd. We cannot doubt that Shakspere, in the 
passage before us, uses the epithet sharded as 
applied to the flight of the beetle. The sharded 

beetle,— the beetle whose scaly wing-cases are not 
formed for a flight far above the earth,— is con- 
trasted with the full-wing d eagle. The shards 
support the insect when he rises from the ground ; 
but they do not enable him to cleave the air with a 
bird-like wing. The shard-borne beetle of Macbeth 
is therefore, the beetle supported on its shards. 

6 Scene IV.— "And, for I am richer than to be 
hanrjd by the walls, 
I must be ripp'd." 

Steevens has an interesting note upon this 
passage : — 

" To ' hang by the walls ' does not mean, to be 
converted into hangings for a room, but to be hung 
up, as useless, among the neglected contents of a 
wardrobe. So, in Measure for Measure : — 

' That have, like unscour'd armour, hung by the wall.' 
" When a boy, at an ancient mansion-house in Suf- 
folk I saw one of these repositories, which (thanks 
to a succession of old maids !) had been preserved 
with superstitious reverence for almost a century 
aud a half. 

" Clothes were not formerly, as at present, made 
of slight materials ; were not kept in drawers, or 
given away as soon as lapse of time or chauge of 
fashion had impaired then- value. On the contrary, 
they were hung upon wooden pegs in a room appro- 
priated to the sole purpose of receiving them; and, 
though such cast-off things as were composed of 
rich substances were occasionally ripped for do- 
mestic uses (viz. mantles for infants, vests for chil- 
dren, and counterpanes for beds), articles of inferior 
quality were suffered to hang by the walls till age 
and moths had destroyed what pride would not 
permit to be worn by servants or poor relations " 

Tragedies.— Vol. I. Q 

[The Cave. Scene II.] 


SCENE I.— The Fores t, near the Core. 

Enter Clote.n. 

Clo. I am near to the place where they should 
meet, if Pisanio have mapped it truly. How fit 
his garments serve me ! Why should his mis- 
tress, who was made by him that made the 
tailor, not be fit too ? the rather (saving rever- 
ence of the word) for 't is said, a woman's fit- 
ness comes by fits. Therein I must play the 
workman. I dare speak it to myself, (for it is 
not vain-glory for a man and his glass to confer 
in his own chamber,) I mean, the lines of my 
body are as well drawn as his; no less young, 
more strong, not beneath him in fortunes, be- 
yond him in the advantage of the time, above 
him in birth, alike ( g aeral ser- 

vices, and more remarkable in single opposi- 
tions: yet this imperseverant * thing loves him 
in my despite. What mortality is! Posthu- 
raus, thy head, which now is growing upon 
thy shoulders, shall within this hour be off; 

» Imperierrrant. Mr. Dycc changes this to imp- s 

without the perei U in 

tev tr a n t; in the tame way as im\ 

thy mistress enforced; thy garments cut to 
pieces before thy face : a and all this done, 
spurs her home to her father: who may, haply, 
be a little angry for my so rough usage : but 
my mother, having power of his tcstiness, shall 
turn all into my commendations. My horse is 
tied up safe : Out, sword, and to a sore pur- 
pose ! Fortune, put them into my hand ! This 
is the very description of their meeting-place; 
and the fellow dares not deceive me. 

SCENE II.— Before the Cave. 

I 'rr,from the Care, Belarius, Guiderius, 
Arviragvs, and Imogen. 

Bel. You are not well : [To Imogen.] remain 
here in the cave ; 
We '11 come to you after hunting. 

Arc Brother, stay here: 

[To J MCOG] N. 
Arc we not brothers? 

lie would read, before her face, — Imogen's face; but 
Ctoten, in his brutal «ay. think-, it a satisfaction thai 
he has cul "tr his rival's head, the face will still be pi 
traction of the garments 

Act IV.] 


[Scene 11 

Imo. So man and man should be ; 

B it clay and clay differs in dignity, 
Whose dust is both alike. I am very sick. 
Gui. Go you to hunting: I'll abide with 

Imo. So sick I am not ; — yet I am not well : 
But not so citizen a wanton, as 
To seem to die, ere sick : So please you, leave 

me ; 
Stick to your journal course : the breach of cus- 
Is breach of all. I am ill; but your being by 

Cannot amend me : Society is no comfort 
To one not sociable : I am not very sick, 
Since I can reason of it. Pray you, trust me 

here : 
I '11 rob none but myself ; and let me die, 
Stealing so poorly. 

Gui. I love thee ; I have spoke it : 

How much the quantity, the weight as much, 
As I do love my father. 

Bel. What ? how ? how ? 

Arc. If it be sin to say so, sir, I yoke me 
In my good brother's fault : I know not why 
I love this youth; and I have heard you say, 
Love 's reason 's without reason ; the bier at 

And a demand who is 't shall die, I 'd say, 
' My father, not this youth.' 

Bel. noble strain ! 


worthiness of nature ! breed of greatness ! 
Cowards father cowards, and base things sire 

base : 
Nature hath meal and bran, contempt and 

1 'm not their father ; vet who this should be 
Doth miracle itself, lov'd before me. — 

'T is the ninth hour of the morn. 

Arv. Brother, farewell. 

Imo. I wish ye sport. 

Arv. You health. — So please you, sir. 

Imo. [Aside.") These are kind creatures. 

Gods, what lies I have heard ! 
Our courtiers say all 's savage, but at court : 
Experience, 0, thou disprov'st report ! 
The imperious seas breed monsters ; for the 

Poor tributary rivers as sweet fish. 
I am sick still ; heart-sick : — Pisanio, 
I '11 now taste of thy drug. 

Gui. I could not stir him : 

He said he was gentle, but unfortunate ; 
Dishonestly afflicted, but yet honest. 


Arv. Thus did he answer me : yet said, here- 
I might know more. 

Bel. To the field, to the field :— 

We '11 leave you for this time ; go in and rest. 

Arv. We '11 not be long away. 

Bel. Pray, be not sick, 

For you must be our housewife. 

Imo. Well, or ill, 

I am bound to you. 

Bel. And shalt be ever. 

[Exit Imogen. 
This youth, howe'er distress'd he appears, hath 

Good ancestors. 11 

Arv. How ansiel-like he sings ! 

Gui. But his neat cookery ! l He cut our 
roots in characters ; 
And saue'd our broths, as Juno had been sick 
And he her dieter. 

Arc. Nobly he yokes 

A smiling with a sigh : as if the sigh 
Was that it was, for not being such a smile ; 
The smile mocking the sigh, that it would fly 
From so divine a temple, to commix 
With winds that sailors rail at. 

Gui. I do note 

That grief and patience, rooted in him both, 
Mingle their spurs b together. 

Arv. Grow, patience ! 

And let the stinking elder, grief, untwine 
His perishing root with the increasing vine ! c 

a The passage stands thus in the original — 
" This youth, howe'er distrest, appears he hath had 
Good ancestors." 
In some modern editions we find the following punctuation, 
without any comment — 

" This youth, howe'er distrest, appears, he hath had 
Good ancestors." 
To us this is unintelligible; and we therefore venture upon 
the transposition in our text: assuming that the printer, 
having left out the he in his first proof, inserted it as a cor- 
rection in the wrong place. This is one of the commonest 
of typographical errors, and the folio edition of Cymbeline, 
being printed from a manuscript after the author's death, 
was open to such mistakes. The wonder is that they are 
not more frequent. 

b Spurs. Pope calls this an old word for the fibres of a 
tree. We cannot find any authority for his assertion. The 
support of a post placed in the ground is still technically 
called a spur, i he large leading roots of a tree may, in the 
same way, have been called spurs, from their lateral projec- 
tions, which hold the plant firm and upright. Shakspere 
uses the word in this sense in The Tempest — 

" The strong-based promontory 
Have I made shake, and by the spurs 
Pluck'd up the pine and cedar.'' 
c Instead of untwine it has been proposed to read entwine. 
Monck Mason savs, " Though Shakspere is frequently inac- 
curate in the use "of his prepositions, to untwine with would 
rather exceed his usual licentiousness." This " licentious- 
ness " is a favourite word with the commentators ; they 
having agreed that the only correct standard of the English 
language was to he found in the formal construction of the 
eighteenth century. In this case, however, they appear to 




[Scjttri H. 

Bel. It great morning. Comej away. — 
Who's there? 

Enter Can 

Clo. I cannot find those runagates : that villain 
Hath mock'd me :— ] am faint. 

Those runagates ! 
M ans he not us ? I partly know him ; 't is 
Cloten, the sou o' the queen. 1 fear some am- 
I a tw him not these many years, and yet 
I know 't is he : — We are held as outlaws : — 
Gui. lie is but one : You and my brother 
What companies are near : pray you, away ; 
Let me alone with him. 

[Exeunt Belabius and AuvmAGrs. 
Clo. Soft ! What are you 

That fly me thus ? some villain mountaineers ? 
I have heard of such. — What slave art thou? 

Gui. A thing 

More slavish did I ne'er, than answering 
re without a knock. 
Clo. Thou art a robber, 

A law-breaker, a villain : Yield thee, thief. 
Gui. To who ? to thee : What ait thou ? 
Have not I 
An arm as big as thine ? a heart as big ? 
Thy words, I grant, are bigger : for I wear 

My dagger in my mouth. Say, what thou art, 
Why I should yield to thee? 

Clo. Thou villain base, 

Know'st me not by my clothes ? 

Gui. No, nor thy tailor, rascal, 

Who is thy grandfather ; he made those clothes, 
Which, as it seems, make thee. 

Clo. Thou precious varlet, 

My tailor made them not. 

Gui. Hence, then, and thank 

The man that gave them thee. Thou art some 

fool ; 
I am loath to beat thee. 

Clo. Thou injurious thief, 

c but my name, and tremble. 

What 'sthy name? 
Clo. Cloten, thou villain. 
Gui. Cloten, thou double villain, be thy name, 
I cannot tremble at it ; were 't toad, or adder, 

'T would move me sooner. 

have mistaken the poet'f meaning. The root of the eld 
, while that of the vine continui 
flourish and increase: — let tbe stinking < f, untwine 

• which is perishing with (in company with) the i 
which is increa 


Clo. To thy further tear, 

Nay, to thy mere confusion, thou shalt know 
1 'in son to the queen. 

Gui. I 'm sorry for 't ; not seeming 

So worthy as thy birth. 

Clo. Art not afeard ? 

Gui. Those that I reverence those 1 fear ; the 
wise : 
At fools I laugh, not fear them. 

Clo. Hie the death : 

When I have slain thee with my proper hand, 
1 '11 follow those that even now fled hence, 
And on the gates of Lud's town set your heads : 
Yield, rustic mountaineer. [Exeunt, fighting. 

Enter Belaeius and Auviragus. 

Bel. No company 's abroad. 

Arc. None iii the world : You did mistake 
him, sure. 

Bel. I cannot tell : Long is it since I saw him, 
But time hath nothing blurr'd those lines of 

\\ Inch then he wore ; the snatches in his voice, 
And burst of speaking, were as his : I am abso- 
'T was very Cloten. 

Arv. In this place we left them : 

I wish my brother make good time with him, 
You say he is so fell. 

Bel. Being scarce made up, 

I mean, to mau, he had not apprehension 
Of roaring terrors, for defect of judgment, 
As oft the cause of fear : a But see, thy brother. 

Re-enter Guideries, with Cloten 's head. 

Gui. This Cloten was a fool ; an empty 

purse, — 
There was no money in 't : not Hercules 
Could have knock'd out his brains, for lie had 

none : 

a The word defect, of the original, was changed by Theo- 
bald to the effect ; and the passage so corrected is thus given 
in most of the modern editions — 

" He had not apprehension 
Of roaring terrors ; for the effect of judgment 
Is oft the cause of fear." 

Hanmer reads — 

" For defect of judgment 
Is oft the cure of fear ; " 

which reading is adopted by Malone. Il is evident that the 

passage as it Btands in the original is contradictory. Hut it 

~ to us that the corrections, both of Theobald and 

Hanmer, are somewhat forced ; and we rather adopt the very 

ingenious suggestion of the author of a pamphlet printed at 

Edinburgh, 1M I, entitled 'Explanations and Emendations 

of some Passages in the Text of Shakspere, tee. In this 

ig of at lor is. Belarius says that Cloten, before he 

arrived to n : ". had nut apprehension of terrors <,n 

t Of judgment, Which defect is a> often the 

cause of fear. The pa il thus stands appears to us 

one of the many examples of condei.sed truths which thi; 
play presents. 

Act IV.] 


[Scene II. 

Though his 

Yet I not doing this, the fool had borne 
My head, as I do his. 
Bel. What hast thou done ? 

Gui. I am perfect, what : cut off one Cloten's 
Son to the queen, after his own report ; 
Who call'd me traitor, mountaineer ; and swore, 
With his own single hand he'd take us in, 
Displace our heads, where (thank the gods !) 

they grow, 
And set them on Lud's town. 
Bel. We are all undone. 

Gui. Why, worthy father, what have we to 
But, that he swore to take, our lives ? The law 
Protects not us : Then why should we be tender 
To let an arrogant piece of flesh threat us ; 
Play judge and executioner, all himself, 
Por a we do fear the law ? What company 
Discover you abroad ? 

Bel. • No single soul 

Can we set eye on, but in all safe reason 
He must have some attendants 

humour b 
Was nothing but mutation, — ay, and that 
Prom one bad thing to worse, — not frenzy, not 
Absolute madness could so far have rav'd, 
To bring him here alone : Although, perhaps, 
It may be heard at court, that such as we 
Cave here, hunt here, are outlaws, and in time 
May make some stronger head : the which he 

(As it is like him,) might break out, and 

He'd fetch us in ; yet is 't not probable 
To come alone, either he so undertaking, 
Or they so suffering : then on good ground we 

If we do fear this body hath a tail 
More perilous than the head. 

Jro. . Let ordinance 

Come as the gods foresay it : howsoe'er, 
My brother hath done well. 

Bel. I had no mind 

To hunt this day : the boy Fidele's sickness 
Did make my way long forth. 

Gui. With his own sword, 

Which he did wave against my throat, I have 

His head from him : I '11 throw 't into the creek 

a For, in the sense of because. 

b Humour. In the original honour. Theobald made the 
emendation, which is certainly called for; and is further 
justified by the fact that, in the' early editions of Shakspere, 
humour and honour are several times misprinted each for 
the other. 

Behind our rock ; and let it to the sea, 

And tell the fishes he 's the queen's sou, Cloten : 

That's all I reck. [Exit. 

Bel. I fear, 't will be reveng'd : 

'Would, Polydore, thou had'st not done 't ! 

though valour 
Becomes thee well enough. 

Arv. 'Would I had done 't, 

So the revenge alone pursued me ! — Polydore, 
I love thee brotherly ; but envy much 
Thou hast robb'd me of this deed : I would, re- 
That possible strength might meet, would seek 

us through 
And put us to our answer. 

Bel. Well, 't is done :— 

We'll hunt no more to-day, nor seek for 

Where there's no profit. I prithee, to our 

rock ; 
You and Pidele play the cooks : I '11 stay 
Till hasty Polydore return, and bring him 
To dinner presently. 

Arv. Poor sick Fidele ! 

I '11 willingly to him : To gam his colour, 
I 'd let a parish of such Clotens blood, a 
And praise myself for charity. [Exit. 

Bel. thou goddess, 

Thou divine Nature, how thyself thou blazon' st : 
In these two princely boys ! They are as 

As zephyrs, blowing below the violet, 
Not wagging his sweet head : and yet as 

Their royal blood enchaf'd, as the rud'st wind, 
That by the top doth take the mountain pine 
And make him stoop to the vale. 'T is wonder b 
That an invisible instinct should frame them 
To royalty unlearn'd; honour untaught; 
Civility not seen from other : valour, 
That wildly grows in them, but yields a crop 
As if it had been sow'd ! Yet still it 's strange 
What Cloten's being here to us portends, 
Or what his death will bring us. 

Re-enter Guiderius. 

Gui. Where 's my brother ? 

I have sent Cloten's clot poll down the stream, 
In embassy to his mother ; his body's hostage 
Por his return. [Solemn ?;iusir. 

a Steevens prints this— 

" I'd let a parish of such Clotens' blood." 
But the meaning is, I would let blood a parish of such 
Clotens. , . •. . 

i* Wonder. So the original. Pope changed it to ins- 



Act IV. 1 

i \ 

[Smuts li 

Bel. My ingenious instrumenl ! 

Hark, Folydore, it sounds ! But what occasion 
BLath Cadwal now to give it motion ? Hark ! 

Out. Is he at Ik 

Bel. He went hence even now. 

Qui. "What does he mean ? since death of my 
dear'st mot her 
It did not speak before. All solemn things 
Should answer solemn accidents. The matter ? 
Triumphs for nothing, and lamenting toys, 
Is jollity for apes and grief for boys. 
Is Cadwal mad? 

Re-enter Arviiiagus, bearing Imogen as dead 
in /lis arms. 

Bel. Look, here he comes, 

And brings the dire occasion in his arms, 
Of what W3 blame him for ! 

Arc. The bird is dead, 

That we have made so much on. I had rather 
Have skipp'd from sixteen years of age to 

To have turn'd my leaping time into a crutch, 
Than have seen this. 

Gui. sweetest, fairest lily ! 

