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THE text of this edition of Hamlet is based upon a careful collation 
of the quarto of 1604 and the folio of 1623 with the other early editions 
and the leading modern ones. All the important variae lectiones are 
given in the Notes; so that the reader, if he considers my text too 
" conservative," has all the materials necessary for making one to suit 

In the Notes my indebtedness to Furness is acknowledged on almost 
every page, and yet is by no means fully recorded. His edition furnishes 
an abstract and epitome of the vast literature of Hamlet, and is indis- 
pensable to the teacher and the critical scholar. He found it no easy 
task to condense his material into two octavo volumes; and in carrying 
out my more modest plan I have found a like difficulty in keeping within 
my limited space. The play is one of the longest (about twice as long 
as Macbetti), and the amount that has been written about it far exceeds 
that on any other of Shakespeare's works. Furness does not exaggerate 
when he says : " No one of mortal mould (save Him 'whose blessed feet 
were nailed for our advantage to the bitter cross') ever trod this earth, 
commanding such absorbing interest as this Hamlet, this mere creation 
of a poet's brain. No syllable that he whispers, no word let fall by any 
one near him, but is caught and pondered as no words ever have been, 
except of Holy Writ. Upon no throne built by mortal hands has ever 
'beat so fierce a light' as upon that airy fabric reared at Elsinore." 










ACT 1 41 

II 70 

"HI , 93 

IV 122 

* V 144 

NOTES ., 167 



THE earliest known edition of Hamlet appeared in quarto 
form in 1603, with the following title-page : 

THE | Tragicall Historic of | HAMLET | Prince of Den- 
marke \ By William Shake-speare. | As it hath beene diuerse 
times acted by his Highnesse ser- | uants in the Cittie of 
London : as also in the two V- | niuersities of Cambridge and 
Oxford, and else-where | At London printed for N. L. and 
John Trundell. | 1603. 



In the preceding year (July 26, 1602) James Roberts the 
printer had entered in the Stationers' Register "A booke 
called the Revenge of HAMLETT Prince of Denmarke as yt 
was latelie acted by the Lord Chamberleyne his servantes" The 
quarto of 1603 may have been printed by Roberts, though 
his name does not appear on the title-page. He certainly 
printed the second quarto, published by the same " N. L." 
(Nicholas Ling) in 1604, with the following title-page: 

THE | Tragicall Historic of | HAMLET, | Prince of Den- 
marke. | By William Shakespeare. | Newly imprinted and en- 
larged to almost as much | againe as it was, according to the 
true and perfect | Coppie. | AT LONDON, | Printed by I. R. 
for N. L. and are to be sold at his | shoppe vnder St. Dun- 
stons Church in | Fleetstreet. 1604. 

The relation of the first quarto to the second has been 
much disputed. Collier, White, and some other critics be- 
lieve that the former is merely an imperfect report of the 
play as published in the latter; that it was printed, either 
from short-hand notes taken at the theatre, or from a stage- 
copy cut down for representation and perhaps corrupted 
by the insertion of stuff from an earlier play on the same 
subject. The second quarto, on the other hand, was an 
authorized edition of the play from " the true .and perfect 

Other critics among whom are Caldecott, Knight, Staun- 
ton, and Dyce believe that the first quarto represents, 
though in a corrupt form, the first draught of the play, while 
the second gives it as remodelled and enlarged by the au- 
thor. It is not necessary to suppose that the former was 
written near the time when it was published; it was more 
likely an early production of the poet After the revision 
the original copy could be more easily obtained for surrep- 
titious publication, and it may have been printed in haste to 
" head off" an authorized edition of the remodelled play. 

Another theory, and a very plausible one, is that of Messrs, 


Clark and Wright, brought out in the "Clarendon Press" 
edition of the play ; namely, " that there was an old play on 
the story of Hamlet, some portions of which are still pre- 
served in the quarto of 1603 ; that about the year 1602 
Shakespeare took this and began to remodel it, as he had 
done with other plays ; that the quarto of 1603 represents 
the play after it had been retouched by him to a certain ex- 
tent, but before his alterations were complete; and that 
in the quarto of 1604 we have for the first time the Hamlet of 

For a resume, of the discussion of this interesting question 
(which will probably never be settled) see Furness's Hamlet, 
vol. ii. pp. 12-33. 

The third quarto, published in 1605, is a reprint of the 
second; the title-page being identical except in date, and 
the variations in the text slight and unimportant. A fourth 
quarto, "Printed for lohn Smethwicke" and "to be sold at 
his shoppe in Saint Dunstons church yeard in Fleetstreet," 
appeared in 1611 ; and a fifth, undated, was afterwards issued 
by the same publisher.* No other editions appeared during 
the lifetime of Shakespeare, or before the publication of the 
folio of 1623. The text of the latter varies considerably from 
that of the quartos, as will be seen by our Notes, in which the 
more important differences are recorded. Collier thinks that 
" if the Hamlet in the first folio were not composed from some 
hitherto unknown quarto, f it was derived from a manuscript 

* Malone believes that this edition was printed in 1607, and Halliwell is 
inclined to place it "before 1609;" but, as the Cambridge editors show, its 
orthography is more modern than that of the quarto of 1611, from which it 
was probably printed. 

fit is not impossible that there may have been such a quarto. No 
copy of the quarto of 1603 was known until 1823, when one was found 
by Sir Henry Bunbury. A second was picked up in 1856 by a Dublin 
bookseller, who paid a shilling for it. The former, which lacks the last 
page, was afterwards sold to the Duke of Devonshire tor 230; the lat- 
ter, which wants the title-page, was bought by Mr. Halliwell for 120, and 


obtained by Heminge and Condell from the theatre." The 
standard text of the play is chiefly made up by a collation 
of the second quarto and the first folio. 


There was certainly an old play on the subject of Hamlet, 
and some critics believe that it was an early production of 
Shakespeare's. The first allusion to it that has been discov- 
ered is in an Epistle "To the Gentleman Students of both 
Universities," by Thomas Nash, prefixed to Greene's Mena- 
phon, printed in 1589. Referring to the playwrights of that 
day, Nash says : " It is a common practice now a daies 
amongst a sort of shifting companions,* that runne through 
every arte and thrive by none to leave the trade of Noverint\ 
whereto they were borne, and busie themselves with the in- 
devours of art, that could scarcelie latinize their necke-verse 
if they should have neede; yet English Seneca read by 
candle-light yeeldes manie good sentences, as Bloud is a 
begger, and so foorth : and if you intreate him faire in a 
frostie morning, he will affoord you whole Hamlets^ I should 
say Handfulls of tragical speaches." 

In Henslowe's Diary the following entry occurs : 
9 of June 1594, Rd at hamlet . . . viiij" 
Five lines above the entry is this memorandum: "In the 
name of God Amen, beginninge at Newington, my Lordj 
Admeralle and my Lorde chamberlen men, as foloweth, 
1594." At this date, Shakespeare was one of the company 
of actors known as " the Lord Chamberlain's men." 

Again, in Lodge's Wits mtserie, and the Worlds madnesse % 

is now in the British Museum. These are the only copies of the first 
quarto that have come down to our day. 