My brother wears thee not the one-half so 

As when thou grew'st thyself. 

Bel. 0, melancholy ! 

Who ever yet could sound thy bottom ? find 
The ooze, to show what coast thy sluggish 

crare a 
Might easiliest harbour in? — Thou blessed 

thing ! 
Jove knows what man thou might'st have made; 

but I, 
Thou diedst, a most rare boy, of melancholy ! h 
How found you him ? 

Arc. Stark, as you see : 

Thus smiling, as some fly had tickled slumber, 
Not as death's dart, being laugh'd at : his right 

Reposing on a cushion. 
Gui. Where ? 

Arc. 0' the floor ; 

His arms thus leagued : I thought he slept ; and 

» Crare. The original reads rare: but the image is 
Incomplete unless we adopt the correction. Vrar, a 

small vessel; and the word U often used by Hoi imbed 
and by Drayton. 

■ w<- print tbe passage as in the original! the meat 
which is. Jove knows what m&; thou might's! have made, 
but I know thou diedst, &c. Malone thinks that t lie 
pronoun J was probably substituted I i-c lor tbe 

•.r.trrjection, Ah! which is commonly printed ay in the 
old copies; ay being also as commonly printed I. 

« Starlt— stiff". 


M\ clouted brogues" from off my feet, whose 

Answer'd my steps too loud. 

Gui. Why, he but sleeps : 

If he be gone, he '11 make his grave a bed ; 
With female fairies will his tomb be haunted, 
And worms will not come to thee. 

Arc. With fairest flowers, 

Whilst summer lasts, and I live here, Fidele, 
I '11 sweeten thy sad grave : Thou shalt not lack 
The flower that 's like thy face, pale primrose ; 

The azur'd hare-bell, like thy veins ; no, nor 
The leaf of eglantine, whom not to slander, 
Out-sweeten'd not thy breath : the ruddock 

would, 2 
With charitable bill (0 bill, sore-shaming 
Those rich-left heirs that let their fathers lie 
Without a monument !) bring thee all this ; 
Yea, and furr'd moss besides, when flowers are 

To winter-ground thy corse. 

Gui. Prithee, have done ; 

And do not play in wcnch-like words with that 
Which is so serious. Let us bury him, 
And not protract with admiration what 
Is now due debt. — To the grave. 

./. p. Say, where shall 's lay him ? 

Gui. By good Euriphile, our mother. 

Art. Be 't so : 

And let us, Polydore, though now our voices 
Have got the mannish crack, sing him to the 

As once our mother; use like note, and words, 
Save that Euriphile must be Fidele. 

Gui. Cadwal, 
I cannot sing : I '11 weep, and word it with 

thee : 
For notes of sorrrow, out of tunc, are worse 
Than priests and fanes that lie. 

Arc. We '11 speak it then. 

Bel. Great griefs, I see, medicine the less : for 
Is quite forgot. He was a queen's son, boys : 
And, though he came our enemy, remember 
He was paid for that : Though mean and mighty, 

Together, have one dust; yet reverence 
(Thai angel of the world) doth make distinction 
Of place 't ween high and low. Our foe was 

princely ; 
And tho'igh you took his life, as being our foe, 
Yrt bury him as a prince. 

Gui. Pray you, fetch him hither. 

» Iimr/ues — rude shoes. 

Act IV.] 



Thersites' body is as good as Ajax, 
When neither are alive. 

Arc. If you'll go fetch him, 

We '11 say our song the whilst.— Brother, begin. 

[Exit Belarius. 

Gut. Nay, Cadwal, we must lay his head to 
the east : 
My father hath a reason for 't. 

Arc. 'T is true. 

Gui. Come on then, and remove hira. 

Arc. So,— Begin. 


Gui. Fear no more the heat o' the sun, 

Nor the furious winter's rages; 
Thou thy worldly task hast done, 

Home art gone and ta'en thy wages: 
Golden lads and girls all must, 
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust. 

Arv. Fear no more the frown o' the great, 

Thou art past the tyrant's stroke; 
Care no more to clothe, and eat ; 

To thee the reed is as the oak : 
The sceptre, learning, physic, must 
All follow this, and come to dust. 

Gui. Fear no more the light'ning flash ; 
Arv. Nor the all-dreaded thunder-stone ; 
Gui. Fear not slander, censure rash; 
Arv. Thou hast finish'd joy and moan : 
Bulk. All lovers young, all lovers must 
Consign to thee, and come to dust. 

Gui. No exorciser harm thee ! 
Arv. Nor no witchcraft charm thee! 
Gui. Ghost unlaid forbear thee ! 
Arc. Nothing ill come near thee ! 
Both. Quiet consummation have ; 
And renowned be thy grave ! 

Re-enter Belarius, with the body o^Clotex. 

Gui. We have done our obsequies : 3 Come, lay 

him down. 
Bel. Here's a few flowers; but about midnight, 
more : 
The herbs that have on them cold dew o' the 

Are strewings fitt'st for graves.— Upon their 

faces : — 
You were as flowers, now wither'd : even so 
These herb'lets shall, which we upon you strow.— 
Come on, away : apart upon our knees. 
The ground, that gave them first, has them 

again : 
Their pleasures here are past, so is their pain. 

[Exeunt Belarius, Guiderius, and 
Imo. [mcalcing. ~] Yes, sir, to Milford-Haven ; 
Which is the way ? 
I thank vou. — By yon bush ? — Pray, how i'ar 
"thither ? 

'Ods pittikins ! — can it be six miles yet ? — 

I have gone all night : — 'Faith, I '11 lie down and 

But, soft ! no bedfellow :— 0, gods and goddesses ! 

[Seeing the body. 
These flowers are like the pleasures of the 

world ; 
This bloody man, the care on't.— I hope I 

dream ; 
For, so, I thought I was a cave-keeper, 
And cook to honest creatures : But J t is not so ; 
'T was but a bolt of nothing, shot at nothing, 
Which the brain makes of fumes : Our very 



Are sometimes like our judgments, blind. 


I tremble still with fear : But if there be 
Yet left in heaven as small a drop of pity 
As a wren's eye, fear'd gods, apart of it ! 
The dream 's here still : even when I wake it is 
Without me, as within me ; not imagin'd, felt. 
A headless man ! — The garments of Posthu- 

mus ! 
I know the shape of his leg : this is his hand ; 
His foot Mercurial : his Martial thigh ; 
The brawns of Hercules : but his Jovial face— 
Murther in heaven ? — How ? — 'T is gone.— 

All curses madded Hecuba gave the Greeks, 
And mine to boot, be darted on thee ! Thou, 
Conspir'd with that irregulous 1 devil, Cloten, 
Hast here cut off my lord.— To write and read 
Be henceforth treacherous !— Damn'd Pisanio 
Hath with his forged letters,— damn'd Pisanio— 
From this most bravest vessel of the world 
Struck the main-top !— 0, Posthumus ! alas, 
Where is thy head ? where 'a that ? Ah me ! 

where 's that ? 
Pisanio might have kill'd thee at the heart. 
And left this head on.— How should this be r 

Pisanio ? 
'T is he, and Cloten : malice and lucre in them 
Have laid this woe here. 0, 'tis pregnant, 

pregnant ! 
The drug he gave me, which, he said, was pre- 
And cordial to me, have I not found it 
Murd'rous to the senses? That confirms 

home : 
This is Pisanio's deed, and Cloten's : !— 
Give colour to my pale cheek with thy blood, 
That we the horrider may seem to those 
Which chance to find us : 0, my lord, my lord ! 


a Irreguloui— irregular— disorderly. 

found in ibis passage of Shakspere. 

The word is only 

Act iv. 


[Scene III. 

Lucius, a Captain, and other Officers, and 
a Soothsayer. 

Cap. To them, the legions garrison' d in 
After your will, have cross'd the sea; attending 

here at Milford-Haven, with jour ships : 
They are here in readiness. 

/. •. But what from Rome ? 

. The senate hath stirr'd up the confiners 
And gentlemen of Italy ; most willing spirits 
That promise noble service : and they come 
I ider the conduct of bold Iachimo, 
Sienna's brother. 

When expect you them ? 
p. With the next benefit o'thc wind. 
Luc. This forwardness 

Makes our hopes fair. Command, our present 

Be muster'd ; bid the captains look to 't. — Now, 

What have you dream'd, of late, of this war's 
purpose ? 
Sooth. Last night the very gods show'd me a 
vision : 
(I fast, and pray'd, for their intelligence,) Thus : — 
I saw Jove's bird, the Roman eagle, 4 wing'd 
From the spongy south to this part of the west, 
There vanish'd in the sunbeams : which por- 
(Unless my sins abuse my divination,) 
Success to the Roman host. 

Luc. Dream often so, 

And never false.— Soft, ho! what trunk is here 
"Without his top ? The ruin speaks that some- 
It was a worthy building. — How ! a page ! — 
Or dead, or sleeping on him ? But dead, rather : 
For nature doth abhor to make his bed 
With the defunct, or sleep upon the dead.— 
Let 's sec the boy's face. 

Cap. He is alive, my lord. 

Luc. He'll then instruct us of tins body. — 
Young one, 
Inform ns of thy fortunes ; for, it seems 
They crave to be demanded : Who is this 
Thou mak'st thy bloody pillow ? Or who was 

That, otherwise than noble nature did, 
Hath alter'd that good picture? What's thy 

In this sad wrack ? How came it ? Who is it ? 
I art thou P 

I am nothing: or if not, 
Nothing to be were better. This was my master. 
A very valiant Briton, and a good, 

That here by mountaineers lies slain: — Alas ! 
There arc no more sucli masters : I may wander 
From east to Occident, cry out for service, 
Try many, all good, serve truly, never 
Find such another master. 

Luc. 'Lack, good youth ! 

Thou mov'st no less with thy complaining, than 
Thy master in bleeding ; Say his name, good 

I mo. Richard du Champ. If I do lie, and do 
Xo harm by it, though the gods hear, I hope 
They'll pardon it. [Aside.'] Say you, sir ? 
Luc. Thy name ? 

Lmo. Fidcle, sir. 

Luc. Thou dost approve thyself the very 

same : 
Thy name well fits thy faith; thy faith thy 

Wilt take thy chance with me ? I will not say 
Thou shalt be so well master'd ; but, be sure, 
No less belov'd. The Roman emperor's letters, 
Sent by a consul to me, should not sooner 
Than thine own worth prefer thee. Go with 

Imo. I '11 follow, sir. But first, an 't please the 

I '11 hide my master from the flies, as deep 
As these poor pickaxes can dig : and when 
With wild wood-leaves and weeds I have strew 'd 

his grave, 
And on it said a century of prayers, 
Such as I can, twice o'er, I '11 weep, and sigh ; 
And, leaving so his service, follow you, 

50 please you entertain me. 

I ■ Ay, good vonth : 

And rather father thee than master thee. — 
My friends, 

The boy hath taught us manly duties : Let us 
Find out the prettiest daisied plot we can, 
And make him with our pikes and partisans 
A grave : Come ; arm him. a — Boy, he is pre- 

By thee to us ; and he shall be interr'd 
As soldiers can. Be cheerful; wipe thine 

eyes : 
Some falls arc means the happier to arise. 


51 ENB III.— A Room in Cymbcline's Palace. 

Enter Cvmbelixe, Lords, and Pisaxio. 

Again ; and bring me word how ? t is with 
A fever with the absence of her son; 

••» Arm him- take him in your arm*. 


A madness, of which her life 's in danger :— 

How deeply you at once do touch me ! Imogen 
The great part of my comfort, gone ; my queen 
Upon a desperate bed, and in a time 
When fearful wars point at me; her son gone 
So needful for this present : It strikes me, past 
the hope of comfort.— But for thee, fellow, 
Who needs must know of her departure, and 
Dost seem so ignorant, we '11 enforce it from 

By a sharp torture. 

f ls - Sir, my life is yours, 

I humbly set it at your will : But for my mis- 
I nothing know where she remains, why gone, 
Nor when she purposes return. 'Beseech your 

Hold me your loyal servant. 

lZorc?. ^ Good my liege, 

Ihe day that she was missing he was here : 
I dare be bound he 's true, and shall perform 
All parts of his subjection loyally. 
For Cloten,— 

There wants no diligence in seeking him, 
And will, no doubt, be found. 

Qt m - The time is troublesome 

We 'U slip you for a season; but our jealousy 


Docs yet depcnd. a 

1 Lord. So please your majesty, 

The Roman legions, all from Gallia drawn, 
Arc landed on your coast ; with a supply 
Of Roman gentlemen, by the senate sent. 
Ci/m. Now for the counsel of my son and 
queen ! 
I am amaz'd with matter. 
^ 1 Lord. Good my liege, 

Your preparation can affront no less 
Than what you hear of: come more, for more 

you 're ready ; 
The want is, but to put those powers in motion 
That long to move. 

Cjjm. I thank you : Let 's withdraw : 

And meet the time, as it seeks us. We fear not 
What can from Italy annoy us ; but 
We grieve at chances here.— Away. [Exeunt. 
Pis. I heard no letter b from my master since 
I wrote him Imogen was slain : 'T is strange : 
Nor hear I from my mistress, who did promise 
To yield me often tidings : Neither know I 

[Scene IV. 

" Does yet depend— is yet depending, as we say of an 
action at law. J 

b Hanmer reads, I've had no letter. Malone suggests 
that by letter is not meant an epistle ; but that the phrase is 
equivalent to / heard no syllable. 

1 What is betid to Cloten; but remain 
Perplex'd in all. The heavens still must work • 
\ aerem I am false I am honest; not true to be 

These present wars shall find I love my 

Even to the note o' the king, or I '11 fall in 

All other doubts by time let them be clear'd : 
Fortune brings in some boats that are not steer'd. 


SCENE IV.- Before the Cave. 

Enter Belaritjs, Guideiuus, and Arvikagus. 
Gui. The noise is round about us. 

B f- Let us from it. 

drv. What pleasure, sir, find we in fife, to 
lock it 
From action and adventure ? 

Gui - Nay, what hope 

Have we in hiding us ? this way,* the Eomans 
Must or for Britons slay us ; or receive us 
For barbarous and unnatural revolts 
During their use, and slay us after. 

B f- t Sons, 

We '11 higher to the mountains ; there secure us. 
To the king's party there 's no going : newness 
Of Cloten's death (we being not known, not 

Among the bands) may drive us to a render 
Where we have liv'd ; and so extort from us that 
Which we have done, whose answer would be 

Drawn on with torture. 

Gui. This is, sir, a doubt 

In such a time nothing becoming you, 
Nor satisfying us. 

drv. It is not likely 

That when they hear the Roman horses neigh, 
Behold their quartered fires, have both their eyes 
And ears so cloy'd importantly as now, 
That they will waste their time upon our note, 
To know from whence we are. 

Bel. 0, I am known 

Of many in the army : many years, 
Though Cloten then but young, you see, not wore 

From my remembrance. And, besides, the king 
Hath not deserv'd my service, nor your loves ; 
Who find in my exile the want of breeding, 
The certainty of this hard life ; aye hopeless 
To have the courtesy your cradle promis'd, 
But to be still hot summer's tanlings, and 

The shrinking slaves of winter 


Act IV.] 


[Si ink IV. 

Gui. Than lie so, 

i- tc cease to be. Pray, sir, to the army : 
1 and my brother are not known ; yourself 
So out of thought, and thereto so o'crgrown, 
Cannot be qucstion'd. 

-/ . By this sun that, shines, 

I'll thither: What thing is it. thai I never 
Did see man die ? scarce ever look'd on blood, 
But that of coward hares, hot goats, and ve- 
Never best rid a horse, save one., that had 
A rider like myself, who ne'er wore rowel 
Nor iron on his heel? I am asham'd 
To look upon the holy sun, to have 
The benefit of his blcss'd beams, remaining 
So long a poor unknown. 

Gui. By heavens, I '11 go : 

If you will bless me, sir, and give me have, 
I '11 take the better care ; but if you will not, 
The hazard therefore due fall on mc, by 
The hands of Komans ! 

Aro. So say I; Amen. 

/: .'. ~So reason I, since of your lives you set 
So slight a valuation, should reserve 
My crack'd one to more care. Have with you 

bojs : 
If in your country wars you cnance to die, 
That is my bed too, lads, and there I '11 lie : 
Lead, lead. — The time seems long : their blood 
thinks scorn, [Aside. 

Till it fly out and show them princes born. 


[The Fores!.] 

— ■ — ■ - ■ 


1 Scene II. — "But his neat cookery." 
Mrs. Lennox has the following remark upon 
this passage : — " This princess, forgetting that she 
had put on boy's clothes to be a spy upon the 
actions of her husband, commences cook to two 
young foresters aud their father, who live in a cave; 
and we are told how nicely she sauced the broths. 
Certainly this princess had a most economical 
education." Douce has properly commented upon 
this impertinence: — "Now what is this but to 
expose her own ignorance of ancient manners ? 
If she had missed the advantage of qualifying 
herself as a commentator on Shakspeare's plots by 
a perusal of our old romances, she ought at least 
to have remembered, what every well-informed 
woman of the present age is acquainted with, the 
education of the princesses in Homer's ' Odyssey.' 
It is idle to attempt to judge of ancient simplicity 
by a mere knowledge of modern manners ; and 
such fastidious critics had better close the book 
of Shakspeare for ever." (' Illustrations/ vol. ii. 
page 104.) 

2 Scene II. — " The ruddock would," &c. 
Percy asks, " Is this an allusion to the babes of 
the wood ? or was the notion of the redbreast 
covering dead bodies general before the writing of 
that ballad ?" It has been shown that the notion 
has been found in an earlier book of natural his- 
tory ; and there can be no doubt that it was an 
old popular belief. The redbreast has always been 
a favourite with the poets, and 

" Robin the mean, that best of all loves men,'' 
as Browne sings, was naturally employed in the 
last offices of love. Drayton says, directly imi- 
tating Shakspere : — 

" Covering with moss the dead's unclosed eye 
The little redbreast teacheth charity." 

In the beautiful stanza which Gray has omitted 
from his Elegy the idea i? put with his usual ex- 
quisite refinement : — 

" There scatter'd oft, the earliest of ths year, 
By hands unseen, are showers of violets found; 
The redbreast loves to build and warble there, 
And little footsteps lightly print the ground." 

3 Scene II. — " We have done our obsequies." 

In the Introductory Notice we have given an 
opinion as to the dramatic value of the dirge of 
Collins as compared with that of Shakspere. 
Taken apart from the scene, it will always be read 
with pleasure. 


Sung by Guiderius and Arviragus over Fidele, supposed 
to be dead. 

To fair Fidele's grassy tomb, 
Soft maids and village hinds shall bring 

Each opening sweet, of earliest bloom, 
And rifle all the breathing spring. 

No wailing ghost shall dare appear 
To vex with shrieks this quiet grove ; 

But shepherd lads assemble here, 
And melting virgins own their love. 

No wither'd witch shall here be seen, 
No goblins lead their nightly crew : 

The female fays shall haunt the green, 
And dress thy grave with pearly dew. 

The redbreast oft at evening hours 

Shall kindly lend his little aid, 
With hoary moss, and gather'd flowers, 

To deck the ground where thou art laid. 

When howling winds, and beating rain, 
In tempests shake the sylvan cell; 

Or midst the chase on every plain, 
The tender thought on thee shall dwell. 

Each lonely scene shall thee restore ; 

For thee the tear be duly shed : 
Belov'd, till life could charm no more ; 

And mourn'd till pity's self be dead. 

4 Scene II. — " / saw Jove's bird, the Roman 

The annexed beautiful coin of Domitiau is the 
best illustration of this passage. 

[Roman Eagle.} 


W T ,.u. . 

[Combat of Postlmmus and Iachiino. Scene II.] 


SCENE I. — A Field beticeen the British and 
Roman Camps. 

Enter Postiiumus, with a bloody handkerchief. 

Post. Yea, bloody cloth, I '11 keep thee ; for I 
am wish'd 
Thou should'st be colour'd thus. You married 

If each of you should take this course, how many 
Must murther wives much better than themselves, 
For wrying a but a little ! — 0, Pisanio ! 
Every good servant does not all commands; 
No bond, but to do just ones. — Gods ! if you 
Should have ta'en vengeance on my faults, I never 
1 1 ad liv'd to put on h this : so had you saved 
The noble Imogen to repent; and struck 
Mo, wretch, more worth your vengeance : But, 

You snatch some hence for little faults; that's love, 
To have them fall no more : you some permit 
To second ills with ills, each elder worse, 

* Wrying. The use of tvry as a verb is uncommon. We 
have a passage in Sidney's ' Arcadia ' which is at once an 
example and an explanation : — "That from the right line of 
virtue are wri/rd to these crooked shifts." 

1j T'i put nn — to instigate. 

c "The last deed is certainly not the o s Dr. 

Johnson. That is, perhaps, prosaically true; but as the man 
who goes on in the commission of 111 is older When he com- 
mits the last ill than when be committed t lie first, we do not 
believe that Shakspcrn, as Malone say*! "inadvertently con- 
sidered the latter evil deed as the elder." The confusion, if 


And make them dread it, to the doers' thrift. 
But Imogen is your own : Do your best wills, 
And make me bless'd to obey ! — I am brought 

Amoug the Italian gentry, and to fight 
Against my lady's kingdom : 'T is enough 
That, Britain, I have kill'd thy mistress. Peace ! 
I'll give no wound to thee. Therefore, good 

Hear patiently my purpose ; I '11 disrobe me 

there be any, in the text may be reconciled by Bacon's 
notion, that what we call the old world is really the young 
world ; and so a man's first sin is his youngest sin. 

■ The sentiment here is excessively beautiful ; but, from 
the elliptical form of expression which so strikingly prevails 
in this play, is obscure. Postlmmus, it appears to us, is com- 
paring his own state with what he supposes is that of Imogen. 
She is snatched "hence, for little faults;" he remains " to 
second ills with ills." But how is it that such as he ••dread 
ill" The commentators believe that there is a misprint. 
Theobald would read dreaded; Johnson deeded. Steevena 
interprets "to make them dread it is to make them persevere 
in the commission of dreadful action" — dread it being used in 
the same manner as Pope has "to sinner it or saint it." The 
author of the pamphlet we have already quoted, ' Explana- 
tions and Emendations,' &c, thinks that the it refers to Ven- 
ice, which occurs four lines above. We cannot feel COIl- 
Dt of this; nor do we think with Monck Mason that 
thrift means something higher than worldly advantages— 
the repentance which issues from the dread. We cannot 
help believing that some word ought to stand in the place of 
.' it: and, as the small Offender is cut off, in love, "to 
fall no more," 80 Ih [ is left to thrive in his 

offences, as far as this life is concerned. We are inclined to 

'■:ure, alth • annol pre ume to alter the u 

that dread it has been misprinted for do each. 

" To second ills with ills, erieh elder worse, 
And make them do each to the doer's thrift." 

Act V] 


[Scenes J I. 111. 

Of these Italian weeds, and suit myself 
As does a Briton peasant : so I'll fight 
Against the part I come with ; so I '11 die 
For thee, O Imogen, even for whom rny life 
Is, every breath, a death : and thus, unknown, 
Pitied nor hated, to the face of peril 
Myself I '11 dedicate. Let me make men know 
More valour in me, than my habits show. 
Gods, put the strength o' the Leonati in me ! 
To shame the guise o' the world, I will begin 
The fashion less without, and more within. 

SCENE II.— The same. 

Eater at one door Lucius, Iachimo, and the 
lloman armgj 1 and the British army at another. 
Leoxatus Posthumus following, like a poor 
soldier. They march over, and go out. Then 
enter again in skirmish, Iachimo and Posthu- 
mus : he vanquisheth and disarmeth Iachimo, 
and then, leaves him? 

Tach. The heaviness and guilt within my bosom 
Takes off my manhood : I have belied a lady, 
The princess of this country, and the air on 't 
Ptevengiugly enfeebles me. Or, could this carl, 1 ' 
A very drudge of nature's, have subdued me, 
In my profession ? Knighthoods and honours, 

As I wear mine, are titles but of scorn. 
If that thy gentry, Britain, go before 
This lout, as he exceeds our lords, the odds 
Is, that we scarce are men, and you are gods. 


The battle continues; the Britons Jig; Cymbe- 
line is taken; then enter, to his rescue, Be- 
larius, Guiderius and Akyiragus. 
Bel. Stand, stand! "We have the advantage 
of the ground ; 

The lane is guarded ; nothing routs us but 

The villainy of our fears. 

Qui. Arv. Stand, stand, and fight ! 

Enter Posthumus, and seconds the Britons : 
They rescue Cymbeline, and exeunt. Then, 
enter Lucius, Iachimo, and Imogen. 
Luc. Away, boy, from the troops, and save 
thyself : 

a It will be observed throughout this act that the stage- 
directions are extremely full, and that the actiou of the 
drama at the close of the third scene is entirely what was 
called a dumb show. The drama preceding Shakspere was 
full of such examples. But Shakspere uniformly rejected the 
practice, except in this instance. We do not believe that 
these directions for the dumb show were interpolated by the 
players, as Ritson thinks ; and in the Introductory Notice we 
have expressed our opinion that this, combined with other 
circumstances, presents some evidence that Cyinbeline was 
a rifaccimento of an early play. We would here observe 
that we have followed in these stage-directions the original 

b Carl — churl. 

Tor friends kill friends, and the disorder 's such 
As war were hood-wink'd. 

Inch. 'T is then- fresh supplies. 

Luc. It is a day turn'd strangely : Or betimes 
Let 's re-enforce, or fly. {Exeunt. 

SCENE III.— Another Part of the Field. 
Enter Posthumus and a British Lord. 

Lord. Cam'st thou from where they made the 
stand ? 

Post. £ did; 

Though you, it seems, come from the fliers. 

Lord. I did. 

Post. No blame be to you, sir ; for all was lost, 
But that the heavens fought : The king himself 
Of his wings destitute, the army broken, 
And but the backs of Britons seen, all flying 
Through a straight lane ; the enemy fall-hearted, 
Lolling the tongue with slaughtering, having work 
More plentiful than tools to do 't, struck down 
Some mortally, some slightly touch' d, some falling 
Merely through fear ; that the strait pass was 

With dead men, hurt behind, and cowards living 
To die with lengthen'd shame. 

Lord. Where was this lane ? 

Post. Close by the battle, ditch'd, and wall'd 
with turf ; 
Which gave advantage to an ancient soldier, — 
An honest one, I warrant ; who deserv'd 
So long a breeding as his white beard came to, 
In doing this for his country, — athwart the lane, 
He, with two striplings, (lads more like to run 
The country base, 8, than to commit such slaughter; 
With faces fit for masks, or rather fairer 
Than those for preservation cas'd, or shame,) 
Made good the passage ; cry'd to those that fled, 
' Our Britain's harts die flying, not our men : 
To darkness fleet, souls that fly backwards ! Stand ; 
Or we are Romans, and will give you that 
Like beasts, which you shun beastly ; and may 

But to look back in frown: stand, stand.' — 

These three, 
Three thousand confident, in act as many, 
(For three performers are the file when all 
The rest do nothing,) with this word, ' stand, 

Accommodated by the place, more charming 
With their own nobleness, (which could have 

A distaff to a lance,) gilded pale looks, 


Country-base — the rustic game of prison bars, or prison 


Act V.] 


[gem IT 

Part shame, part spirit renew'd ; that some, 

turn'd coward 
But by example (O, a siu in war, 
Damn'd in the first beginners !) 'gan to look 
The way thai they did, and to grin like lions 
Upon the jukes o' the hunters. Then began 
A stop i the chaser, a retire; anon, 
A rout, confusion thick: Forthwith, they fly 
Chickens, the way which they stoop'd i 

The strides they victors made : And now our 

(Like fragments in hard voyages) became 
The life o' the need, having found the back-door 

Of the unguarded hearts : Heavens, how they 

wound ! 
Some slam before ; some dying ; some their friends 
O'er-borne i" the former wave; ten, chas'd by one, 
Are now each one the slaughter-man of twenty : 
Those that would die or ere resist are grown 
The mortal bugs a o' the field. 

Lorl. This was strange chance : 

A narrow lane ! an old man, and two boys ! 

Posf. Nay, do not wonder at it : You are made 
Rather to wonder at the things you hear, 
Thau to work any. AVill you rhyme upon't, 
And vent it for a mockery ? Here is one : 
' Two boys, an old man twice a boy, a lane, 
Preserved the Britons, was the Romans' bane.' 
Lord. Nay, be not angry, sir. 
Pl 'Lack, to what end ! 

Who dares not stand his foe, I'll be his friend : 
For if he '11 do, as he is made to do, 
I know he '11 quickly fly my friendship too. 
You have put me into rhyme. 

Lord. Farewell ; you are angry. 

Post. Still going ? — This is a lord ! noble 

misery ! 
To be i' the field, and ask what news of me ! 
Today, how many would have given their honours 
To have sav'd their carcasses ? took heel to do 't 
And yet died too r I, in mine own woe charm'd, '' 
1 not find death where I did hear him groan ; 
Nor feel him where he struck: Being an uglv 

! T i- strange he hides him in fresh cups, soft beds, 

t words; or hath more ministers than we 
That draw his knives i' the war. — Well, I will 

And him : 

■ Bur/s — terrors. 

b Warburton remarks that this alludes to the common 
superstition of charms having power to keep men unhurt in 
battle. Macbeth says, " I bear a charmed life " — Posthumus, 
" I. in mine own woe charm'd." 


For being now a favourer to the Briton, 
No more a Briton, a 1 have resnm'd again 
The part I came in : Fight I will no more, 
But yield me to the veriest hind that shall 
Once touch my shoulder. Great the slaughter is 
Here made by the Roman; great the answer lie 
Britons musl take ; For me, my ransom's death ; 
Ou either side I come to spend my breath ; 
Which neither here I'll keep, nor bear again, 
But end it by some means for Imogen. 

Enter Tico Captains, and Soldiers. 

1 Cap. Great Jupiter be prais'd ! Lucius is 

taken : 
'Tis thought the old man and his sons were angels. 

2 Cap. There was a fourth man. in a silly habit, 
That gave the affront 1 with them. 

1 Cap. So 't is reported : 
But uone of them can be four.... — Stand! who 

is there ? 
Post. A Roman ; 
Who had not now been drooping here, if seconds 
Had answer'd him. 

2 Cap. Lay hands on him '; a dog ! 
A leg of Rome shall not return to tell 

What crows have peck'd them here : He brags 

his service 
As if he were of note : bring him to the king. 

Enter Cy.mbelixe, Belajues, Guidekius, Ak- 
yikages, Pisaxio, and Roman Captives. The 
Captains present Posthuiius to Cyme-kline, 
who delivers him ever to a Gaoler. 

SCENE W.—A Prison. 
Enter PosTiirxirs, and Two Gaolers. 

1 Gaol. You shall not now be stolen, vou 

have locks upon you ; 
So, graze, as you find pasture. 

2 Gaol. Ay, or a stomach. 

[Exeunt Gaolers. 
Post. Most welcome, bondage ! for thou art 
a way 
I think, to liberty : Yet am I better 
Than one that's sick o' the gout: since he had 

» We follow the original. After the time of Haniner t!.e 
passage was changed to — 

" For being now a favourer to the Roman, 
No more :i Briton." 

We think the change was uncalled for; because Posthumus, 
heroic Conduct, has been really "a favourer to the 
Briton," but, being about to resume the part he came in. lie 
it, no more a Briton, and he immediately afterwards s-urrenders 
himself as a Roman. 

•» Affront — encounter. 

Act V.] 



Groan so in perpetuity, than be cur'd 

By the sure physician, death, who is the key 

To unbar these locks. My conscience ! thou 

art fetter' d 
More than my shanks and wrists : Yon good 

gods, give me 
The penitent instrument, to pick that bolt, 
Then, free for ever ! Is 't enough I am sorry ? 
So children temporal fathers do appease ; 
Gods are more full of mercy. Must I repent ? 
I cannot do it better than in gyves, 
Desir'd, more than constrain'd : to satisfy, 
If of my freedom 'tis the main part, take 
No stricter render of me, than my all. 
I know you are more clement than vile men, 
Who of their broken debtors take a third, 
A sixth, a tenth, lettiug them thrive again 
On their abatement : that 's not my desire : 
For Imogen's dear life take mine ; and though 
'T is not so dear, yet 't is a life ; you coin'd it : 
'Tween man and man, they weigh not every 

stamp ; 
Though light, take pieces for the figure's sake : 
You rather mine, being yours : And so, great 

If you will take this audit, take this life, 
And cancel these cold bonds. Imogen ! 
I '11 speak to thee in silence. [He f<lepps. 

Solemn Music. Enter, as in an apparition, Sicilius Leox- 
atus, father (oPosthumus, an old man, attired like a war- 
rior ; leading in his hand an ancient matron, his irife, and 
mother to Posthumus, with music before them. Then, 
after other music, follow the two young Leonati, brothers 
to Posthumus, with wounds, as they died in the wars. 
They circle Posthumus round, as he lies sleeping. 

Sici. No more, thou thunder-master, show 

Thy spite on mortal flies ; 
With Mars fall out, with Juno chide, 

That thy adulteries 

Rates and revenges. 
Hath my poor boy done aught but well, 

Whose face I never saw ? 
I died, whilst in the womb he stay'd 

Attending Nature's law. 
Whose father then (as men report, 

Thou orphans' father art,) 
Thou should'st have been, and shielded him 

From this earth-vexing smart. 

Moth. Lucina lent not me her aid, 
But took me in my throes ; 
That from me was Posthumus ripp'd, 
Came crying 'mongst his foes, 
A thing of pity '. 

Sici. Great nature, like his ancestry, 
Moulded the stuff so fair, 
That he deserv'd the praise o' the world, 
As great Sicilius' heir. 

1 Bro. When once he was mature for man, 
In Britain where was he 
That could stand up his parallel ; 
Or fruitful object be 

In eye of Imogen, that best 

Could deem his dignity ? 

Moth. With marriage wherefore was he mock'd, 
To be exil'd, and thrown 
From Leonati' seat, and cast 

From her his dearest one, 
Sweet Imogen ? 

Sici. Why did you suffer Iachimo, 

Slight thing of Italy, 
To taint his nobler heart and brain 

With needless jealousy ; 
And to become the geek and scorn 

0' the other's villany ! 