*For the contemptuous use of companion ( = fellow), cf. J. C.'vt. 3. 
138: Companion, hence !" and see Temp. p. 131, or M.N. D. p. 125. 

t That is, of attorney; from the Latin formula with which deeds be- 
gan: " Nwerint universi "=our " Know all men," etc. 


published in 1596, we have an allusion to " y* ghost which 
cried so miserally [stf] at y e theater, like an oisterwife, Ham- 
let reuengt" 

There is also an old German play on the story of Hamlet, 
Der Bestrafte Brudermord, which some critics suppose to 
have been acted by English players in Germany as early as 
1603 (though there seems to be no authentic record of any 
performance earlier than 1626, and the text that has come 
down to us cannot be traced farther back than 1710), and 
which may have been based on the pre-Shakespearian play. 
In the quarto of 1603 Polonius appears as "Corambis," and 
in the German play as "Corambus." As there is no evi- 
dence that the German writer made any use of the quarto, it 
is not improbable that he drew from the earlier drama.* 

It is impossible to say what use Shakespeare made of 
this old English play (we do not believe that it was a 
youthful production of his own), as it seems to be hope- 
lessly lost, and we cannot guess ho\v much of it, if any- 
thing, survives in diluted form in the German play just men- 
tioned. Of another source from which he probably derived 
his material we have better knowledge : namely, The Hystone 
of Hamblet, translated from the Histoires Tragiques of Fran- 
cis de Belleforest. The story of Hamlet is found in the fifth 
volume, which was printed at Paris in 1570. The English 
version was probably made soon after, though the only edi 
tion now extant is that of i6o8.f 

The poet has followed the Hystorie in some of its main in- 
cidents the murder of Hamlet's father by his uncle, the 
marriage of his mother with the murderer, his feigned mad- 
ness, his killing of Polonius, his interview with his mother, 
his voyage to England, his return, and his revenge but not 

* For a translation of the German play and a discussion of its relations 
to the history of Shakespeare's Hamlet, see Furness, vol. ii. pp. 114-142. 

f Reprinted (with the exception of the last two chapters, of which S, 
made no use) by Furness, vol. ii. pp. 91-113. 


in the denouement. In the Hystorie Hamlet, after his uncle's 
death, becomes king of Denmark, visits England again, mar- 
ries two wives, by one of whom he is betrayed into the power 
of his maternal uncle Wiglerus, and is finally slain in battle.* 
It may be added that Belleforest got the story from the 
Historia Danica of Saxo Grammaticus, written about the 
close of the i2th century, though the earliest existing edition 
of it is that of Paris, 1514. 

\From Goethe's " Wilhelm Meistcr\} 

I sought for every indication of what the character of 
Hamlet was before the death of his father ; I took note 
of all that this interesting youth had been, independently 
of that sad event, independently of the subsequent terrible 
occurrences, and I imagined what he might have been with- 
out them. 

Tender and nobly descended, this royal flower grew up 
under the direct influences of majesty ; the idea of the right 
and of princely dignity, the feeling for the good and the grace- 
ful, with the consciousness of his high birth, were unfolded 
in him together. He was a prince, a born prince. Pleasing 
in figure, polished by nature, courteous from the heart, he was 
to be the model of youth and the delight of the world. . . . 

Figure to yourself this youth, this son of princes, conceive 
him vividly, bring his condition before your eyes, and then 
observe him when he learns that his father's spirit walks ; 
stand by him in the terrible night when the venerable Ghost 
itself appears before him. A horrid shudder seizes him ; he 
speaks to the mysterious form ; he sees it beckon him ; he 

* Elze (see Furness, vol. ii. p. 89) gives some very plausible reasons 
for supposing that the Hystorie is of later date than the old play of 

t Carlyle's translation, as quoted with slight variations by Furness in 
bis Hamlet, vcl. ii. p. 272 foL 


follows it and hearkens. The fearful accusation of his uncle 
rings in his ears ; the summons to revenge and the piercing 
reiterated prayer, " Remember me." 

And when the Ghost has vanished, who is it we see stand- 
ing before us? A young hero panting for vengeance? A 
,born prince, feeling himself favoured in being summoned 
to punish the usurper of his crown ? No ! Amazement and 
sorrow overwhelm the solitary young man : HP fr f rnmpg h^- 
jer against smiling villains, swears never to fcrcrt thr dft 

with the signifirant p 

"The time is out of joint; O cursed spite, 
That ever I was born to set it right ! " 

In these words, I imagine, is the key to Hamlet's whole pro- 
cedure, and to me it is clear that Shakespeare sought to de- 
pict a great deed laid upon a soul unequal to the performance 
of it. In this view I find the piece composed throughout. 
Here is an oak-tree planted in a costly vase, which should 
have received into its bosom only lovely flowers ; the roots 
spread out, the vase is shivered to pieces. 

A beautiful, pure, and most moral nature, without the 
strength of nerve which makes the hero, sinks beneath a 
burden which it can neither bear nor throw off; every duty 
is holy to him this too hard. The impossible is required 
of him, not the impossible in itself, but the impossible to 
him. How he winds, turns, agonizes, advances, and recoils, 
ever reminded, ever reminding himself, and at last almost 
loses his purpose from his thoughts, without ever again re- 
covering his peace of mind. . . . 

It pleases, it flatters us greatly, to see a hero who acts of 
himself, who loves and hates us as his heart prompts, under- 
taking and executing, thrusting aside all hindrances, and ac- 
complishing a great purpose. Historians and poets would 
fain persuade us that so proud a lot may fall to man. In 
Hamlet we are taught otherwise ; the hero has no plan, but 

1 6 HAMLET. 

:he piece is full of plan. Here is no villain upon whom 
vengeance is inflicted according to a certain scheme, rigidly 
and in a peculiar manner carried out. No, a horrid deed 
occurs ; it sweeps on in its consequences, dragging the guilt- 
less along with it ; the perpetrator appears as if he would 
avoid the abyss to which he is destined, and he plunges in 
just then when he thinks happily to fulfil his career. For 
it is the property of a deed of horror that the evil spreads 
out over the innocent, as it is of a good action to extend its 
benefits to the undeserving, while frequently the author of 
one or of the other is neither punished nor rewarded. Here 
in this play of ours, how strange ! Purgatory sends its spirit, 
and demands revenge ; in vain ! Neither earthly nor infer- 
nal thing may bring about what is reserved for Fate alone. 
The hour of judgment comes. The bad falls with the good. 
One race is mowed away, and another springs up. ... 

Hamlet is endowed more properly with sentiment than 
with a character ; it is events alone that push him on ; and 
accordingly the piece has somewhat the amplification of a 
novel. But as it is Fate that draws the plan, as the piece 
proceeds from a deed of terror, and the hero is steadily driven 
on to a deed of terror, the work is tragic in its highest sense, 
and admits of no other than a tragic end. 

\_From SchlegeFs " Dramatic Literature" *] 
Hamlet is singular in its kind : a tragedy of thought in- 
spired by continual and never-satisfied meditation on human 
destiny and the dark perplexity of the events of this world, 
and calculated to call forth the very same meditation in the 
minds of the spectators. This enigmatical work resembles 
those irrational equations in which a fraction of unknown 
magnitude always remains, that will in no way admit of so- 
lution. Much has been said, much written, on this piece, and 

* Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature, by A. W. Schlegel 
Black's translation, revised by Morrison (London : 1846), p. 404 fol. ' 


yet no thinking man who anew expresses himself on it will 
(in his view of the connection and the signification of all the 
parts) entirely coincide with his predecessors. . . . 

The only circumstance from which this piece might be 
judged to be less suited to the stage than other tragedies of 
Shakespeare is that in the last scenes the main action either 
stands still or appears to retrograde. This, however, was 
inevitable, and lay in the nature of the subject. The whole 
is intended to show that a calculating consideration, which 
exhausts all the relations and possible consequences of a 
deed, must cripple the power of acting ; as Hamlet himself 
expresses it : 

* And thus the native hue of resolution 
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought; 
And enterprises of great pith and moment, 
With this regard, their currents turn awry, 
And lose the name of action." 

With respect to Hamlet's character, I cannot, as I under- 
stand the poet's views, pronounce altogether so favourable a 
sentence upon it as Goethe does. He is, it is true, of a highly 
cultivated mind, a prince of royal manners, endowed with 
the finest sense of propriety, susceptible of noble ambition, 
and open in the highest degree to an enthusiastic admira- 
tion of that excellence in others of which he himself is defi- 
cient. He acts the part of madness with unrivalled power.; 
convincing the persons who are sent to examine into his 
supposed loss of reason merely by telling them unwelcome 
truths and rallying them with the most caustic wit. But in 
the resolutions which he so often embraces and always leaves 
unexecuted, his weakness is too apparent: he does himself 
only justice when he implies that there is no greater dissimi- 
larity than between himself and Hercules. He is not solely 
impelled by necessity to artifice and dissimulation : he has 
a natural inclination for crooked ways ; he is a hypocrite 
towards himself; his far-fetched scruples are often mere pre- 


texts to cover his want of determination : thoughts, as he 
says, on a different occasion, which have 

" but one part wisdom 

And ever three parts coward." 

He has been chiefly condemned both for his harshness in re 
pulsing the love of Ophelia, which he himself had cherished, 
and for his insensibility at her death. But he is too much 
overwhelmed with his own sorrow to have any compassion 
to spare for others; besides, his outward indifference gives 
us by no means the measure of his internal perturbation. 
On the other hand, we evidently perceive in him a malicious 
joy, when he has succeeded in getting rid of his enemies, 
more through necessity and accident, which alone are able 
to impel him to quick and decisive measures, than by the 
merit of his own courage, as he himself confesses after the 
murder of Polonius, and with respect to Rosencrantz and 
Guildenstern. Hamlet has no firm belief either in himself 
or in anything else : from expressions of religious confidence 
he passes over to sceptical doubts ; he believes in the ghost 
of his father, as long as he sees it, but as soon as it has dis- 
appeared, it appears to him almost in the light of a decep- 
tion. He has even gone so far as to say, " There is nothing 
either good or bad, but thinking makes it so ;" with him the 
poet loses himself here in labyrinths of thought, in which 
neither end nor beginning is discoverable. The stars them- 
selves, from the course of events, afford no answer to the 
question so urgently proposed to them. A voice from an- 
other world, commissioned, it would appear, by Heaven, de- 
mands vengeance for a monstrous enormity, and the demand 
remains without effect j the criminals are at last punished, 
but, as it were, by an accidental blow, and not in the solemn 
way requisite to convey to the world a warning example of 
justice; irresolute foresight, cunning treachery, and impetu- 
ous rage hurry on to a common destruction; the less guilty 


and the innocent are equally involved in the general ruin. 
The destiny of humanity is there exhibited as a gigantic 
Sphinx, which threatens to precipitate into the abyss of 
scepticism all who are unable to solve her dreadful enigmas. 

[From Coleridge's " Notes and Lectures upon Shakespeare? ] 
I believe the character of Hamlet may be traced to Shake- 
speare's deep and accurate science in mental philosophy. In- 
deed, that this character must have some connection with 
the common fundamental laws of our nature may be assumed 
from the fact that Hamlet has been the darling of every 
country in which the literature of England has been fostered. 
In order to understand him, it is essential that we should 
reflect on the constitution of our own minds- Man is dis- 
tinguished from the brute animals in proportion as thought 
prevails over sense : but in the healthy processes of the mind, 
a balance is constantly maintained between the impressions 
from outward objects and the inward operations of the in- 
tellect : for if there be an overbalance in the contemplative 
faculty, man thereby becomes the creature of mere medita- 
tion, and loses his natural power of action. Now one of 
Shakespeare's modes of creating characters is, to conceive 
any one intellectual or moral faculty in morbid excess, and 
then to place himself, Shakespeare, thus mutilated or dis- 
eased, under given circumstances. In Hamlet he seems to 
have wished to exemplify the moral necessity of a due bal- 
ance between our attention to the objects of our senses, and 
our meditation on the workings of our minds, an equilibrium 
between the real and the imaginary worlds. In Hamlet this 
balance is disturbed : his thoughts, and the images of his 
fancy, are far more vivid than his actual perceptions, and his 
very perceptions, instantly passing through the medium of 
his contemplations, acquire, as they pass, a form and a color 
not naturally their own. Hence we see a great, an almost 
* Coleridge's Works (Harper's ed.), voL iv. p. 145 foL 


enormous, intellectual activity, and a proportionate aversion 
to real action, consequent upon it, with all its symptoms and 
accompanying qualities. This character Shakespeare places 
in circumstances under which it is obliged to act on the spur 
of the moment: Hamlet is brave and careless of death; 
but he vacillates from sensibility, and procrastinates from 
thought, and loses the power of action in the energy of 
resolve. Thus it is that this tragedy presents a direr 
contrast to that of Macbeth; the one proceeds with the 
utmost slowness, the other with a crowded and breathless 

The effect of this overbalance of the imaginative power is 
beautifully illustrated in the everlasting broodings and su- 
perfluous activities of Hamlet's mind, which, unseated from 
its healthy relation, is constantly occupied with the world 
within, and abstracted from the world without, giving 
substance to shadows, and throwing a mist over all common- 
place actualities. It is the nature of thought to be in- 
definite; definiteness belongs to external imagery alone. 
Hence it is that the sense of sublimity arises, not from the 
sight of an outward object, but from the beholder's reflection 
upon it; not from the sensuous impression, but from the 
imaginative reflex. Few have seen a celebrated waterfall 
without feeling something akin to disappointment : it is only 
subsequently that the image comes back full into the mind, 
and brings with it a train of grand or beautiful associations. 
Hamlet feels this; his senses are in a state of trance, and 
he looks upon external things as hieroglyphics. His solil- 

Oh that th too, too olid flesh would melt," etc., 

springs from that craving after the indefinite for that which 
is not which most easily besets men of genius; and the 
self-delusion common to this temper of mind is finely exem- 
plified in the character which Hamlet gives of himself-. 


It cannot be 

Bat 1 am pigeon-liverM, and lack gaO 
To make oppression bitter" 

He mistakes the seeing his chains for the breaking of them, 
delays action till action is of no use, and dies the victim of 
mere circumstance and accident 

[Front u Letters on Shakespeare? Btackwood'i Magav . &* 8l8.] 