2 Bro. For this, from stiller seats we came, 

Our parents and us twain, 
That, striking in our country's cause, 

Fell bravely, and were slain ; 
Our fealty, and Tenantius' right, 

With honour to maintain. 

1 Bro. Like hardiment Posthumus h^th 

To Cymbeline perform'd : 
Then Jupiter, thou king of gods, 

Why hast thou thus adjournal 
The graces for his merits due ; 

Being all to dolours turn'd ? 

Sici, Thy crystal window ope; look out ; 
No longer exercise, 
Upon a valiant race, thy harsh 
And potent injuries. 

Moth. Since, Jupiter, our son is good, 
Take off his miseries. 

Sici. Peep through thy marble mansion; help I 
Or we poor ghosts will cry 
To the shining synod of the rest, 
Against thy deity. 

2 Bro. Help, Jupiter; or we appeal, 

And from thy justice fly. 

Jupiter descends in thunder and lightning, sitting upon an 
eagle: he throws a thunder-bolt. The Ghosts fall on their 

Jup. No more, you petty spirits of region low, 

Offend our hearing: hush!— How dare you ghosts 
Accuse the thunderer, whose bolt you know, 

Sky-planted, batters all rebelling coasts? 
Poor shadows of Elysium, hence ; and rest 

Upon your never-withering banks of flowers : 
Be not with mortal accidents opprest ; 

No care of yours it is ; you know, 'tis ours. 
Whom best I love 1 cross ; to make my gift, 

The more delay'd, delighted. Be content ; 
Your low-laid son our godhead will uplift : 

His comforts thrive, his trials well are spent. 
Our Jovial star reign'd at his birth, and in 

Our temple was he married. — Rise, and fade ! — 
He shall be lord of lady Imogen, 

And happier much by his affliction made. 
This tablet lay upon his breast ; wherein 

Our pleasure his full fortune doth confine ; 
And so, away : no farther with your dm 

Express impatience, lest you stir up mine. — 

Mount, eagle, to my palace crystalline. [Aiceniis 

Sici. He came in thunder; his celestial breath 
Was sulphurous to smell : the holy eagle 
Stoop'd, as to foot us : his ascension is 
More sweet than our bless'd fields: his royal bitd 
Prunes the immortal wing, and cloys his beak, 
As when his god is pleas'd. 


Act V.] 


[SCF.N1. V, 

.411. Thanks. Jupiter ! 

Sici. The marble pavement closes, he is enter' <1 
1 1 is radiant roof: — Away 1 and, to be bl 
Let us with care perform his great behest. [Ghosts tanish. 

Post. [Waking?] Sleep, thou hast been a 

graudsire, and begot 
A father to me : and thou hast created 
A mother, and two brothers; But — scorn! — 
Gone ! they went hence so soon as they were born. 
And so I am awake. Poor wretches that depend 
On greatness' favour dream as I have done; 
"Wake, and find nothing. But, alas, I swerve : 
Many dream not to find, neither deserve, 
And yet arc steep'd in favours : so am I, 
That have this golden chance, and know not why. 
What fairies haunt this ground? A book? 

rare one ! 
not, as is our tangled* world, a garment 
Nobler than that it covers: let thy effects 
So follow, to be most unlike our courtiers, 
_ood as promise. 

[Reads.] When as a lion's whelp shall, to himself un- 
known, without seeking find, and be embraced by a piece 
of tender air; and when from a stately cedar shall be lopped 

.dies, which, being dead many years, shall after revive, 
be jointed to the old stock, and freshly grow ; then shall 

: humus end his miseries, Britain be fortunate, and 
flourish in peace and plenty. 

'T is still a dream ; or else such stuff as madmen 
Tongue, and brain not : either both, or nothing : 
Or senseless speaking, or a speaking such 
As sense cannot untie. Be what i 
The action of my life is like it, which 
I'll keep, if but for sympathy. 

Enter Gaoler. 

Gaol. Come, sir, are you ready for death ? 

Post. Over-roasted rather : ready long ago. 

Gaol. Hancrin? is the word, sir; if vou be 
ready for that you arc well cooked. 

t. So, if I prove a good repast to the spec- 
tators the dish pays the shot. 

Gaol. - A heavy reckoning for you, sir : But 
the comfort is, you shall be called to no more 
payments, fear no more t a vera bills; which 
are often the sadness of parting, as the pro- 
curing of mirth ; you come in faint for want 
of meat, depart reeling with too much drink ; 
sorry that you have paid too much, and sorry 
that you are paid too much ; purse and brain 
both empty; the brain the heavier for being too 
light, the purse too light, being drawn of hea- 
. viness: O! of this contradiction you shall now 
be quit. — 0, the charity of a penny cord! it 

* Fangled. This word is very rarely used without the 
epithet u mglc means an innovation. We have it 

in Anthony Wood — " A hatred to /tingles and the French 
fooleries of his ; 

sums up thousands in a trice: you have no true 
debitor and creditor but it ; of what's past, is, and 
to come, the discharge : — Your neck, sir, is pen, 
book, and counters; so the acquittance follows. 

Post. I am merrier to die than thou art to live. 

Gaol. Indeed, sir, he that sleeps feels not the 
tooth-ache : But a man that were to sleep your * 
sleep, and a hangman to help him to bed, I think 
he would change places with his officer ; for, look 
you, sir, you know not which way you shall go. 

Post. Yes, indeed, do I, fellow. 

Gaol. Your death has eyes in's head then; 
I have not seen him so pictured : you must 
cither be directed by some that take upon them 
to know ; or take upon yourself that which 1 am 
sure you do not know; or jump the after- 
inquiry on your own peril, and how you shall 
speed in your journey's end I think you : 11 never 
return to tell one. 

Post. I tell thee, fellow, there are none want 
eyes to direct them the way I am going, but 
such as wink, and will not use them. 

Gaol. What au infinite mock is this, that a 
man should have the best use of eyes to see the 
wav of blindness! I am sure hansin^'s the way 

of winking. 

Enter a Messenger. 

Mess. Knock off his manacles; bring your 
prisoner to the king. 

Post. Thou bring'st good news ; — I am called 
to be made free. 

Gaol. I '11 be hanged then. 

Post. Thou shalt be then freer than a gaoler ; 
no bolts for the dead. 

[Exeunt Posthcmtjs and Messenger. 

Gaol. Unless a man would marry a gallows, 
and beget young gibbets, I never saw one so 
prone. a . Yet, on my conscience, there are verier 
knaves desire to live, for all he be a Roman: 
and there be some of them too that die against 
their wills : so should I, if I were one. I would 
we were all of one mind, and one mind good ; 
0, there were desolation of gaolers and gal- 
lowses ! I speak against my present profit ; but 
my wish hath a preferment in't. [Exeunt. 

SCENE V.— Cymbeline'i T 

Enter Cymi-.euxe, Belabius, Guidekitjs, Ak- 
vikagus, Pisanio, Lords, Officers, and At- 

SI ind by my side, you whom the . 
have ma 

* Prune — forward. 

Act V.] 


[Scene V. 

Preservers of my throne. "Woe is my heart, 
That the poor soldier that so richly fought, 
Whose rags sham'd gilded arms, whose naked 

Stepp'd before targes of proof, cannot be found : 
He shall be happy that can find him, if 
Oar grace can make him so. 

Bel. I never saw 

Such noble fury in so poor a thing ; 
Such precious deeds in one that promis'd nought 
But beggary and poor looks. 

Cym. No tidings of him ? 

Pis. He hath been search'd among the dead 
and living, 
But no trace of him. 

Cym. To my grief, I am 

The heir of his reward ; which I will add 
To you the liver, heart, and brain of Britain, 

[To Belarius, Guiderius, and 
By whom I grant she lives : — 'T is now the time 
To ask of whence you are : — report it. 

Bel. Sir, 

In Cambria are we born, and gentlemen : 
Further to boast were neither true nor modest, 
Unless I add we are honest. 

Cym. Bow your knees : 

Arise, my knights o' the battle ; I create you 
Companions to our person, and will fit you 
With dignities becoming your estates. 

Enter Cornelius and Ladies. 

There 's business in these faces : — Why so sadly 
Greet you our victory ? you look like Romans, 
And not o' the court of Britain. 

Cor. Hail, great king ! 

To sour your happiness, I must report 
The queen is dead. 

Cym. Whom worse than a physician 

Would this report become ? But I consider, 
By medicine life may be prolong' d, yet death 
Will seize the doctor too. — How ended she ? 

Cor. "With horror, madly dying, like her life, 
Which, being cruel to the world, concluded 
Most cruel to herself. "What she confess'd 
I will report, so please you : These her women 
Can trip me, if I err ; who, with wet cheeks, 
Were present when she finish'd. 

Cym. Prithee, say. 

Cor. First, she confess'd she never lov'd you : 
Affected greatness got by you, not you ; 
Married your royalty, was wife to your place ; 
Abhorr'd your person. 

Cym She alone knew this : 

Tn.viiEDiES. — Vol. I. E 

And, but she spoke it dying, I would not 
Believe her lips in opening it. Proceed. 

Cor. You daughter, whom she bore in hand 
to love 
With such integrity, she did confess 
Was as a scorpion to her sight ; whose life, 
But that her flight prevented it, she had 
Ta'en off by poison. 

Cym. most delicate fiend ! 

Who is 't can read a woman? — Is there more? 

Cor. More, sir, and worse. She did confess 
she had 
For you a mortal mineral; which, being took, 
Should by the minute feed on life, and, ling'ring ) 
By inches waste you : In which time she purpos'd, 
By watching, weeping, tendance, kissing, to 
O'ercome you with her show : yes. and in time, 
When she had fitted you with her craft, to work 
Her son into the adoption of the crown : 
But, failing of her end by his strange absence, 
Grew shameless-desperate ; open'd, in despite 
Of heaven and men, her purposes ; repented 
The evils she hatch'd were not effected : so, 
Despairing, died. 

Cym. Heard you all this, her women ? 

Lady. "We did, so please your highness. 

Cym. Mine eyes 

Were not in fault, for she was beautiful ; 
Mine ears, that heard her flattery ; nor my heart, 
That thought her like her seeming : it had been 

To have mistrusted her : yet, my daughter ! 
That it was folly in me, thou may'st say, 
And prove it in thy feeling. Heaven mend all ! 

Enter Lucius, Iachimo, the Soothsayer, and other 
Roman prisoners, guarded ; Posthumus behind, 
and Imogen. 

Thou com'st not, Caius, now for tribute ; that 
The Britons have raz'd out, though with the loss 
Of many a bold one ; whose kinsmen have made 

That their good souls may be appeas'd with 

Of you their captives, which ourself have 

granted : 
So, think of your estate. 

Luc . Consider, sir, the chance of war : the day 
Was yours by accident ; had it gone with us, 
We should not, when the blood was cool, have 

Our prisoners with the sword. But since the gods 
Will have it thus, that nothing but our lives 
May be call'd ransom, let it come : sufficeth 
A Roman with a Roman's heart can suffer : 


Act V.j 


[Scaur v 

Augustus lives lo flunk on "i : i ad so much 
For my peculiar care. This one thing only 
1 will entreat : my boy, a Briton born, 
Let him be ransom'd : never master had 

A page so kiud, so duteous, diligent, 
nder over his occasions, true, 

So feat, so nurse-like : let his virtue join 
With my request, which, I'll make bold, 

Cannot deny ; he hath done no Briton harm, 
Though he have sew'd a Roman : save him, sir. 
And spare no blood beside. 

I have surely seen him : 
His favour' is familiar to me. 

.-. thou hast look'il thyself into my grace, 
And art mine own. — I know not why, nor 

To say live boy : ne'er thank thy master ; live : 
And ask of Cymbeline what boon thou wi . 
Fitting my bounty and thy state, I '11 give it ; 

. though thou do demand a prisoner, 
The noblest ta'en. 
Imo. I humbly thank your highness. 

/. w. I do not bid thee beg my life, good lad ; 
And yet, I know thou wilt. 

Imo. No, no : alack, 

There 's other work in hand ; I see a thing 
Bitter to me as death : your life, good master, 
Must shuffle for itself. 

Luc. The boy disdains me, 

He leaves me, scorns mc : briefly die their 
That place them on the truth of girls and boys. 
Why stands he so perplex'd ? 

Ci, . What would'st thou, boy? 

1 love thee more and more ; think more and more 
What 's best to ask. Know'st him thou look'st 

on ? speak, 
Wilt have him live ? Is he thy kin ? thy friend ? 

Imo. He is a Roman ; no more kiu to me 
Than I to your lughness ; who, being born your 

Am something nearer. 

Cy . Wherefore cy'st him so ; 

. I '11 tell you, sir, in private, if you please 
To give me hearing. 

Ay, with all my heart, 
And leud my best attention. What \s thy name ? 
. Fidele, sir. 

Thou art my good youth, my pa 
I '11 he thy master : Walk with me ; speak 6 
[Cymbklink and [mogeh converse <>■ 
. Is not this boy reviv'd from deat h r 
Arc. sand an 

Not more resembles that Bweel rosy lad 
Who died, and was Fidele : — What think ; 


. The same dead thing a'.ive. 
Bel. Peace, peace! see further; he eyes us 
not ; forbear ; 
Mires may he alike : were't he. 1 am sure 
lie would have spoke to us. 

Glti. lint we saw him dead. 

Bel. Be silent ; let 's see further. 
Pis. It is my mistress. 

■ [Aside. 
Since she is living, let the time run on 
To good, or bad. 

[Cymbeline and Imogen come for, 
Cym. Come, stand thou by our side ; 

Make thy demand aloud. — Sir, [to Lvcn.] step 

you forth ; 
Give answer to this boy, and do it freely ; 
Or, by our greatness, and the grace of it, 
Which is our honour, bitter torture shall 
Winnow the truth from falsehood. — On, speak to 
Imo. My boon is, that this gentleman may 
Of whom he had this ring. 

Post. "What 's that to liim ? 

Gym. That diamond upon your finger, say 
How came it yours ? 
Iach. Thou 'It torture me to leave unspoken 
Which, to be spoke, would torture thee. 

i How ! me? 

lack. I am glad to be constraint! to utter that 
Which torments me to conceal. By villainy 
1 got this ring ; 't was Leonatus' jewel : 
Whom thou didst banish ; and (which more, may 

grieve thee 
As it doth me,) a nobler sir ne'er liv'd 
'T wixt sky and ground. Wilt thou hear more, 
my lord ? 
Cym. All that belongs to this. 
Iach. That paragon, thy daughter,— 

For whom my heart drops blood, and my false 

Quail to remember, — Give mc leave ; I faint. 

. My daughter! what of her? Renew thy 
strength : 
I had rather thou should'st live while nature will, 
Than die ere I hear more: strive, man, and speak. 

Iach. Upon a time, (unhappy was the clock 
That struck the hour !) it was in Rome, (accurs'd 
Thr mansion where !) 't was at a hast, (0 'would 
Our viands had been poison'd ! or, at least, 

which 1 heav'd to head!) the good Pos- 
(What should I say ? he was too good, to be 

Act V.] 


[Scene V. 

Where ill men were ; and was the best of all 

Among'st the rar'st of good ones,) sitting sadly, 

Hearing us praise our loves of Italy 

For beauty that made barren the swell'd boast 

Of him that best could speak ; for feature, laming 

The shrine of Venus, or straight-pight Minerva, 

Postures beyond brief nature ; 3 for condition, 

A shop of all the qualities that man 

Loves woman for ; besides, that hook of wiving, 

Fairness, which strikes the eye : — 

Cym. I stand on fire : 

Come to the matter. 

lack. All too soon I shall, 

Unless thou would'st grieve quickly. — This Pos- 

(Most like a noble lord in love, and one 
That had a royal lover) took this hint ; 
And, not dispraising whom we prais'd, (therein 
He was as calm as virtue,) he began 
His mistress' picture ; which by his tongue being 

And then a mind put in 't, either our brags 
Were crack'd of kitchen trulls, or his description 
Prov'd us unspeaking sots. 

Cym. Nay, nay, to the purpose. 

'Tach. Your daughter's chastity — there it 

He spake of her, as Dian had hot dreams, 
And she alone were cold : Whereat, I, wretch ! 
Made scruple of his praise; and wager'd with 

Pieces of gold, 'gainst this which then he wore 
Upon his honour'd finger, to attain 
In suit the place of his bed, and win this ring 
By hers and mine adultery : he, true knighr, 
No lesser of her honour confident 
Than I did truly find her, stakes this ring ; 
And would so, had it been a carbuncle 
Of Phoebus' wheel ; and might so safely, had it 
Been all the worth of his car. Away to Britain 
Post I in this design : Well may you, sir, 
Remember me at court, where 1 was taught 
Of your chaste daughter the wide difference 
: Twixt amorous and villainous. Being thus 

Of hope, not longing, mine Italian brain 
'Gan in your duller Britain operate 
Most vilely ; for my vantage, excellent ; 
And, to be brief, my practice so prevail' d 
That I 'return'd with simular proof enough 
To make the noble Leonatus mad, 
By wounding his belief in her renown 
With tokens thus, and thus ; averring notes 
Of chamber-hanging, pictures, this her bracelet, 
(0, cunning, how I got it !) nay, some marks 

ft -2 

Of secret on her person, that he could not 
But think her bond of chastity quite crack'd, 
I having ta'en the forfeit. Whereupon, — 
Methinks, I see him now, — 

Post. Ay, so thou dost, 

[ Com ing forward. 
Italian fiend ! — Ah me, most credulous fool, 
Egregious murderer, thief, any thing 
That 's due to all the villains past, in being, 
To come ! —0, give me cord, or knife, or poison, 
Some upright justicer ! a Thou, king, send out 
For torturers ingenious : it is I 
That all the abhorred things o' the earth amend, 
By being worse than they. I am Postluunus, 
That kill'd thy daughter: — villain-like, I lie; 
That caus'd a lesser villain than myself, 
A sacrilegious thief, to do 't : — the temple 
Of virtue was she ; yea, and she herself. 
Spit, and throw stones, cast nine upon me, set 
The dogs o' the street to bay me : every villain 
Be call'd Posthumus Leonatus ; and 
Be villainy less than 't was ! — Imogen ! 
My queen, my life, my wife ! Imogen, 
Imogen, Imogen ! 