There is in the ebb and flow of Shakespeare's soul afl the 
grandeur of a mighty operation of nature; and when we 
think or speak of him, it should be with humility where we 
do not understand, and a conviction that it is rather to the 
narrowness of our own ken than to any failing in the art of 
the great magician, that we ought to attribute any sense of 
imperfection and of weakness which may assail ua during 
the contemplation of his created worlds. . . . 

Shakespeare himself, had he even been as great a critic 
as a poet, could not have written a regular dissertation upon 
Hamlet. So ideal, and yet so real an existence could have 
been shadowed out only in the colours of poetry. When a 
character deals solely or chiefly with this world and its 
events, when it acts and is acted upon by objects that have 
a palpable existence, we see it distinctly, as if it were cast 
in a material mould, as if it partook of the fixed and settled 
lineaments of the things on which it lavishes its sensibilities 
and its passions. We see in such eases the vision of an in- 
dividual soul, as we see the vision of an individual counte- 
nance. We can describe both, and can let a stranger into 
our knowledge. But how tell in words, so pure, so fine, so 
ideal an abstraction as Hamlet? We can, indeed, figure to 
ourselves generally his princely form, that outshone all oth- 
ers in manly beauty, and adorn it with the consummation of 

* These " Letters on Shakespeare " are signed " T. C^ w and are prob- 
ably, as Furness surmises, by the poet Campbell. 


all liberal accomplishment. We can behold in every look, 
every gesture, every motion, the future king, 

"The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's eye, tongue, sword, 
Th' expectancy and rose of the fair state; 
The glass of fashion, and the mould of form, 
Th' observed of all observers." 

But when we would penetrate into his spirit, meditate on 
those things on which he meditates, accompany him even 
unto s the brink of eternity, fluctuate with him on the ghastly 
sea of despair, soar with him into the purest and serenest re- 
gions of human thought, feel with him the curse of beholding 
iniquity, and the troubled delight of thinking on innocence, 
and gentleness, and beauty; come with him from all the 
glorious dreams cherished by a noble spirit in the halls of 
wisdom and philosophy, of a sudden into the gloomy courts 
of sin, and incest, and murder ; shudder with him over the 
broken and shattered fragments of all the fairest creations 
of his fancy, be borne with him at once, from calm, and 
lofty, and delighted speculations, into the very heart of fear, 
and horror, anu tribulations have the agonies and the guilt 
of our mortal world brought into immediate contact with 
the world beyond the grave, and the influence of an awful 
shadow hanging forever on our thoughts, be present at a 
fearful combat between all the stirred-up passions of humanity 
in the soul of one man, a combat in which one and ail of these 
passions are alternately victorious and overcome ; I say, that 
when we are thus placed and acted upon, how is it possible 
to draw a character of this sublime drama, or of the myste- 
rious being who is its moving spirit? In him, his character 
and his situation, there is a concentration of all the interests 
that belong to humanity. There is scarcely a trait of frailty 
or of grandeur, which may have endeared to us our most be- 
loved friends in real life, that is not to be found in Hamkt. 
Undoubtedly Shakespeare loved him beyond all his othef 


creations. Soon as he appears on the stage we are satis- 
fied ; when absent we long for his return. This is the only 
play which exists almost altogether in the character of one 
single person. Who ever knew a Hamlet in real life? yet 
who, ideal as the character is, feels not its reality ? This is 
the wonder. We love him not, we think of him not, because he 
was witty, because he was melancholy, because he was filial ; 
but we love him because he existed, and was himself. This 
is the sum total of the impression. I believe that, of every 
other character, either in tragic or epic poetry, the story 
makes part of the conception ; but of Hamlet, the deep and 
permanent interest is the conception of himself. This seems 
to belong, not to the character being more perfectly drawn, 
but to there being 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 ac- 
tion, deeper than we can search. These springs rise from 
an unknown depth, and in that depth there seems to be a 
oneness of being which we cannot distinctly behold, but 
which we believe to be there: and thus irreconcilable cir- 
cumstances, floating on the surface of his actions, have not 
the effect of making us doubt the truth of the general 

[From Mrs. Jameson's " Characteristics of Women? *] 
Ophelia poor Ophelia ! Oh, far too soft, too good, too 
fair to be cast among the briers of this working-day world, 
and fall and bleed upon the thorns of life ! What shall be 
said of her? for eloquence is mute before her ! Like a strain 
of sad, sweet music which comes floating by us on the wings 
of night and silence, and which we rather feel than hear 
like the exhalation of the violet dying even upon the sense 
it charms like the snow-flake dissolved in air before it has 
caught a stain of earth like the light surf severed from the 
American ed. (Boston, 1857), p. 189 foL 


billow, which a breath disperses such is the cnaracter oi 
Ophelia : so exquisitely delicate, it seems as if a touch would 
profane it; so sanctified in our thoughts by the last and 
worst of human woes, that we scarcely dare to consider it too 
deeply. The love of Ophelia, which she never once con- 
fesses, is like a secret which we have stolen from her, and 
which ought to die upon our hearts as upon her own. Her 
sorrows ask not words, but tears ; and her madness has pre- 
cisely the same effect that would be produced by the spec- 
tacle of real insanity, if brought before us : we feel inclined 
to turn away, and veil our eyes in reverential pity and toe 
painful sympathy. 

Beyond every character that Shakespeare has drawn (Ham- 
let alone excepted), that of Ophelia makes us forget the poet 
in his own creation. Whenever we bring her to mind, it is 
with the same exclusive sense of her real existence, without 
reference to the wondrous power which called her into life. 
The effect (and what an effect!) is produced by means sc 
simple, by strokes so few and so unobtrusive, that we take 
no thought of them. It is so purely natural and unsophisti- 
cated, yet so profound in its pathos, that, as Hazlitt observes, 
it takes us back to the old ballads ; we forget that, in its per- 
fect artlessness, it is the supreme and consummate triumph 
of art. 

The situation of Ophelia in the story is that of a young 
girl who, at an early age, is brought from a life of privacy 
into the circle of a court a court such as we read of in those 
early times, at once rude, magnificent, and corrupted. She 
is placed immediately about the person of the queen, and 
is apparently her favourite attendant. The affection of the 
wicked queen for this gentle and innocent creature is one 
of those beautiful redeeming touches, one of those penetrat- 
ing glances into the secret springs of natural and feminine 
feeling which we find only in Shakespeare. Gertrude, who 
is not so wholly abandoned but that there remains within 


her heart some sense of the virtue she has forfeited, seems 
to look with a kind yet melancholy complacency on the lovely 
being she has destined for the bride of her son; and the 
scene in which she is introduced as scattering flowers on the 
grave of Ophelia is one of those effects of contrast in poetry, 
in character, and in feeling, at once natural and unexpected ; 
which fill the eye, and make the heart swell and tremble 
within itself like the nightingales singing in the grove of 
the Furies in Sophocles.* 

It is the helplessness of Ophelia, arising merely from her 
innocence, and pictured without any indication of weakness, 
which melts us with such profound pity. She is so young, 
that neither her mind nor her person has attained maturity ; 
she is not aware of the nature of her own feelings ; they are 
prematurely developed in their full force before she has 
strength to bear them; and Jove__snd grief together rend 
and shatter the frail texture of her existence, like the burn- 
ing fluid poured into a crystal vase. She says very little, 
and what she does say seems rather intended to hide than 
to reveal the emotions of her heart ; yet in those few words 
we are made as perfectly acquainted with her character, and 
with what is passing in her mind, as if she had thrown forth 
her soul with all the glowing eloquence of Juliet. Passion 
with Juliet seems innate, a part of her being, " as dwells the 
gathered lightning in the cloud;" and we never fancy her 
but with the dark, splendid eyes and Titian-like complexion 
of the South. While in Ophelia we recognize as distinctly 
the pensive, fair-haired, blue-eyed daughter of the North, 
whose heart seems to vibrate to the passion she has inspired, 
more conscious of being loved than of loving ; and yet, alas ! 
loving in the silent depths of her young heart far more than 
she is loved. 

When her brother warns her against Hamlet's impor- 

In the CEdipus Coloneus. 


* For Hamlet and the trifling of his favour, 
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 ! " 

she replies with a kind of half consciousness 

"No more but so? 
Laertes. Think it no more." 

He concludes his admonition with that most beautiful 
passage, in which the soundest sense, the most excellent 
advice, is convejed in a strain of the most exquisite poetry : 

"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, 
Too oft before their buttons be disclos'd; 
And in the morn and liquid dew of youth 
Contagious blastments are most imminent." 

When her father, immediately afterwards, catechises her 
on the same subject, he extorts from her, in short sentences, 
uttered with bashful reluctance, the confession of Hamlet's 
love for her, but not a word of her love for him. The whole 
scene is managed with inexpressible delicacy : it is one of 
those instances, common in Shakespeare, in which we are 
allowed to perceive what is passing in the mind of a person 
without any consciousness on his part. Only Ophelia her- 
self is unaware that while she is admitting the extent of 
Hamlet's courtship, she is also betraying how deep is the 
impression it has made, how entire the love with which it is 
returned. . . . 

We do not see him as a lover, nor as Ophelia first beheld 
him ; for the days when he importuned her with love were 
before the opening of the drama before his father's spirit 


revisited the earth ; but we behold him at once in a sea of 
troubles, of perplexities, of agonies, of terrors. Without re- 
morse, he endures all its horrors ; without guilt, he endures 
all its shame. A loathing of the crime he is called on to 
revenge, which revenge is again abhorrent to his nature, has 
set him at strife with himself; the supernatural visitation 
has perturbed his soul to its inmost depths; all things else, 
all interests, all hopes, all affections, appear as futile, when 
the majestic shadow comes lamenting from its place of tor- 
ment " to shake him with thoughts beyond the reaches of his 
soul ! " His love for Ophelia is then ranked by himself 
among those trivial, fond records which he has deeply sworn 
to erase from his heart and brain. He has no thought to 
link his terrible destiny with hers : he cannot marry her : 
he cannot reveal to her, young, gentle, innocent as she is, the 
terrific influences which have changed the whole current of 
his life and purposes. In his distraction he overacts the 
painful part to which he had tasked himself; he is like that 
judge of the Areopagus who, being occupied with graver 
matters, flung from him the little bird which had sought 
refuge in his bosom, and with such angry violence that un- 
wittingly he killed it. 

In the scene with Hamlet (iii. i), in which he madly out- 
rages her and upbraids himself, Ophelia says very little : 
there are two short sentences in which she replies to his 
wild, abrupt discourse : 

" Hamlet. I did love you once. 

" Ophelia. Indeed, my lord, you made me believe so. 
"Hamlet. You should not have believed me; for virtue cannot ao 
inoculate our old stock, but we shall relish of it. I loved you not. 
" Ophelia. I was the more deceiv'd." 

Those who ever heard Mrs. Siddons read the play of Ham- 
let cannot forget the world of meaning, of love, of sorrow, of 
despair conveyed in these two simple phrases. Here, and 
in the soliloquy afterwards, where she says 

2 g HAMLET. 

* And I of ladies most deject and wretched. 
That suck'd the honey of his music vows," 

are the only allusions to herself and her own feelings in the 
course of the play ; and these, uttered almost without con- 
sciousness on her own part, contain the revelation of a life 
of love,, and disclose the secret burden of a heart bursting 
with its own unuttered grief. She believes Hamlet crazed ; 
she is repulsed, she is forsaken, she is outraged, where she 
had bestowed her young heart, with all its hopes and wishes ; 
her father is slain .by the hand of .hex lover, as it is supposed, 
in a paroxysm of insanity : she is entangled inextricably in 
a web of horrors which she cannot even comprehend, and 
the result seems inevitable. 

Of her subsequent madness, what can be said ? What an 
affecting what an astonishing picture of a mind utterly, 
hopelessly wrecked ! past hope past cure ! There is the 
frenzy of excited passion there is the madness caused by 
intense and continued thought there is the delirium of fe- 
vered nerves ; but Ophelia's madness is distinct from these : 
it is not the suspension, but the utter destruction of the rea- 
soning powers ; it is the total imbecility which, as medi- 
cal people well know, frequently follows some terrible shock 
to the spirits. Constance is frantic ; Lear is mad ; Ophelia 
is insane. Her sweet mind lies in fragments before us a 
pitiful spectacle ! Her wild, rambling fancies ; her aimless, 
broken speeches; her quick transitions from gayety to sad- 
nesseach equally purposeless and causeless ; her snatches 
of old ballads, such as perhaps her nurse sung her to sleep 
with in her infancy are all so true to the life that we forget 
to wonder, and can only weep. It belonged to Shakespeare 
alone so to tempei such a picture that we can endure tp 
dwell upon it : 

"Thought and affliction, passion, hell itself, 
She turns to favour and to prettiness." 


[From the London "Quarterly Review?] 

The universality of Shakespeare's genius is in some sort 
reflected in Hamlet. He has a mind wise and witty, ab- 
stract and practical ; the utmost reach of philosophical con- 
templation is mingled with the most penetrating sagacity in 
the affairs of life ; playful jest, biting satire, sparkling repar- 
tee, with the darkest and deepest thoughts that can agitate 
man. He exercises ail his various faculties with surprising 
readiness. He passes without an effort " from grave to gay, 
from lively to severe," from his every-day character to per- 
sonated lunacy. He divines, with the rapidity of lightning, 
the nature and motives of those who are brought into contact 
with him, fits in a moment his bearing and retorts to their 
individual peculiarities; is equally at home whether he is 
mocking Polonius with hidden raillery, or dissipating Ophe- 
lia's dream of love, or crushing the sponges with sarcasm 
and invective, or talking euphuism with Osric, and satirizing 
while he talks it ; whether he is uttering wise maxims, or 
welcoming the players with facetious graciousness probing 
the inmost souls of others, or sounding the mysteries of his 
own. His philosophy stands out conspicuous among the 
brilliant faculties which contend for the mastery. It is the 
quality which gives weight and dignity to the rest. It inter- 
mingles with all his actions. He traces the most trifling in-' 
cidents up to their general laws. His natural disposition is 
to lose himself in contemplation. He goes thinking out of 
the world. The commonest ideas that pass through his mind 
are invested with a wonderful freshness and originality. His 
meditations in the church -yard are on the trite notion that 
all ambition leads but to the grave. But what condensation, 
what variety, what picturesqueness, what intense unmitigated 
gloom ! It is the finest sermon that was ever preached 
against the vanities of life. 