Imo. Peace, my lord ; hear, hear ! — 

Post. Shall 's have a play of this ? Thou 
scornful page, 
There lie thy part. [Striking her : she Jit I Is. 

Pis. O, gentlemen, help 

Mine, aud your mistress : — 0, my lord Posthu- 
mus ! 
You ne'er kill'd Imogen till now : — Help, help ! — 
Mine honour'd lady ! 

Cym. Does the world go round ? 

Post. How come these staggers on me ? 

Pis. Wake, my mistress ! 

Cym. If this be so, the gods do mean to strike 
To death with mortal joy. 

Pis. How fares my mistress ? 

Imo. 0, get thee from my sight ; 
Thou gav'st me poison : dangerous fellow, hence ! 
Breathe not where princes are ! 

Cym. The tune of Imogen ! 

Pis. Lady, 
The gods throw stones of sulphur on me, if 
That box I gave you was not thought by me 
A precious thing ; I had it from the queen. 

Cym. New matter still ? 

Imo. It poison'd me. 

Cor. gods !— 

I left out one thing which the queen confess*d, 
Which must approve thee honest : If Pisanio 

■ Justicer. This fine old word is used several tines va 
Lear. It is found in our ancient law-books. 


Act V.] 



FTare, said she, given his mistress that confection 
Will ih I gave him for cordial, Blie is serv'd 
\- 1 would serve a rat. 

m. What 's this, Cornelius? 

\ The queen, sir, very ofl importun'd me 
To temper poisons for her; still pretending 
The satisfaction of her knowledge onlj 
In killing creatures vile, as oats and dogs 
< )f no esteem : I, dreading thai her purpose 
if more danger, did compound for her 
A certain stuff, which, being ta'en, would cease 
jent power of life; but, in short time, 
All offices of nature should again 
Do their due functions. — li ta'en of it ? 

• like I did, for I was dead. 

My boys, 
There was our error. 

Gut. This is sure, Fidele. 

Into. Why did you tlirow your wedded lady 
from you ? 
Think that you are upon a rock, and now 
Throw me again. / mbracing him. 

Post. Hang there like fruit, my soul, 

Till the tree die! 

C>, How now. my flesh, my child ? 

What, mak'st thou me a dullard in this act? 
Wilt thou not speak to me? 

[mo. Yoiy blessing, sir. 

Bel. Though you did love this youth, I blame 
ye not ; 
J had a motive for it. 

[To GuiDEiurs and Akyik.u.i s. 
C; My tears, that fall, 

]'. ive holy water on thee ! Imogen, 
Thy mother 's dead. 

/wo. I am sorry for't, my lord. 

r. 0, she was naught ; and long of her it 
That we meet here so strangely : But her son 
Is gone, we know not how, nor where. 

My lord, 
Now fear i« from nic, I'D speak troth. Lord 
D my lady's missing, came to 
With his sword drawn: foam'd at the mouth, 

and swore 
jl [ discover'd nol which way she was gone. 
It was my ins accident, 

T had a t • of my D 

pocket ; which directed him 
i the mountains mar to Milford ; 
Where, in a frenzy, in my ma 
Which he infore'd from me, away he p 
With unchaste pur id with oath to violate 


My lady's honour : what become of him, 
I further know not. 

Let me end the story : 
1 slew him there. 

Ch Marry, the gods forcfend ! 

I would not thy good deeds should from ray lips 
Pluck a hard sentence : prithee, valiant youth, 
1 )en\ 't again. 

Gut. 1 have spoke it, and I did it. 

Gym. He was a prince. 

. A most incivil one : The wrongs he did 
Were nothing prince-like ; for he did provoke mc 
With language that would make me spurn the sea, 
If it could so roar to me : I cut off 's head ; 
And am right glad he is not standing here 
To tell this tale of mine. 

Ci/m. I am sorry for thee. 

By thine own tongue thou art condemn'd, and 

Endure our law : Thou art dead. 

Lao. That headless man 

I thought had been my lord. 

Ci/m. Bind the offender, 

And take him from our presence. 

Bel. Stay, sir king : 

This man is better than the man he slew, 
As well descended as thyself; and hath 
More of thee merited, than a band of Clotcns 
Had ever scar for. — Let his arms alone ; 

[To the guard. 
They were not born for bondage. 

m. Why, old soldier, 

Will thou undo the worth thou art, unpaid for, 
By tasting of our wrath? How of descent 
As good as we ? 

Arv. In that he spake too far. 

Gym. And thou shalt die for 't. 

Be!. We will die all three : 

But I will prove, that two of us are as good 
As I have given out him. — My sons, I must, 
For mine own part, unfold a dangerous speech, 
Though, haply, well for you. 

Arv. Your danger's ours 

. And our good his. 

Have at it then. — 
By have; — Thou liadst, great king, a subject 

Was call'd Belarius. 

( //. What of him ? he is 

A banish'd traitor. 

He it is that hath 
Assum'd this age :* indeed, a banish'd man ; 
I know not how a trait 

* Aitum'd this age — jn>t on these appearan es of age. 

Act V.] 


[Scene V. 

Cym. Take him hence ; 

The whole world shall not save him. 

Bel. Not too hot : 

First pay me for the nursing of thy sons ; 
And let it be confiscate all, so soon 
As I have receiv'd it. 

Cym. Nursing of my sons ? 

Bel. I am too blunt and saucy : Here 's my 
knee ; 
Ere I arise I will prefer my sons ; 
Then, spare not the old father. Mighty sir, 
These two young gentlemen, that call me father, 
And think they are my sons, are none of mine ; 
They are the issue of your loins, my liege, 
And blood of your begetting. 

Cym. How ! my issue ? 

Bel. So sure as you your father's. I, old 
Am that Belarius whom you sometime banish'd : 
Your pleasure was my mere offence, my punish- 
Itself, and all my treason; that I suffer'd 
Was all the harm I did. These gentle princes 
(For such and so they are) these twenty years 
Have I train'd up : those arts they have, as I 
Could put into them ; my breeding was, sir, as 
Your highness knows. Their nurse, Euriphile, 
Whom for the theft I wedded, stole these children 
Upon my banishment : I mov'd her to 't ; 
Having receiv'd the punishment before, 
For that which I did then : Beaten for loyalty, 
Excited me to treason : Their dear loss, 
The more of you 't was felt, the more it shap'd 
Unto my end of stealing them. But. gracious sir, 
Here are your sons again ; and T must lose 
Two of the sweet'st companions in the world : 
The benediction of these covering heavens 
Fall on their heads like dew ! for they are wortliy 
To inlay heaven with stars. 

Cym. Thou weep'st, and spcak'st. 

The service, that you three have done, is more 
Unlike than this thou teli'st : I lost my children ; 
If these be they, I know not how to wish 
A pair of worthier sons. 

Bel. Be pleas'd awhile. — 

This gentleman, whom I call Polydore, 
Most worthy prince, as yours, is true Guiderius : 
This gentleman, my Cadwal, Arviragus, 
Your younger princely son ; he, sir, was lapp'd 
In a most curious mantle, wrought by the hand 
Of his queen mother, which, for more probation, 
I can with ease produce. 

Cym. Guiderius had 

Upon his neck a mole, a sanguine star ; 
It was a mark of wonder. 

Bel. This is he ; 

Who hath upon him still that natural stamp : 
It was wise Nature's end in the donation, 
To be his evidence now. 

Cym. 0, what, am I 

A mother to the birth of three ? Ne'er mother 
Rejoic'd deliverance more :— Bless'd pray you be, 
That, after this strange starting from your orbs, 
You may reign in them now ! — Imogen, 
Thou hast lost by this a kingdom. 

Imo. No, my lord ; 

I have got two worlds by 't. — O my gentle bro- 
Have we thus met ? O never say hereafter 
But I am truest speaker : you call'd me brother, 
When I was but your sister ; I you brothers, 
When you were so indeed. 
Cym. Did you. e'er meet ? 

Arv. Ay, my good lord. 
Gui. And at first meeting lov'd ; 

Continued so, until we thought he died. 
Cor. By the queen's dram she swallow'd. 
Cym. rare instinct ! 

When shall I hear all through? This fierce 

Hath to it circunistantial branches, which 
Distinction should be rich in. — Where, how 

liv'd you, 
And when came you to serve our Roman captive ? 
How parted with your brothers ? how first met 

them ? 
Why fled you from the court ? and whither ? 

And your three motives to the battle, with 
I know not how much more, should be de- 
manded ; 
And all the other by-dependencies, 
From chance to chance ; but nor the time, nor 

Will serve our long inter gatories. See, 
Posthumus anchors upon Imogen ; 
And she, like harmless lightning, throws her eye 
On him, her brothers, me, her master, hitting 
Each object with a joy; the counterchange 
Is severally in all. Let 's quit this ground, 
And smoke the temple with our sacrifices. 
Thou art my brother : So we'll hold thee ever. 

[To Belarius. 
Imo. You are my father too ; and did relieve me, 
To see this gracious season. 

Cym. All o'erjoyU 

Save these in bonds ; let them be joyful too, 
For they shall taste our comfort. 

Imo. My good master, 

I will yet do you service. 


Act V. 

( ^ MBEL] 

l3ct.SE V 

J, iic. Happy be you! 

i. The forlorn soldier that so nobly fought, 
lie would have well becom'd this place, and 

The thankings of a king. 

P> I am, sir, 

The soldier that did company these three 
In poor beseeming ; 'twas a fitment for 
The purpose I then follow'd : — That I was he, 
S Elk, Iacbimo : 1 had you down, aud might 
Have made you finish. 

. lack. I am down again : [Kneeling. 

But now my heavy conscience sinks my knee, 
As then youf force did. Take that life, 'beseech 

Which I so often owe : but, your ring first ; 
And here the bracelet of the truest princess, 
That ever swore her faith. 

Post. Kneel not to me ; 

The power that I have on you is to spare you ; 
The malice towards you to forgive you : Live, 
And deal with others better. 

Of Nobly doom'd ; 

We 11 learn our freeness of a son-in-law ; 
Pardon's the word to all. 

-/ . You holp us, sir. 

As you did mean indeed to be our brother ; 
Joy'd are we that you are. 

f. Your servant, princes. — Good my lord 
of Rome, 
Call forth your soothsayer : As I slept, me- 

Great Jupiter, upon his eagle back, 
Appear'd to me, with other spritely shows 
Of mine own kindred : when I wak'd, I found 
This label on my bosom ; whose containing 
Is so from sense in hardness, that I can 
Make no collection 11 of it ; let him show 
•kill in the construction. 

Luc. Pliilarruonub ! 

'//. Here, my good lord. 

/. . Head, and declare the meaning. 

. [Reads.] When as r. Hon 'a whelp shall, to himself 
unki.own, without seeking find, and be embraced by a piece 
of tender air; and when from a stately cedar shall be lopped 
branches, which, being dead many years, shall after re 
be jointed to the old stock, and freshly grow ; then shall 
numus end his miseries, Britain be fortunate, and flou- 
rish in peace and plenty. 

Thou, Lconatus, art the lion's whelp ; 

action — consequence deduced from premises. So in 

" Her speech is nothing, 
Yet the unshaped use of it doth move 
The hearers to collection." 

The fit and apt construction of thy na 

I icing Leo-natus, doth import so much : 

The piece of tender air, thy virtuous daughter, 

[To Cymisi;li.nk. 
Which we call mollis aer; and mollis uer 
We term it mulier : which mulier I divine 
Is this most constant wife ; who, even now, 
Answering the letter of the oracle, 
Unknown to you, unsought, were clipp'd about 
With this most tender air. 

m. This hath some seeming 

Sooth. The lofty cedar, royal Cymbcline, 
Personates thee : and thy lopp'd branches point 
Thy two sons forth : who, by Belarius stolen, 
For many years thought dead, arc now reviv'd, 
To the majestic cedar join'd ; whose issue 
Promises Britain peace and plenty. 

Cym. "Well, 

My peace we will begin :— And, Caius Lucius, 
Although the victor, we submit to Caesar, 
And to the Soman empire ; promising 
To pay our wonted tribute, from the which 
We were dissuaded by our wicked queen : 
Whom heavens, in justice, (both on her, and hers,) 
Have laid most heavy hand. a 

Sooth. The fingers of the powers above do tune 
The harmony of this peace. The vision 
Which I made known to Lucius, ere the stroke 
Of this yet scarce-cold battle, at this instant 
Is full accompiish'd : "For the Roman eagle, 
From south to west on wing soaring aloft, 
Lessen'd herself, and in the beams o' the sun 
So vanish'd : which foreshow'd our princely 

The imperial Caesar, should again unite 
His favour with the radiant Cymbcline, 
Which shines here in the west. 

Cjjm. Laud we the gods ; 

And let our crooked smokes climb to their 

From our bless'd altars ! Publish we this peace 
To all our subjects. Set wc forward : Let 
A Roman and a British ensign wave 
Friendly together : so through Lud's town 

march ; 
And in the temple of great Jupiter 
Our peace we'll ratify ; seal it with feasts. 
Set on there ; — Never was a war did cease, 
Ere bloody hands were wash'd, with such a 

peace. [Exeunt. 

* The particle on is understood. The same form of ex 
ion occurs in Othello — 

'• W! at conjurations and what mighry magic 
I won his daughter [with]. 


1 Scene II. — " Enter at one door Lucius, lacliimo, 
and the Roman army." 
The engraving below, from one of the bas-reliefs 
on the column of Trajan, offers a striking illustra- 
tion of the " pomp and circumstance " of Roman 

2 Scene IV. — "A heavy reckoning for you, 

sir," &c. 
Walter Whiter has remarked upon this passage, 
— "M. Voltaire himself has nothing comparable to 
the humorous discussion of the philosophic jailer 
in Cymbeline." But it is something more than 
humorous. It is as profound, under a gay aspect, 
as some of the highest speculations of Hamlet. 

3 Scene V.—'-' Postures beyond brief nature," &c. 
Warburton remarks, "It appears from a number 
of such passages as these that our author was not 
ignorant of the fine arts;" to which Steevens re- 
plies, " The pantheons of hi3 own age (several of 
which I have seen) afford a most minute and par- 
ticular account of the different degrees of beauty 

: imputed to the different deities ; and, as Shakspere 
had at least an opportunity of reading Chapman's 
translation of Homer, the first part of which wr,a 
published in 1596, with additions in 1598, and en- 
tire in 1611, he might have taken these ideas from 
thence, without being at all indebted to his own par- 
ticular observation, or acquaintance with statuary 
and painting." Steevens has here missed the point, 
as it was likely he would do. That Shakspere was 
familiar with works of art we have abundant proof. 
Take, for example, his vivid description in the 
Tarquin and Lucrece of 

" A piece 
Of skilful painting, made for Priam's Troy." 

But the passage before us indicates something more. 

In "postures beyond brief nature" is shadowed 

the highest principle of high art — that it is not 

essentially imitative — that it works in and through 

its own power, not in contradiction to nature, but 

heightening and refining reality. We have the 

same indication of the poet's profound knowledge 

of these subjects in Anthony and Cleopatra : — 

" O'erpicturing that Venus where we see 
The fancy outwork nature." 

[Eoman General, Standard Bearers, &c] 


[View near Milford.] 