Vol. Ixxix. (1847). p. 333 W. 


So far, we imagine, all are agreed. But the motives which 
induce Hamlet to defer his revenge are still, and perhaps 
will ever remain, debatable ground. The favourite doctrine 
of late is, that the thinking part of Hamlet predominated 
over the active that he was as weak and vacillating in per- 
formance as he was great in speculation. If this theory were 
borne out by his general conduct, it would no doubt amply 
account for his procrastination ; but there is nothing to coun- 
tenance and much to refute the idea. Shakespeare has en- 
dowed him with a vast energy of will. There could be no 
sterner resolve than to abandon every purpose of existence 
that he might devote himself unfettered to his revenge ; nor 
was ever resolution better observed. He breaks through 
his passion for Ophelia, and keeps it down, under the most 
trying circumstances, with such inflexible firmness that an 
eloquent critic has seriously questioned whether his attach- 
ment was real. The determination of his character appears 
again at the death of Polonius. An indecisive mind would 
have been shocked, if not terrified, at the deed. Hamlet dis- 
misses him with a few contemptuous words as a man would 
brush away a fly. He talks with even greater indifference of 
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, whom he sends " to sudden 
death, not shriving-time allowed." He has on these, and, in- 
deed, on all occasions, a short and absolute way which only 
belongs to resolute souls. The features developed in his very 
hesitation to kill the King are inconsistent with the notion' 
that his hand refuses to perform what his head contrives. 
He is always trying to persuade himself into a conviction 
that it is his duty, instead of seeking for evasions.* He is 

* His reasons for not killing the King when he is praying have been 
held to be an excuse. But if Shakespeare had anticipated the criticism, 
he could not have guarded against it more effectually. Hamlet has jus', 
ottered the soliloquy 

" Now could I drink hot blood. 
And do such bitter business as the day 
Would quake to look on." 


seized with a savage joy when the play supplies him with 
indubitable proof of his uncle's guilt. His language then 
to Horatio is 

" Is 't not perfect conscience 
To quit him with this arm?" 

*He wants, it is clear, neither will nor nerve to strike the 
blow. There is perhaps one supposition that will satisfy all 
the phenomena, and it has, to us, the recommendation that 
we think it is the solution suggested by Shakespeare him- 
self. Hamlet, in a soliloquy, charges the delay on 

" Bestial obliv'on, or some craven scruple 
Of thinking too precisely on th' event." 

The oblivion is merely the effect of the primary cause " the 
craven scruple " the conscience which renders him a cow- 
ard. His uncle, after all, is king ; he is the brother of his 
father, and the husband of his mother, and it was inevitable 
that he should shrink, in his cooler moments, from becoming 
his assassin. His hatred to his uncle, who has disgraced his 
family and disappointed his ambition, gives him personal in- 
ducements to revenge, which further blunt his purpose by 
leading him to doubt the purity of his motives. The admo- 
nition of the Ghost to him is, not to taint his mind in the 
prosecution of his end ; and no sooner has the Ghost van- 
ished than Hamlet, invoking the aid of supernatural powers, 

" O all you host of heaven ! O earth I What else? 
And shall I couple hell ? O fie ! " 

In this frame he passes his uncle's closet, and is for once, at least, equal 
to any emergency. His first thought is to kill him at his devotions; his 
second, that in that case Claudius will go to heaven. Instantly his 
father's sufferings rise into his mind; he contrasts the happy future of the 
criminal with the purgatory of the victim, and the contemplation exas- 
perates him into a genuine desire for a fuller revenge. The threat re- 
lieves him from the reproach of inactivity, and he falls back into his 
former self. 


But the hell, whose support he rejects, is forever returning 
to his mind and startling his conscience. It is this that 
makes him wish for the confirmation of the play, for evil 
spirits may have abused him. It is this which begets the 
apathy he terms oblivion, for inaction affords relief to doubt. 
It is this which produces his inconsistencies, for conscience 
calls him different ways, and when he obeys in one direction 
he is haunted by the feeling that he should have gone in the 
other. If he contemplated the performance of a deed which 
looks outwardly more like murder than judicial retribution, 
he trembles lest, after all, he should be perpetrating an un- 
natural crime ; or if, on the other hand, he turns to view his 
uncle's misdeeds, he fancies there is more of cowardly scru- 
pulosity than justice in his backwardness, and he abounds 
in self-reproaches at the weakness of his hesitation. And 
thus he might forever have halted between two opinions, if 
the King himself, by filling up the measure of his iniquities, 
had not swept away his scruples. 

[From Dowdeits u Shakspere. n *] 

When Hamlet was written, Shakspere had passed through 
his years of apprenticeship, and become a master-dramatist. 
In point of style the play stands midway between his early 
and his latest works. The studious superintendence of the 
poet over the development of his thought and imaginings, 
very apparent in Shakspere's early writings, now conceals 
itself; but the action of imagination and thought has not 
yet become embarrassing in its swiftness and multiplicity 
of direction.f Rapid dialogue in verse, admirable for its 

Shakspere : a Critical Study of his Mind and Art, by Edward Dow- 
den (2d ed. London, 1876), p. 125 fol. (by permission). 

fThe characteristics of Shakspere's latest style are described by Mr. 
Spedding in the following masterly piece of criticism : " The opening 
of [ffenry VIII.'} . . . seemed to have the full stamp of Shakspere, in 
his latest manner : the same life, and reality, and freshness; the same 


combination of verisimilitude with artistic metrical effects, 
occurs in the scene in which Hamlet questions his friends 
respecting the appearance of the ghost (i. 2) ; the soliloquies 
of Hamlet are excellent examples of the slow, dwelling verse 
which Shakspere appropriates to the utterance of thought in 
solitude; and nowhere did Shakspere write a nobler piece 
of prose than the speech in which Hamlet describes to Ro- 
sencrantz and Guildenstern his melancholy. But such par- 
ticulars as these do not constitute the chief evidence which 
proves that the poet had now attained maturity. The mys- 
tery, the baffling, vital obscurity of the play, and in particular 
of the character of its chief person, make it evident that 
Shakspere had left far behind him that early stage of devel- 
opment when an artist obtrudes his intentions, or, distrusting 
his own ability to keep sight of one uniform design, deliber- 
ately and with effort holds that design persistently before 
him. When Shakspere completed Hamlet, he must have 
trusted himself and trusted his audience ; he trusts himself 
to enter into relation with his subject, highly complex as that 
subject was, in a pure, emotional manner. Hamlet might so 
easily have been manufactured into an enigma, or a puzzle ; 
and then the puzzle, if sufficient pains were bestowed, could 
be completely taken to pieces and explained. But Shak- 
spere created it a mystery, and therefore it is forever sug- 
gestive ; forever suggestive, and never wholly explicable. 