Criticism, even of that school to which we now yield our obedience — the school which has cast ofi 
the shackles of the unities, and judges of the romantic drama by its own laws — has not looked very 
enthusiastically upon Cymbeline as a dramatic whole. To the exquisite character of Imogen, taken 
apart, full justice has been done. Richardson, not often a very profound critic, has seized upon the 
leading points with great correctness, and has carried them out with elegance, if not with force. 
Nothing can be more just, for example, than this observation : " The sense of misfortune, rather 
than the sense of injury, rules the disposition of Imogen."* Mr3. Jameson, again, ha3 analysed 
the character with her usual acuteness and delicacy of perception : " Others of Shakspere's 
characters are, as dramatic and poetic conceptions, more striking, more brilliant, more powerful ; 
but of all his women, considered as individuals rather than as heroines, Imogen is the most per- 
fect." t But the relation of Imogen, as the centre of a dramatic circle, has scarcely, we think, 
been adequately pointed out. We pass over what Dr. Johnson says, in a tone of criticism which 
belongs as much to the age as to the man, about " the folly of the fiction, the absurdity of the 
conduct, the confusion of the name3 and manners of different times, and the impossibility of the 
events in any system of life." When Johnson wrote this he reposed upou an implicit belief in his 
own canons of criticism — the opinions upou which Thomas Warton has explained his own deprecia- 
tion of Ariosto and Spenser : " We, who live in the days of writing by rule, are apt to try every 
composition by those laws which we have been taught to think the sole criterion of excellence. 
Critical taste i3 universally diffused, and we require the same order and design which every modern 
performance is expected to have, in poems where they never were regarded or intended. "X 
Warton was a man of too high taste not in some degree to despise this "criterion of excellence;" 
but he did not dare to avow the heresy in his own day. We have outlived all this. The " critical 
taste " to which Warton alludes belongs only to the history of criticism. But even amongst those 
upon whom we have been accustomed to rely as infallible guides, it does appear to us that 
Cymbeline has been, in some degree, considered a departure from the great law of unity — not of 
time, nor of place, but of feeling — which Shakspere has unquestionably prescribed to himself. 
Tieck highly praises this drama ; but his almost leads to the opinion that he regarded the 
work as wanting coherency, — as a succession of harmonies, but not as one harmony. " In no other 

* Essays on ShaVspeare'g Dramatic Charact' t Characteristics of Women. Vol. II. p. 50 

J Observations on the Fairy Queen. VoL I. 



work of Shakspere does there reign so great a difference of style ; the gallant tone of the court, the 
tragic expression of the passions, the splendour of imagery, the tenderness of love, the perfect 
naturalness, the entire plainness, almost amounting to rusticity, of many passages, in antithesis to the 
obscurity of others. This piece still retains possession of the English stage — highly attractive, 
because it is at the same time history, popular tale, tragedy, and comedy, more boldly mixed, and 
more freshly coloured, than in any other similar work even of this author."* Schlegel says — 
'•' Cymbeline is one of Shakspere's most wonderful compositions. He has connected a novel of 
Boccaccio with traditionary tales of the ancient Britons, reaching back to the times of the first Roman 
Emperors ; and he ha3 contrived, by the most gentle transitions, to blend together into one har- 
monious whole the social manners of the latest time with heroic deeds, and even with the appearances 
of the gods."t This is a defence, and a just one, of what Johnson calls "faults too evident for 
detection, and too gross for aggravation." But neither Tieck, nor Schlegel, according to their usual 
custom, attempt to show that any predominant idea runs through Cymbeline. They each speak of it 
as a succession of splendid scenes, and high poetry ; and, indeed, it cannot be denied that these 
attributes of this drama most forcibly seize upon the mind, somewhat, perhaps, to the exclusion of 
its real action. In Cymbeline, we are thrown back into the half- fabulous history of our own country, 
and see all objects under the dim light of uncertain events and manners. We have civilisation 
contending with semi-barbarism ; the gorgeous worship of the Pagan world subduing to itself the 
more simple worship of the Druidical times ; kings and courtiers surrounded with the splendour of 
''barbaric pearl and gold;" and, even in those days of simplicity, a wilder and a simpler life, 
amidst the fastnesses of mountains, and the solituae of caves — the hunters' life, who " have seen 
nothing " — 

" Subtle as the fox for prey, 
Like warlike as the wolf," — 

but who yet, in their natural piety, know "how to adore the heavens." If these attributes of the 
drama had been less absorbing, we perhaps might have more readily seen the real course of the 
dramatic action. We venture with great diffidence to express our opinion, that one predominant 
idea does exist ; for Coleridge, even more distinctly thau the German critics, if we apprehend him 
rightly, inferred the contrary : — " In the Twelfth Night, Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like 
It, and Winter's Tale, the total effect is produced by a co-ordination of the characters as in a wreath 
of flowers. But in Coriolanus, Lear, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Othello, &c, the effect arises 
from the subordination of all to one, either as the prominent person, or the principal object." 
Coleridge is speaking of the great significancy of the names of Shakspere's plays. The consonancy 
of the names with the leading ideas of each drama is exemplified in this passage. He then adds 
— " Cymbeline is the only exception ; " that is, the name of Cymbeline neither expresses the 
co-ordination of the characters, nor the principal object. He goes on to say, " Even that " (the name 
of Cymbeline) "has its advantages in preparing the audience for the chaos of time, place, and 
costume, by throwing the date back into a fabulous king's reign." We do not understand that 
Coleridge meant to say that the play of Cymbeline had neither co-ordination of characters nor a 
prominent object ; but we do apprehend that the name was symbolical, in his belief, of the main 
features of the play — the chaos of time, place, and costume. For he proceeds, immediately, to 
remark, in reference to the judgment displayed by our truly dramatic poet in the management of his 
first scenes, " With the single exception of Cymbeline, they place before us at one glance both the past 
and the future in some effect, which implies the continuance and full agency of its cause." J We 
venture to believe that Cymbeline does not form an exception to the usual course pursued by Shak- 
spere in the management of his first scenes ; and that the first scenes of Cymbeline do place before us 
the past and the future in a way which we think very strikingly discloses what he intended to be 
the leading idea of his drama. 

The dialogue of the " two Gentlemen " in the opening scene makes us perfectly acquainted with the 
relations in which Posthumus and Imogen stand to each other, and to those around them. "She's 
wedded, her husband banish'd." We have next the character of the banished husband, and of the 
unworthy suitor who is the cause of his banishment; as well as the story of tbe king's two lost 

Shakspeare's Dramatische Werke. Vol. IX. p. 374. t Lectures on Dramatic Literature. Vol. II. 

♦ Literarv Remains. Vol. II. p. 207. 



fous. This is essentially the foundation of the past and future of the action. Brief indeed is this 

scene, but it well prepares us for the parting of Posthumus and Imogen. The course of their 

affections is turned awry by the wills of others. The angry king at once proclaims himself tc us 

as one not cruel but weak ; he has before been described as " touch'd at very heart." It is only 

in the intensity of her affection for Posthumus that Imogen opposes her own will to the impatient 

violence of her father, and the more crafty decision of her step-mother. But she is surrounded with 

a third evil, — 

" A father cruel, and a step-dame false, 
A foolish suitor to a wedded lady." 

Worse, however, even than these, her honour is to be assailed, her character vilified, by a subtle 
Stranger ; who, perhaps more in sport than in malice, has resolved to win a paltry wager by the 
sacrifice of her happiness and that of her husband. What has she to oppose to all this compli- 
cation of violence and cunning ? Her perfect purity — her entire simplicity — her freedom from 
everything that is selfish — the strength only of her affections, The scene between Iachimo and 
Imogen is a contest of innocence with guile, most profoundly affecting, in spite of the few coarse- 
nesses that were perhaps unavoidable, and which were not considered offensive in Shakspere's 
day. The supreme beauty of Imogen's character soars triumphantly out of the impure mist which 
is around her; and not the least part of that beauty is her ready forgiveness of her assailant, 
briefly and flutteringly expressed, however, when he relies upon the possibility of deceiving her 
through her affections : — 

" O happy Leonatus ! I may say ; 
The credit that thy lady hath of thee 
Deserves thy trust ; and thy most perfect goodness 
Her assur'd credit! " 

This 13 the First Act; and, if we mistake not the object of Shakspere, these opening scenes • 
exhibit one of the most confiding and gentle of human beings, assailed on every side by a deter- 
mination of purpose, whether in the shape of violence, wickedness, or folly, against which, under 
ordinary circumstances, innocence may be supposed to be an insufficient shield. But the very 
helplessness of Imogen is her protection. In the exquisite Second Scene of the Second Act, the 
perfect purity of Imogen, as interpreted by Shakspere, has converted what would have been- a 
most dangerous situation in the hands of another poet — Fletcher, for example— into one of the most 
refined delicacy : — 

" 'T is her breathing that 
Perfumes the chamber thus." 

The immediate danger is passed ; but there is a new danger approaching. The will of her un- 
happy husband, deceived iuto madness, is to be added to the evils which she has already received 
from violence and selfishness. Posthumus, intending to destroy her, writes " Take notice that I 
am in Cambria at Milford-Haven ; what your own love will out of this advise you, follow." She does 
follow her own love ; — she has no other guide but the strength of her affections ; that strength makes 
her hardy and fearless of consequences. It is the one duty, aa well as the one pleasure, of her 
existence. How is that affection requited ? Pisauio places in her hand, when they have reached the 
deepest solitude of the mountains, that letter by which he is commanded to take away her life. One 
ng thought of herself — one faint reproach of her husband, — and she submits to the fate which La 
prepared for her : — 

" Come, fellow, he thou honest . 
Do thou thy master's bidding : When thou see"st him, 
A little witness my obedience : Look ! 
I draw the sword myself: take it ; and hit 
The innocent mansion of my love, my heart." 

B .t her truth aud innocence have already subdued the will of the sworn servant of her husband. 
He comforts her, but he necessarily leaves her in the wilderness. The spells of evil wills are still 

around her : — 

" My nr.ble mistress. 
Here is a box, I had it from the qui 

Perhaps there is nothing in Shakspere more beautifully managed, — more touching in its romance, 
— more essentially true to nature, — than the scenes between Imogen and her unknown brothers. 


Tho gentleness, the grace, the "grief and patience," of the helpless Fidele, producing at once 
the deepest reverence and affection in the bold and daring mountaineers, still cany forward the 
character of Imogen under the same aspects. Belarius has beautifully described the brothers :— 

" They are as gentle 
As zephyrs, blowing below the violet, 
Not wagging his sweet head : and yet as rough, 
Their royal blood enchafd, as the rud'st wind, 
That by the top doth take the mountain pine, 
And make him stoop to the vale." 

It was in their gentleness that Imogen found a support for her gentleness ;— it was in their rough- 
ness that the roughness of Cloten met its punishment. Imogen is still saved from the dangers 
with which craft and violence have surrounded her. When she swallows the supposed medicine 
of the queen, we know beforehand that the evil intentions of her step-mother have been counter- 
acted by the benevolent intentions of the physician : — 

" I do know her spirit, 
And will not trust one of her malice with 
A drug of such damn'd nature." 

" The bird is dead ; " she was sick, and we almost fear that the words of the dirge are true :— 

" Fear no more the frown of the great, 
Thou art pass'd the tyrant's stroke." 

But she awakes, and she has still to endure the last and the worst evil— her husband, in her 
apprehension, lies dead before her. She has no vrrong3 to think of—" my lord, my lord," is all, 
in connexion with Posthumus, that escapes amidst her tears. The beauty and innocence which 
saved her from Iachimo, — which conquered Pisanio,— which won the wild hunters,— commend her 
to the Roman general — she is at once protected. But she ha3 holy duties still to perform :— 

" I'll follow, sir. But, first, an 't please the gods, 
I'll hide my master from the flies, as deep 
As these poor pickaxes can dig : and when 
With wild wood-leaves and weeds I have strew'd his grave, 
And on it said a century of prayers, 
Such as I can, twice o'er, I '11 weep and sigh , 
And, leaving so his service, follow you, 
So please you entertain me." 

It is the unconquerable affection of Imogen which makes us pity Posthumus even while we blame 
him for the rash exercise of his revengeful will. But in hi3 deep repentance we more than pity 
him. We see only another victim of worldly craft and selfishness : — 

" Gods! if you 
Should have ta'en vengeance on my faults, I never 
Had liv'd to put on this ; so had you saved 
The noble Imogen to repent ; and struck 
Me, wretch, more worth your vengeance." 

In the prison scene his spirit is again united with her3 : — 

I'll speak to thee in silence." 

O Imogen, 

The contest we now feel is over between the selfish and the unselfish, tho crafty and the simple, 
the proud and the meek, the violent and the gentle. 

It is scarcely within our purpose to follow the unravelling of the incidents in the concludiug 
scene. Steevens has worthily endeavoured to make amends for the injustice of the criticism which 
Cymbeline has received from his associate commentator: — "Let those who talk so confidently 
about the skill of Shakspeare's contemporary, Jonson, point out the conclusion of any one of his 
plays which is wrought with more artifice, and yet a less degree of dramatic violence, than this. 
In the scene before us, all the surviving characters are assembled ; and at the expense of whatever 
incongruity the former events may have been produced, perhaps little can be discovered on this 
occasion to offend the most scrupulous advocate for regularity : and, I think, as little is found 
wanting to satisfy the spectator by a catastrophe which is intricate without confusion, and not 
more rich in ornament than in nature." 



The conclusion of Cyinbeline has been lauded because it is consistent with poetical justice. Those 

who adopt this species of reasoning look very imperfectly upon the course of real events in the 

moral world. It is permitted, for inscrutable purposes, that the innocent should sometimes fall 

wicked, and the noble be subjected to the base. In the same way, it is sometimes in 

the course of events that the pure and the gentle should triumph over deceit and outrage. The 

perishiug of Desdemona is as (rue as the safety of Imogen ; and the poetical truth involves as high 

a moral in the one case as in the other. That Sbakspere's notion of poetical justice was not the 

.neyed notion of an intolerant age, reflected even by a Boccaccio, is shown by the difference 

in the lot of the offender in the Italian tale and the lot of Iachimo. The Ambrogiolo of the 

novelist, who slanders a virtuous lady for the gain of a wager, is fastened to a stake, smeared with 

honey, and left to be devoured by flies and locmts. The close of our dramatist's story is perfect 

Shakapcrc :— 

•• Post. Speak, Iachimo; I had you down, and might 
Have made you finish. 
lach. I am down ajain; 

But now my heavy conscience sinks my knee, 

As then your force did. Take that life, 'beseech you, 

Which I so often owe: but, your rinpc first. 

And here the bracelet of the trueit princess 

That ever swore her faith. 

Kneel not to ine ; 
The power that I have on you is to spare yo : ; 
The malice towards you to forgive you : Live. 
And deal with others better. 

Nobly dooin'd : 
We barn our freeness 01 a son-in-law : 
Pardon's the word to all." 



IBoiaan and British Weapons.] 



[General of Venice, in time of war. Veccllio— Habiti Antichi.] 


State of the Test, and Chronology, of Othello. 

On the 6th of October, 1621, Thomas Walkley entered at Stationers' Hall ' The Tragedie of Othello, 
the Moore of Venice.' In 1622, Walkley published the edition for which he had thus claimed the 
copy. It is, as was usual with the separate plays, a small quarto, and it bears the following title : — 
' The Tragcedy of Othello, the Moore of Venice. As it hath beene diverse times acted at the Globe, 
and at the Black-Friars, by his Majesties Servants. Written by William Shakespeare.' It contains, 
also, a prefatory address, which is curious : — " The Stationer to the Reader. To set forth a book 
without an Epistle were like to the old English proverb, a blue coat without a badge ; and the author 
being dead, I thought good to take that piece of work upon me : to commend it I will not : for that 
which is good, I hope every man will commend, without entreaty : and I am the bolder, because the 
author's name is sufficient to vent his work. Thus leaving every one to the liberty of judgment, I 
have ventured to print this play, and leave it to the general censure. Yours, Thomas Walkley." 

' The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice,' commences on page 810 of the Tragedies in the 
first folio collection. It extends to page 339 ; and after it follow, Antony and Cleopatra, and 
Cymbeline. It is not entered at Stationers' Hall by the proprietors of the folio edition, which affords 
some presumption that Walkley was legally entitled to his copy. But it is by no means certain to our 
minds that Walkley 's edition was published before the folio. The usual date of that edition is, as our 
readers know, 1623 ; but there is a copy in existence bearing the date of 1622. We have, however, 
no doubt, that the copy of Othello in the folio was printed from a manuscript copy, without reference 
to the quarto ; for there are typographical errors in the folio, arising, no doubt, from illegibility in the 
manuscript, which would certainly have been avoided had the copy been compared with an edition 
printed from another manuscript. The fair inference, therefore, is, that the Othello of th? folio was 
printed off before the quarto of 1622 appeared. Had it been the last play in the book we should 
have retained the same opinion, from internal evidence. As two plays succeed it in the volume, we 
are strengthened in the belief that the original quarto and folio editions were printing at one and the 
same time. 