It must not be supposed, then, that any idea, any magic 
phrase, will solve the difficulties presented by the play, or 

rapid and abrupt turns of thought, so quick that language can hardly 
follow fast enough; the same impatient activity of intellect and fancy, 
which, having once disclosed an idea, cannot wait to work it orderly 
out; the same daring confidence in the resources of language, which 
plunges headlong into a sentence without knowing how it is to come 
forth; the same careless metre, which disdains to produce its harmoni- 
ous effects by the ordinary devices, yet is evidently subject to a maste* 
of harmony; the same entire freedom from book-language and common- 




suddenly illuminate everything in it which is obscure. The 
obscurity itself is a vital part of the work of art which deals 
not with a problem but with a life ; and in that life, the his- 
tory of a soul which moved through shadowy borderlands 
between the night and day, there is much (as in many a life 
that is real) to elude and baffle inquiry. It is a remarkable 
circumstance that while the length of the play in the second 
quarto considerably exceeds its length in the earlier form 
of 1603, and thus materials for the interpretation of Shak- 
spere's purpose in the play are offered in greater abundance, 
the obscurity does not diminish, but, on the contrary, deep- 
ens, and if some questions appear to be solved, other ques- 
tions in greater number spring into existence. . . . 

Goethe, in the celebrated criticism upon this play in his 
Wilhelm Meister, has only offered a half interpretation of its 
difficulties; and subsequent criticism, under the influence 
of Goethe, has exhibited a tendency too exclusively subjec- 
tive. " To me," wrote Goethe, " it is clear that Shakspere 
meant ... to represent the effects of a great action laid upon 
a soul unfit for the performance of it," etc. [see p. 15 above]. 

This is one half of the truth j but only one half. In sev- 
eral of the tragedies of Shakspere the tragic disturbance of 
character and life is caused by the subjection of the chief 
person of the drama to some dominant passion essentially 
antipathetic to his nature, though proceeding from some in- 
herent weakness or imperfection, a passion from which the 
victim cannot deliver himself, and which finally works out 
his destruction. Thus Othello, whose nature is instinctively 
trustful, and confiding with a noble childlike trust, a man 

" Of a free and open nature 
That thinks men honest that but seem so," 

a man " not easily jealous "Othello is inoculated with th* 
poison of jealousy and suspicion, and the poison maddens 
and destroys him. Macbeth, made for subordination, is the 


victim of a terrible and unnatural ambition. Lear, ignorant 
of true love, yet with a supreme need of loving and being 
loved, is compelled to hatred, and drives from his presence 
the one being who could have satisfied the hunger of his 
heart. . . . We may reasonably conjecture that the Hamlet 
of the old play a play at least as old as that group of bloody 
tragedies inspired by the earlier works of Marlowe was 
actually what Shakspere's Hamlet, with a bitter pleasure in 
misrepresenting his own nature, describes himself as being 
" very proud, revengeful, ambitious." . . . But Shakspere, in 
accordance with his dramatic method, and his interest as 
artist in complex rather than simple phenomena of human 
passion and experience, when re-creating the character of 
the Danish Prince, fashions him as a man to whom persist- 
ent action, and in an especial degree the duty of deliberate 
revenge, is peculiarly antipathetic. Under the pitiless bur- 
den imposed upon him Hamlet trembles, totters, falls. Thus 
far Goethe is right. 

But the tragic nodus in Shakspere's first tragedy Romeo 
and Juliet was not wholly of a subjective character. The 
two lovers are in harmony with one another, and with the 
purest and highest impulses of their own hearts. The dis- 
cord comes from the outer world; they are a pair of "star- 
crossed lovers." . . . The world fought against Romeo and 
Juliet, and they fell in the unequal strife. Now Goethe 
failed to observe, or did not observe sufficiently, that this is'' 
also the case with Hamlet ; 

"The time is out of joint; O cursed spite* 
1 hat ever I was born to set it right I " 

Hamlet is called upon to assert moral order in a world of 
moral confusion and obscurity. ... All the strength which 
he possesses would have become organized and available 
had his world been one of honesty, of happiness, of human 
love. But a world of deceit, of espionage, of selfishness, sur- 


rounds him ; his idealism, at thirty years of age, almost takes 
the form of pessimism ; his life and his heart become sterile ; 
he loses the energy which sound and joyous feeling supplies ; 
and in the wide-spreading waste of corruption which lies 
around him, he is tempted to understand and detest things 
rather than accomplish some limited practical service. . . . 

If Goethe's study of the play, admirable as it was, misled 
criticism in one way by directing attention too exclusively 
upon the inner nature of Hamlet, the studies by Schlegel and 
by Coleridge tended to mislead criticism in another by at- 
taching an exaggerated importance to one element of Ham- 
let's character. "The whole," wrote Schlegel, "is intended 
to show that a calculating consideration, which exhausts all 
the relations and possible consequences of a deed, must crip- 
ple the power of acting." It is true that Hamlet's power of 
acting was crippled by his habit of " thinking too precisely 
on the event \ " and it is true, as Coleridge said, that in Ham- 
let we see " a great, an almost enormous intellectual activ- 
ity, and a proportionate aversion to real action consequent 
upon it." But Hamlet is not merely or chiefly intellectual ; 
the emotional side of his character is quite as important as 
the intellectual; his malady is as deep-seated in his sensi- 
bilities and in his heart as it is in the brain. If all his feel- 
ings translate themselves into thoughts, it is no less true that 
all his thoughts are impregnated with feeling. To represent 
Hamlet as a man of preponderating power of reflection, and 
to disregard his craving, sensitive heart, is to make the whole 
play incoherent and unintelligible. 

It is Hamlet's intellect, however, together with his deep 
and abiding sense of the moral qualities of things, which dis- 
tinguishes him, upon the glance of a moment, from the hero 
of Shakspere's first tragedy, Romeo. If Romeo fail to re- 
tain a sense of fact and of the real world because the fact, 
as it were, melts away and disappears in a solvent of deli- 
cious emotion, Hamlet equally loses a sense of fact because 


with him each object and event transforms and expands 
itself into an idea. When the play opens he has reached the 
age of thirty years the age, it has been said, when the 
ideality of youth ought to become one with and inform the 
practical tendencies of manhood and he has received cul- 
ture of every kind except the culture of active life. During 
the reign of the strong-willed elder Hamlet there was no call 
to action for his meditative son. He has slipped on into 
years of full manhood still a haunter of the university, a stu- 
dent of philosophies, an amateur in art, a ponderer on the 
things of life and death, who has never formed a resolution 
or executed a deed. 

This long course of thinking, apart from action, has de- 
stroyed Hamlet's very capacity for belief; since in belief 
there exists a certain element contributed by the will. Ham- 
let cannot adjust the infinite part of him to the finite ; the 
one invades the other and infects it ; or rather the finite dis- 
limns and dissolves, and leaves him only the presence of the 
idea. He cannot make real to himself the actual world, even 
while he supposes himself a materialist; he cannot steadily 
keep alive within himself a sense of the importance of any 
positive, limited thing, a deed, for example. Things in their 
actual, phenomenal aspect flit before him as transitory, acci- 
dental, and unreal. And the absolute truth of things is so 
hard to attain, and only, if at all, is to be attained in the 
mind. Accordingly Hamlet can lay hold of nothing with 
calm, resolved energy; he cannot even retain a thought in 
indefeasible possession. Thus all through the play he wavers 
between materialism and spiritualism, between belief in im- 
mortality and disbelief, between reliance upon Providence 
and a bowing under fate. . . . 