The modern editors of Shakspere, without regard to these circumstances, speak of the quarto 
edition of Othello as the first edition — the more ancient copy. Wo can understand how they have 
attached, and, in some instances very properly, great importance to an edition which has been priuted 
in the author's lifetime. They have, indeed, in our opinion, Dot allowed sufficient importance to the 
fact, that the editors of the folio explicitly declare that those plays which have been printed before 
the folio are in that edition offered to the reader's view "cured, and perfect of their limbs, and all the 
rest absolute in their numbers as he (Shakspere) conceived them ;" and, further, they have resolved to 
overlook their affirmation that they printed from manuscript : — " what he thought he uttered with 
that easiness that we have scarce received from him a blot in his papers." But in some cases, such as 
The Merchant of Venice, and The Midsummer-Night's Dream, the quarto and the folio editions vary 
so slightly, that we can scarcely doubt that each was printed from the author's unaltered copy. In 
the case before us the differences are most startling. The stationer who publishes the quarto copy 
telle us that the author is dead, and that he has ventured to print the play ; but he does not tell from 
what copy he printed it, nor how he obtained the copy. The editors of the folio distinctly tell us that 
they have printed from the author's manuscript — that other copies are stolen and surreptiti 
maimed and deformed. There must surely, then, have been some very strong reason for inducing the 
later and more authoritative editors, Steevens and Malone, to make the quarto the basis of their text 
of Othello, instead of the folio. Speaking without the least desire beyond that of wishing to present 
our readers with the most genuine text, we cannot call their preference of the quarto to the folio, in 
this instance, by any other name than judicial blindness ; and we have, therefore, after the most 
careful examination, but without the slightest doubt, adopted the text of the folio. The folio edition 
is regularly divided into acts and scenes ; the quarto edition has not a single indication of any sub- 
division in the act3, and omits the division between Acts n. and nr. The folio edition contains 168 
lines which are not found in the quarto, and these some of the most striking in the play ; namely, 35 
in Act I. ; 6 in Act n. ; 20 in Act in. ; 75 in Act iv. ; and 27 in Act v. : the number of lines found in 
the quarto which are not in the folio do not amount to 10. The quarto, then, has not the merit of 
being the fuller copy. But is it more accurate in those parts which are common to both copies? This 
ic a question which we cannot here enter upon in detail. In our foot-notes we have set forth every 
deviation from the current text which we have made upon the authority of the folio, and each reading 
must be judged upon its own merits. "We venture to think that in some remarkable instances we have 
■red Shakspere to what he really w;.s. With nn old author it sometimes happens as with an old 
picture — what is genuine lies beneath dirt and varnish. There is a quarto edition of 1630, which 
differs iu some readings from both of the previous editions, but which is generally held as of no 

The date of the first production of Othello is settled as near as we can desire it to be. The play 
certainly belongs to the most vigorous period of Shakspere's intellect — " at it.s very point of culmi- 
nation." Chalmers, upon the very questionable belief that the expression new heraldry refers to the 
creation by James I. of the order of baronets, gave it to 1614 ; Malone, in the early editions of his 
' Essay,' to 1611; Drake, to 1012. In the later edition of Malone's 'Essay,' published by Boswell, in 
1821, Malone says, without any explanation, "ice faioi<; it was acted in 1604, and I have therefore 
placed it in that year." Mr. Peter Cunningham confirms this, by having found an entry in the Revels 
at Court of a performance of Othello iu 1604. Mr. Collier has attempted to place it two years earlier, 
upon the authority of detailed accounts preserved at Bridgewater House, in the handwriting of Sir 
Arthur Mainwaring, of the expenses incurred by Sir Thomas Egerton, afterwards Lord Ellesmere, iu 
entertaining Queen Eli/, ibeth and her court three days at Harefield. Amongst the entries in these 
accounts is the following : — 

" c Aug. 1002. Hewardci to the Vaultera Players and Dauncers. Of this 

£10 to Hurbidge's players of Otlic-llo CA 18 10." 

out venturing an opinion ourselves, we are bound to observe that Mr. Grant White says, "this 
document, which will be found reprinted in full at p. 312 of 'The a Papers,' edited by 

Mr. Collier, and published by the Camden i those, his discovery of which at Bridge- 

water House, Mr. Collier auue-uiced in 1835 j and all of which, with one exception, have been pro- 
nounced forgeries by various competent authorities." Mr. Staunton also says, — "the suspicion long 
entertained that the Shaksperian documents in that collection are modem fabrications, having now 
deepened almost into certainty, the extract in qn- ition LS of no historical value." 



Supposed Source of the Plot. 

Of the novel of Cinthio, 'II Moro di Venezia,' from •uliich the general notion of Othello was 
unquestionably derived, we have given an extract in our Supplementary Notice. It is not impro- 
bable that the tale is of Oriental origin ; for the revenge of the Moor, as described by Cinthio, is 
of that fierce and barbarous character which is akin to the savage manner in which supposed 
incontinence is revenged amongst the Arabs. The painfully affecting tale of the ' Three Apples,' 
in 'The Thousand and One Nights,' is an example of this; and, further, there is a similarity 
between the stolen apple and the stolen handkerchief. The malignity of the slave in the Arabian 
tale, too, is almost as motiveless as that of Iago. We extract the main incident? of the tale from 
the beautiful translation of Mr. Lane. 

" Know, O Prince of the Faithful, that this damsel was my wife, and the daughter of my uncle; this sheykh was her 
father, and is my uncle. I married her when she was a virgin, and God blessed me with three male children by her; and 
she loved me and served me, and I saw in her no evil. At the commencement of this month she was attacked by a severe 
illness, and I brought to her the physicians, who attended her until her health returned to her; and I desired them to send 
her to the bath; but she said to me, I want something before I enter the bath, for I have a longing for it. What is it? said 
I. She answered, I have a longing for an apple, to smell it, and take a bite from it. So I went out immediately into the 
city, and searched for the apple, and would have bought it had its price been a piece of gold; but I could find not one. I 
passed the next night full of thought, and when the morning came I quitted my house again, and went about to all the 
gardens, one after another, yet I found none in them. There met me, however, an old gardener, of whom I inquired for 
the apple, and he said to me, O my son, this is a rare thing, and not to be found here, nor anywhere excepting in the garden 
of the Prince of the Faithful at El-Basrah, and preserved there for the Kbaleefeh. 1 returned therefore to my wife, and my love 
for her so constrained me that I prepared myself and journeyed fifteen days, by night and day, in going and returning, and 
brought her three apples, which I purchased of the gardener at El-Basrah for three pieces of gold; and, going in, I handed 
them to her ; but she was not pleased by them, and left them by her side. She was then suffering from a violent fever, and 
she continued ill during a period of ten days. 

"After this she recovered her health, and I went out and repaired to my shop, and sat there to sell and buy; and while 
I was thus occupied, at mid-day there passed by me a black slave, having in his hand an apple, with which he was playing ; 
so I said to him, Whence didst thou get this apple, for I would procure one like it? — upon which he laughed, and answered, 
I got it from my sweetheart : I had been absent, and came and found her ill, and she had three apples ; and she said to me, 
my unsuspecting husband journeyed to El-Basrah for them, and bousht them for three pieces of gold; and I took this 
apple from her. When I heard the words of the slave, O Prince of the Faithful, the world became black before my face, 
and I shut up my shop, and returned to my house, deprived of my reason by excessive rage. I found not the third apple, 
and said to her, "Where is the apple? she answered, I know not whither it is gone. I was convinced thus that the slave 
had spoken the truth, and 1 arose, and took a knife, and, throwing myself upon her bosom, plunged the knife into her; I 
then cut off her head and limbs, and put them in the basket in haste, and covered them with the jzar, over which I laid a 
piece of carpet; then I put the basket in the chest, and. having locked this, conveyed it on my mule, and threw it with 
my own hands into the Tigris." 

Period of the Action, and Locality". 

The republic of Venice became the virtual sovereigns of Cyprus, in 1471 ; when the state assumed 
the guardianship of the son of Catharine Cornaro, who had married the illegitimate son of John III., 
of Lusignan, and, being left a widow, wanted the protection of the state to maintain the power which 
her husband had usurped. The island was then first garrisoned by Venetian troops. Catharine, in 
14S9, abdicated the sovereignty in favour of the republic. Cyprus was retained by the Venetians till 
1570, when it was invaded by a powerful Turkish force, and was finally subjected to the dominion of 
Selim II., in 1571. From that period it has formed a part of the Turkish empire. Leikosia, the inland 
capital of the island, was taken by storm ; and Famagusta, the principal sea-port, capitulated after a 
long and gallant defence. It is evident, therefore, that we must refer the action of Othello to a period 
before the subjugation of Cyprus by the Turks. The locality of the scenes after the first Act must be 
placed at Famagusta, which was strongly fortified, — a fact which Shaksperc must have known, when in 
the second Scene of the third Act be says, — 

" I will be walking on the works." 
The interesting series of sketches, of which we have been fortunate in obtaining copies from the 
portfolio of Mr. Arundale, exhibit to us the principal remains of the old fort and town of Famagusta, 
in which the towers and colonnades of the Venetians are mingled with the minarets of the Turks, 
and where the open space in which stands the half ruin of a fine old Christian church is now called 
' ; the Place of the Mosque." 

Tragedies. — Vol. I. 




[Morion. Meyrick's Collection.] 


The general costume of Venice, both male and female, as well as the official habits of the doge and 
senators,* at the close of the sixteenth century, having been described in the prefatory notice to The 
Merchant of Venice, we have now but to speak of the military costume of the republic at that period, 
to which also belongs the tragedy of Othello. 

To commence with its dusky hero. There has been much difference of opinion concerning the 

proper habit of this character, some contending that as general of the Venetian army he should wear a 

Venetian dress, and others, that the Moorish garb was the most correct, as well as the most effective. 

To decide this point it must first be ascertained whether Othello is a Christian or a Mohammedan ; 

and his marriage with a lady of the former persuasion would be alone sufficient to pro\'e that he had 

renounced the creed of his ancestors, had we not the express testimony of Iago as to the fact : — 

" And then for her. 
To win the Moor — were't to renounce his baptism, 
All seals and symbols of redeemed sin — 
His soul is so enfetter'd to her love," &c— Act II. Sc. m. 

There ought, therefore, to be no question as to which habit is the more correct of the two, as the 

convert would indubitably put off his turban with his faith, and assume the dress of that republic 

whose religion he had adopted, and whose officer he had become. Indeed, from the commencement of 

the second act, there can be neither doubt nor choice allowed on the subject, as the general of the 

Venetian forces, to whatever nation he might trace his birth (and it was always & foreigner who was 

selected for that office, "Lest," as Paulus Jovius says, "any one of their own countrymen might be 

puffed up with pride, and grow too ambitious "), assumed, on the day of his election, a peculiar habit, 

consisting of a full gown of crimson velvet with loose sleeves, over which was worn a mantle of cloth 

of gold, buttoned upon the right shoulder with massy gold buttons. The cap was of crimson velvet, 

and the baton of office was of silver,t ensigned with the winged lion of St. Mark.* The figure 

engraved at p. 255 is from Vecellio's often quoted work, and represents the identical dress worn by 

prince Veniero, when he was raised to that dignity on the very occasion which Shakspere has selected 

for the like appointment of his "valiant Moor," namely, the Turkish war, a. d. 1570. § 

Another portrait of prince Veniero is engraved in a work entitled, 'Habiti d' Huomini e Donne 

Venetiane,' -Jto. Ven. 1009, representing him in armour, but still wearing the mantie and bearing the 

• id. In one part of the play, it may be remembered, Othello speaks of "his helm," and 

the last-mentioned portrait shows that in absolute action he would have worn the armour of the period, 

which was nearly the same all over Christian Europe. Howell states that Venice had in perpetual pay 

men of arms," who were for the most part gentlemen of Lombard}* ; these served on horseback, 

and were armed cap-a-pie. Xone of these, however, were in Cyprus at the period alluded to in this 

tragedy, as appears by the following pas 

• We take thil opportunity of mentioning that the ruts representinp "a Venetian Clarissimo." a:ul "a Drctor of Laws 
of Padua," in the notice of the Costume of tl. it of Venii accident; in part of the impression. 

figure with hi- back turned t<. the • that of the l'aduan I.L.I"). The other i e purn with si 

"a comito," or "a gomito," which may I 1 elbowed sleeves, and was the general out-of-dnor's habit of the nobility 

of Venice,— the official gown of the members of the Council, the Bavi, Proveditore, &c, having large open sleeves hanging 
aln. ground. 

t " Portando in mano il bnston d'ai. 

J Vide Portrait of Prince Veniero — " Habiti d' Huomini e Donne Venetiane." — 4to. Ven. 1C09. 

§ " Io ho cavato questo da un rittratto Veniero, dipinto in quell' habito clu- pli porte quando fu crcat- 

generu'.e della Kepublica Venetians nell ultima guerra che clla hebbe con Sclino Gran Turco."— C. f'ecellio, edit. 1500. 



''The ordinary garrison of the island was about 2,000 Italian foot, and some thousand recruits sent 

from the firm land with Martinenjo, &c For cavalry there were but 500 Stradiots, which 

were upon the pay of the republic." ' Of the " Italian foot," Vecellio gives us a specimen. His 
defensive armour consists of a back and breast-plate, mail sleeves, and that peculiar species of head- 
piece called a morion. 

A splendidly embossed Italian morion of this period is engraved here from the original in the 
armoury at Goodrich Court, and the figures upon it are additional authorities for the military costume 
of the time. 

The Stradiots (Estradiots, or Stratigari), mentioned by Howell, were Greek troops, first employed by 
the Venetiaus, and afterwards by Charles VIII. of France. Philip de Comines thus speaks of them : 
" Estradiots sont gens comme Genetaires, vestus a pied et a cheval comme Turcs, sauf la teste, ou ils 
ne portent cette toile qu'ils appellent turban, et sont durs gens, et couchent dehors tout l'an, et leura 
chevaux ; ils e"toient tous Grecs," &c. — Liv. 8, c. 5. 

The figure of one of these picturesque auxiliaries is engraved at p. 286 from Boissard's ' Habitus 
Variarum Orbis Gentium,' 1581. The sabre of an Estradiot is engraved in Skelton's 'Specimens,' 
from an original at Goodrich Court. "The lads of Cyprus," — "the very elements of that warlike 
isle," — may with great probability be supposed to have belonged to their body of Greek cavalry 
Vecellio presents us with the costume of a "soldato disarmato," which would be that of Cassio and 
Iago when off guard. Its characteristics are the buff jerkin and the scarf of company. To the first 
it is that Cassio alludes when he says — 

'•' That thrust had been my enemy indeed, 
But that my coat is better than thou think'st ; 
I will make proof of thine" — 

and not to any "secret armour." The second was the only uniform then known amongst officers, 
who wore a silken scarf of the colours of the captain under whom they served,f the origin of the 
modern sash. This figure is engraved below. 

Plate 90 of Skelton's 'Specimens of the Armour at Goodrich Court' contains four varieties of 
Venetian halberds ; and plate 85 of the same work presents us with the blade of a very beautiful 
glaive carried by the guards of the doge, 1556. (See p. 321.) 

* Howell's Survey of the Signory of Venice. — London, 1651. 

t " A traverso del petto una banda di ormesino di diversa colori, secondo la divisa del suo capitano." — C. T'icellio. edit 
1590. In a later edition, 159S, the hat is said to have been usually white—" la maggior parte di color argentine'' 

[Soldier off Guard. Vecellio— Habiti AntichL] 























, s> -, 


[Court of the Ducal Palace, Venice.] 


SCENE I.— Venice. A Street. 

Enter Roderigo and Iago. 

Rod. Never tell me, I take it mucli unkindly a 
That thou, Iago, who hast had my purse 
As if the strings were thine, should'st know of 
Iago. But you '11 not hear me. If ever I did 
Of such a matter, abhor me. b 

a The differences of the readings of the folio of 1623, which 
we adopt, with few exceptions, as our text, and those of the 
quarto of 1G22, which is the basis of every other modern 
text, are so numerous, that it would be out of our power, 
without crowding our pages beyond all reasonable limits, 
to indicate every slight variation. The more important we 
shall of course point out ; and the reader may rely that we 
have followed the folio in all minute deviations from the 
common text. The line to which this note belongs is an 
example of one, out of many, of these slight changes. It 
is ordinarily written,— 

" Tush, never tell me, I take it much unkindly." — 

The folio omits tush. Was this accidental? We think not. 
The reading, — 

" Never tell me, I take it much unkindly," — 
is somewhat more in Roderigo's vein. 

b Steevens 'writes these lines thus, after the quarto of 

Rod. Thou told'st me, thou didst hold him in 
thy hate. 

" 'Sblood, but you will not hear me ; 

If ever I did dream of such a matter, 

Abhor me." 
Steevens adds, " The folio suppresses this oath 'sblood ;" but 
he does not tell us what the folio does besides. It accom- 
modates the rhythmical arrangement of the sentence to the 
suppression of the oath, giving the lines as we print them. 
This is certainly not the work of some botcher coming after 
the author. Such instances of right feeling and good taste, 
in the omission of offensive expressions, constantly occur 
throughout this play, in the folio edition. In the quarto 
such offensive expressions are as constantly found. The 
modern editions cling to the quarto in this particular, upon 
the supposition that in the folio the passages were struck out 
of the copy by the Master of the Revels. The Master of the 
Revels must have been an exceedingly capricious person if 
he thus exercised his office in 1623, (the date of the foli<\) 
and thus neglected it in 1622 (the date of tie quarto). We 
have not a doubt, seeing that the structure of the verse is 
always accommodated to the alteration, that every such 
change was made by the author of the play. It was not that 
the Master of the Revels was scrupulous in the use of his 
authority with the folio, and negligent with the quarto, but 
that both the quarto and the folio were printed at a period 
when the statute of 16C4, for restraining the profane use of 
the sacred name in stage-plays, had fallen into neglect. But 
the quarto was printed from an early copy of the play, which 
existed before the statute came into operation. The folic 
contains the author's additions and corrections. This would 
be a sufficient reason, we think, if there were no other 
reason, for preferring the text of the folio in this as well a; 
in other matters. 


Act I.] 



logo. Despise mc, if I do not. Three great 
ones of the city, 
In personal suit to make me his lieutenant, 
Off-capp'd 1 to him : and, hy the faith of man, 
I know my price, i am worth no worse 
But he, as loving his own pride and purpos 
Evades them ; with a bombast circumstance, 
Horribly stuff'd with epithets of war, 

-nits my mediators. For, ccrtcs, says he, 
I have already chose my officer. b 
And what was he? 
Forsooth, a great arithmetician, 
One Michael Cassio, a Florentine, 

a Off-capp'd. So the folio; the quarto, oft capp'd. The 

_• of the quarto was adopted by the variorum editors, 
tnd III Used as an example of the antiquity of the academical 
to cap, meaning to take off the cap. We admit that 
trie word cap is used in this sense by other early English 
authors: we have it in ' Oram's Horace,' 1567. But, we 
would ask, is oft capp'd supported by the context ? A^ we 
read the whole passage, three great ones of the city wait upon 
Othello ; they off-capp'd — they took cap-in-hand — in personal 
suit that he should make Iago his lieutenant ; but he evades 
them, &-c. He has already chosen his officer. Here is a 
scene painted in a manner well befitting both the dignity of 
the great ones of the city and of Othello himself. The 
audience »a< given, the solicitation was humbly made, the 
reasons for refusing it courteously assigned. But take the 
other reading, oft capp'd; and then we have Othello per- 
petually haunted by the three great ones of the city, capping 
to him and repeating to him the same prayer, and he per- 
petually denying them with the same bombast circumstance. 
Surely this is not what Shakspere meant to represent. 

b These lines, following the quarto, are ordinarily printed 
thus : — 

" But he, as loving his own pride and purposes, 

Evades them, with a bomtnst circumstance, 

II rribly stuffd with epithets of war; 

And in conclusion, nonsuits 

My mediators; for, certes, says he, 

I already chose my officer." 

Circumstance is circumlocution. The passage, as it appears 
:as been entirely mistaken. Iago does not mean to 
say that Othello made a long rigmarole speech to the three 
great ones, and then in conclusion nonsuited the mediators 
by telling them he had already chosen his officer. But, in 
the spirit of calumny, he imputes to Othello that, having 
. his officer before the personal sui f . was made to him 
for Iago, he suppressed the fact ; evaded the mediators ; and 
nonsuited them with a bombast circumstance. We follow the 
punctuation of the folio which distinctlyseparates. for, certes, 
lays he, from nonsuits my mediators. Othello, according to 
Iago's calumnious assertion, says the truth only to himself. 

cA Florentine. "It appears," says Hanrner, 
many i ( this play, rightly understood, that Cassio 

Florentine, and [ago a Venetian." We may as well 
f of this question at once, to avoid the repetition in sub- 
sequent notes. Iago here calls Cassio a Florentine. But 
laintain that Cassio was not therefore 
ntine. It is not to be forgotten that Iago, throughout 
the whole course of his extraordinary character, is repre- 
tterly regardless of the differences between truth 
and falsehood. I absolute lie, —the half lie, — the 

truth in the way of telling it distorted into a lie, are the instru- 
ments with which Iago constantly works. This ought to be 
borne in mind with reference to his assertion that < 

But in the secondact we lind, in the mo- 
dern editions, the following lines spoken by a gentleman of 

"The ship is here put in. 
A Vi Michael Ca 

Lieutenant to the warlike .Moor, Othello, 
Is come on shore." 

Here tl e ihip is the Veronese'. But, altho I looks 

plausible, the eel- ibleatitbei i an in- 

land city. They settle it, however, in the usual way, by 
Haying that Shakspere knew nothing of the topography of 


A fellow almost danin'd in a fair wife, 

That never set a squadron in the field, 

Nor the division of a battle knows 

More than a spinster ; uuless the bookisli 

"Wherein the tongued a consuls can propose 
As iu:< i> rlv as he : mere prattle without practice, 
Is all Ids soldiership. But he, sir, had the 

election : 
And I, — of whom his eyes had seen the proof 
At Rhodes, at Cyprus, and on other grounds 
Christcn'd b and heathen,— must be be-lce'd and 

By debitor and creditor : this counter-caster, 
lie, in good time, must his lieutenant be, 
And I,— bless the mark ! his Moor-ship's an- 
Rod. By heaven, I rather would have been 

his hangman. 
lurjo. Why, there's no remedy, 'tis the curse 

of service ; 
Preferment goes by letter and affection, 
And not by old gradation, where each second 
Stood heir to the first. Now, sir, be judge 


Italy. But the original quarto and folio each agree ill the 
punctuation of the passage : 

" The ship is here put in 
A Veronessa, Michael Cassio, 
Lieutenant to the warlike Moor, Othello, 
Is come ashore." 

Here Cassio is the Veronese. But we retain the word Ve- 
ronessa, because we apprehend that it must be taken as a 
feminine, and as such applicable to the ship, and we alter the 
punctuation accordingly. The city of Verona, subject to 
Venice, might furnish ships to the Republic. In the third 
act Cassio, when Iago is pioffering his services to him, says, 

" I humbly thank you for 't. I never knew 
A Florentine more kind and honest." 

One meaning of his words is, that Iago being a Florentine, 
Cassio never knew one of that country more kind and 
honest. The other meaningis, that Cassio never knew even 
a Florentine, even one of his own countrymen, more kind 
and honest. This is Malone's interpretation; and "Iago," 
he adds, " is a Venetian," because he says, speaking of Des- 

" I know our country disposition well;" 

and again, calls Roderigo, of Venice, his countryman. These 
again observed, rest upon the authority of 
Iago, the liar. We do not, however, think that it is ; 

as Tieck maintains, that lag Florentine, 

the Veronese; but we distinctly agree with him that [ago 
meant to speak disparagingly of Cassio when he called 
him a Florentine. II • arithmetician," a " counter- 

caster," a native of a state whose inhabitants, pursuing the 
peaceful and gainful occupations of commerce, had 
of mercenaries. Cassio, for this reason, upon the showing 
of Iago. was one " that never set a squadron in the field." 
i ck, this imputation of being a Florentine 
must solve the enigma of the next line — 

" A fellow almost damn'd in a fair wife." 

But we are of opinion that it is not necessary to find any 
tl meaning in tl ds; and that Iago distinctly 

••> Tongued. So the folio. The quarto gives us loged. 
b Christen' d. In the quarto Christian. 

lend calm'd. [ago uses terms of navigation to 
express that Cassio had out- sail'd him. 

Act I.] 


[Scene I. 

Whether I in any just term am affin'd 
To love the Moor. 

Rod. I would not follow him then. 

Iago. sir, content you ; 
I follow him to serve my turn upon him : 
We cannot all be masters, nor all masters 
Cannot be truly follow'd. You shall mark 
Many a duteous and knee-crooking knave, 
That, doting on his own obsequious bondage, 
Wears out his time, much like his master's ass, 
For nought but provender ; and when he 's old, 

cashier' d ; 
Whip me such honest knaves : Others there are 
Who, trimm'd in forms and visages of duty, 
Keep yet their hearts attending on themselves ; 
And, throwing but shows of service on their lords, 
Do well thrive by them, and, when they have 

lin'd their coats, 
Do themselves homage : these fellows have 

some soul ; 
And such a one do I profess myself. For, shv 
It is as sure as you are Roderigo, 
Were I the Moor I would not be Iago. 
In following him I follow but myself ; 
Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty, 
But seeming so, for my peculiar end : 
For when my outward action doth demonstrate 
The native act and figure of my heart 
In complement extern, a 'tis not long after 
But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve 
For daws to peck at : I am not what I am. 
Rod. What a fall Fortune does the Thick- 
lips * owe, 
If he can carry 't thus ! b 

Iago. Call up her father, 

House him : make after him, poison his delight, 
Proclaim him in the streets ; incense her kinsmen, 
And though he in a fertile climate dwell, 
Plague him with flies : though that his joy be joy, 

a In complement extern. Johnson interprets this — " In 
that which I do only for an outward show of civility." 
Surely tliis interpretation, by adopting the secondary mean- 
ing of complement (compliment), destroys Iago's bold 
avowal, which is, that when his actions exhibit the real 
intentions and motives of his heart, in outward completeness, 
he might as well wear it upon his sleeve. 

b ihis is ordinarily printed, following the quarto, — 
" What a full fortune does the thick-lips owe." 
This is simply, how fortunate he is. The reading of the 
folio, which we adopt, conveys a much more Shaksperian 
idea. If the Moor can carry it thus — appoint his own officer, 
in spite of the great ones of the city who capp'd to him, and, 
moreover, can secure Desdemona as his prize, — he is so 
puffd up with his own pride and purposes, and is so suc- 
cessful, that fortune owes him a heavy fall. To owe is used 
by Shakspere not only in the ancient sense of to own, to 
possess, but in the modern sense of to be indebted to, to 
hold or possess for another. Fortune here owes the thick- 
lips a fall, in the same way that we say, " He owes him 
a good or an evil turn." The reading which we adopt is 
very much in Shakspere's manner of throwing out a hint of 
coming calamities. The commentators do not even notice 
this reading. - 

Yet throw such chances 1 of vexation on 't, 
As it may lose some colour. 

Rod*. Here is her father's house ; I '11 call 

Iago. Do; with like timorous accent, and 
dire yell, 
As when (by night and negligence b ) the fire 
Is spied in populous cities. 

Rod. What, boa ! Brabantio ! signior Bra- 

bantio, hoa ! 
Iago. Awake ; what, hoa ! Brabantio ! thieves ! 
thieves ! 
Look to your house, your daughter, and your 

bags ! 
Thieves ! thieves ! 

Brabantio, above. 

Bra. What is the reason of this terrible sum- 
mons ? 
What is the matter there ? 

Rod. Signior, is all your family within ? 

Iago. Are your doors lock'd ? 

Bra. Why ? wherefore ask you this ? 

Iago. Sir, you are robb'd ; for shame c put cu 
your gown ; 
Your heart is burst, you have lost half your soul 
Even now, now, very now, an old black ram 
Is tupping your white ewe. Arise, arise ; 
Awake the snorting citizens with the bell, 
Or else the devil will make a grandsire of you : 
Arise, I say. 

Bra. What, have you lost your wits ? 

Rod. Most reverend signior, do you know my 
voice ? 

Bra. Not I ; what are you ? 

Rod. My name is Roderigo. 

Bra. The worser welcome : 

I have chars;' d thee not to haunt about my 

doors : 
In honest plainness thou hast heard me say 
My daughter is not for thee ; and now, in mad- 
(Being full of supper and distempering draughts,) 
Upon malicious knavery, d dost thou come 
To start my quiet. 2 

Rod. Sir, sir, sir, — - 

Bra. But thou must needs be sure, 

a Chances. The quarto reads changes, which most have 
adopted. When Roderigo suggests that fortune owes Othello 

a fall, Iago eagerlv jumps at the chances of vexation, which 
the alarm of Desdemona's father may bring upon him. 

b We adopt the parenthetical punctuation of the folio, 
which, if it had been followed, might have saved the dis- 
cussion as to Shakspere's carelessness in making the fire 
spied "by night and negligence." 

c For shame. This is not used as a reproach, but means— 
fw decency put on your gown. 

J Knavery. The quarto brava i/. 


Act l.j 


[SCENK 1. 

My spirit and my place have in their power 
To make this bitter to thec. 

Rod. Patience, good bit. 

Bra. What tell'st thou me of robbing F this 
is Venice ; 
My house is not ;i grange.* 

E Mm grave Brabantio, 

In simple and pure soul I come to you. 

Iago. Sir, you arc one of those that will not 
serve God, if the devil bid yon. Because we 
come to do you service, and you think we arc 
ruffians, vou '11 have vour daughter covered with 
a Barbary horse: you'll have your nephews" 
neigh to vou : vou '11 have coursers for cousins, 
and gennets for germans. 

Bra. "What profane wretch art thou? 

Iago. I am one, sir, that comes to tell you 
your daughter and the Moor are making the 
beast with two backs. 

Bra. Thou art a villain. 

Iago. You are a senator. 

Bra. This thou shalt answer. I know thee, 

Rod. Sir, I will answer anything. But I 
beseech you, 
If 't be your pleasure and most wise consent, 
(As partly I find it is,) that your fair daughter, 
At this odd-even and dull watch o' the night, 
Transported with no worse nor better guard, 
But with a knave of common hire, a gondolier, 3 
To the gross clasps of a lascivious Moor: 
If this be known to you, and your allowance, 
We then have done you bold and saucy wrongs ; 
But if you know not this, my manners tell me 

» Grange. Strictly speaking, the farm-house of a r 
tery. But it is used by the old writers as a separate dwelling, 
as in Spenser: — 

" Xe have the watery fowls a certain grange 
Wherein to rest." 

Shakspere, in Measure for Measure, gives the feeling of 
loneliness (which Brabantio here expresses) in a few words : — 
" At the moated grange resides this dejected Mariana." Mr. 
Tennyson, in his exquisite poem upon that theme, gives ua 
the idea of desolation more fully: — 

" With blackest moss the flower-pots 
Were thickly crusted, one and all, 
The rusted nails fell from the knots 

That held the peach to the garden-wall. 
The broken sheds look'd 6ad and strange, 
lifted was the clinking latch, 
■ded and worn the ancient thatch 
Upon the lonely moated grange." 

b Xeplietrs. The word mi formerly used to signify a 
grandson, or any lineal descendant. In Richard III. (Act 
it.. Scene I.) the Duchess of York calls her grand-daughter, 
niece Nephew here is the Latin n«\ 
c T; firming, " If 'toe your plea 

I found in the quarto of 1622. H e c tnnot, therefore, 
consult that quart In other ini ben a doubt- 

ful reading occurs. We h tve two difficulties here. First, 
what is the odd-eren of the night ? It is explained to be the 
il between twelve at night am ■ruing. 

But then, secondly, an auxiliary verb Is wanting to the propet 
construction of the sentence ; and Capell would read, " be 
transported." We can only give the passage as we find it. 

We have your wrong rebuke. Do not believe 
That, from the sense of all civility, 
1 thus would play and trifle with your reverence : 
lour daughter, — if you have not given her 

leave, — 
I say again, hath made a gross revolt ; 
Tying her duty, beauty, wit, and fortunes, 
In an extravagant" and wheeling stranger, 
Of here and every where : Straight satisfy vour- 

If she be in her chamber, or your house, 
Let loose on me the justice of the state 
For thus deluding you. 

Bra. Strike on the tinder, hoa ! 

Give me a taper ; call up all my people : 
This accident is not unlike my dream ; 
Belief of it oppresses me already : 
Light, I say ! light ! [Exit from above. 

Iago. Farewell ; for I must leave you : 

It seems not meet, nor wholesome to my place, 
To be produe'd (as, if I stay, I shall) 
Against the Moor : For, I do know, the state, 
(However this may gall him with some check,) 
Cannot with safety east him. For he 's embark' d 
With such loud reason to the Cyprus' wars, 
(Which even now stand in act,) that for their souls, 
Another of his fathom they have none 
To lead their business : in which regard, 
Though I do hate him as I do hell pains, 
Yet, for necessity of present life, 
I must show out a flag and sign of love, 
Which is indeed but sign. That you shall surely 

find hiu 1 ., 
Lead to the Sagittary b the raised search ; 
And there will I be with him. So, farewell. [Exit. 

Enter, below, Bkabaktio, and Servants, with 

Era. It is too true an evil : gone she is ; 
And what 's to come of my despised time 
Is nought but bitterness. Now, Boderigo, 
Where did'st thou see her ? — 0, unhappy girl !— 
With the Moor say'st thou? — Who would be a 

father ? — 
How did'st thou know 't was she ? — 0, she de- 
ceives me c 

» In this passage conjecture has been busy. Some of the 
commentators propose to change tying to laying, and Jn to 
On. Mr. Collier, aftt-r the Corrector of his folio of 1G32, a! ten 
wht eling to wheedling. We say wrapped in him; why not, then, 
tied in him? As to wheedling, it is wholly inappropriate as 
applied to Othello. Boderigo says she is gone On with a 
Stranger— an erratic and shifting man, that will have no lit 
home for her. 

b The Sagittarjf. This is generally taken to be an inn. It 

residence at the arsenal of the commanding officers 

of the navy and army of the republic. The figure of an 

n -t'n his drawn how. over the gates, still indicates the 

tbl) Shakspere had looked upon that sculpture. 

c The quarto reads, " Thou decciv'tl me." 

Act I.] 



-How got she out ?- 

-0 trea- 

Past thouglit ! — What said she to you ? — Get 

more tapers ; 
Raise all my kindred. — Are they married, think 
Rod. Truly, I think they are. 
Bra. O heaven !- 

son of the blood ! — 
Fathers, from hence trust not your daughters' 

By what you see them act. — Are there not 

By which the property of youth and maidhood 
May be abus'd? Have you not read, Boderigo, 
Of some such thing ? 

Rod. Yes, sir ; I have indeed. 

Bra. Call up my brother. — 0, would you had 
had her ! — 
Some one way, some another. — Do you know 
Where we may apprehend her and the Moor ? 

Rod. I think I can discover him, if you please 
To get good guard, and go along with me. 
Bra. Pray you, lead on. At every house I '11 
I may command at most ; — Get weapons, hoa ! 
And raise some special officers of night . a — 
On, good Boderigo. I will deserve your pains. 


SCENE 11.— The same. Another Street. 

Enter Othello, Iago, and Attendants with 

Iago. Though in the trade of war I have slam 
Yet do I hold it very stuff b o' the conscience, 
To do no contriv'd murder : I lack iniquity 
Sometime to do me service : Nine or ten times 
I had thought to have yerk'd him here under 
the ribs. 

Oth. 'T is better as it is. 

Iago, Nay, but he prated, 

Amd spoke