Yet it has been truly said that only one who feels Ham- 
let's strength should venture to speak of Hamlet's weakness. 
That in spite of difficulties without, and inward difficulties, 
he still clings to his terrible d'Jiy letting it go indeed for 9 

3 g HAMLET. 

time, but returning to it again, and in the end accomplishing 
it implies strength. He is not incapable of vigorous ac- 
tion, if only he be allowed no chance of thinking the fact 
away into an idea. He is the first to board the pirate ; he 
stabs Polonius through the arras; he suddenly alters the 
sealed commission, and sends his schoolfellows to the Eng- 
lish headsman; he finally executes justice upon the king. 
But all his action is sudden and fragmentary ; it is not con- 
tinuous and coherent. . . . 

Does Hamlet finally attain deliverance from his disease 
of will? Shakspere has left the answer to that question 
doubtful. Probably if anything could supply the link which 
was wanting between the purpose and the deed, it was the 
achievement of some supreme action. The last moments of 
Hamlet's life are well spent, and for energy and foresight are 
the noblest moments of his existence ; he snatches the poi- 
soned bowl from Horatio, and saves his friend ; he gives his 
dying voice for Fortinbras, and saves his country. The rest 
is silence : 

Had I but time as this fell sergeant, death, 
Is strict in his arrest O, I could tell you ! " 

But he has not told. Let us not too readily assume that we 
" know the stops " of Hamlet, that we can " pluck out the 
heart of his mystery." 

One thing, however, we do know that the man who wrote 
the play of Hamlet had obtained a thorough comprehension 
of Hamlet's malady. And assured, as we are by abundant 
evidence, that Shakspere transformed with energetic will his 
knowledge into fact, we may be confident that when Hamlet 
was written Shakspere had gained a further stage in his cul- 
ture of self-control, and that he had become not only adult 
as an author, but had entered upon the full maturity of his 




SCENE I. Elsinorc. A Platform before the Castle. 
FRANCISCO at his post. Enter to him BERNARDO. 

Bernardo. Who's there? 

Francisco. Nay, answer me ; stand, and unfold yourself. 

Bernardo. Long live the king 1 

Francisco. Bernardo? 


Bernardo. He. 

Francisco. You come most carefully upon your hour. 

Bernardo. 'T is now struck twelve ; get thee to bed, Fran- 

Francisco. For this relief much thanks ; 't is bitter cold, 
And I am sick at heart. 

Bernardo. Have you had quiet guard? 

Francisco. Not a mouse stirring. > 

Bernardo. Well, good night. 
If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus, 
The rivals of my watch, bid them make haste. 

Francisco. I think I hear them. Stand, ho ! Who is there? 


Horatio. Friends to this ground. 

Marcellus. And liegemen to the Dane. 

Francisco. Give you good night. 

Marcellus. O, farewell, honest soldier : 

Who hath reliev'd you? 

Francisco. Bernardo has my place. 

Give you good night. [Exit. 

Marcellus. Holla ! Bernardo ! 

Bernardo. Say, 

What, is Horatio there? 

Horatio. A piece of him. 19 

Bernardo. Welcome, Horatio ; welcome, good Marcellus. 

Marcellus. What, has this thing appear'd again to-night? 

Bernardo. I have seen nothing. 

Marcellus. Horatio says 't is 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 and speak to it 

ACT 1. SCENE I. 43 

Horatio. Tush, tush, 't will not appear. 

Bernardo. Sit down awhile ; 30 

And let us once again assail your ears, 
That are so fortified against our story, 
What we two nights have seen. 

Horatio. Well, sit we down, 

And let us hear Bernardo speak of this. 

Bernardo. Last night of all, 

When yond same star that 's westward from the pole 
Had made his course to illume that part of heaven 
Where now it burns, Marcellus and myself, 
The bell then beating one, 

Enter GHOST. 

Marcellus. Peace, break thee off; look, where it comes 
again ! 40 

Bernardo. In the same figure, like the king that 's dead. 

Marcellus. Thou art a scholar ; speak to it, Horatio. 

Bernardo. Looks it not like the king? mark it, Horatio. 

Horatio. Most like ; it harrows me with fear and wonder. 

Bernardo. It would be spoke to. 

Marcellus. Question it, Horatio. 

Horatio What art thou that usurp'st this time of night, 
Together with that fair and warlike form 
In which the majesty of buried Denmark 
Did sometimes march ? by heaven I charge thee, speak ! 

Marcellus. It is offended. 

Bernardo. See, it stalks away ! 50 

Horatio. Stay ! speak, speak ! I charge thee, speak ! 

[Exit Ghost. 

Marcellus. 'T is gone, and will not answer. 

Bernardo. How now, Horatio ! you tremble and look pale ; 
Is not this something more than fantasy? 
What think you on 't? 

Horatio. Before my God, I might not this believe 



Without the sensible and true avouch 
Of mine own eyes. 

Marcellus. Is it not like the king? 

Horatio. As thou art to thyself: 

Such was the very armour he had on 

When he the ambitious Norway combated ; 
So frown'd he once, when, in an angry parle, 
He smote the sledded Polacks on the ice. 
T is strange. 

Marcellus. Thus twice before, and jump at this dead hour, 
With martial stalk hath he gone by our watch. 

Horatio. 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. 

Marcellus. Good now, sit down, and tell me, he that knows, 
Why this same strict and most observant watch 71 

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 task 
Does not divide the Sunday from theweek; 
What might be toward, that this sweaty haste 
Doth make the night joint-labourer with the day : 
Who is 't that can inform me ? 

Horatio. 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 Hamlet 

For so this side of our known world esteem'd him 

Did slay this Fortinbras ; who, by a seal'd compact, 
Well ratified by law and heraldry, 
Did forfeit, with his life, all those his lands 
Which he stood seiz'd of, to the conqueror : 


Against tne 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 covenant 

And carriage of the article design'd, 

His fell to Hamlet. Now, sir, young Fortinbras, 

Of unimproved mettle hot and full, 

Hath in the skirts of Norway here and there 

Shark'd up a list of lawless resolutes, 

For food and diet, to some enterprise 

That hath a stomach in 't ; which is no other < 

As it doth well appear unto our state 

But to recover of us, by strong hand 

And 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 rornage in the land. 

Bernardo. I think it be no other but e'en so. 
Well may it sort that this portentous figure 
Comes armed through our watch, so like the king no 

That was and is the question of these wars. 

Horatio. A mote it is to trouble the mind's eye. 
In the most high and palmy state of Rome, 
A little ere the mightiest Julius fell, 
The graves stood tenantless, and the sheeted dead 
Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets : 
As stars with trains of fire and dews of blood, 
Disasters in the sun j and the moist star 
Upon whose influence Neptune's empire stands 
Was sick almost to doomsday with eclipse : *> 

And even the like precurse of fierce events, 
As harbingers preceding still the fates 
And prologue to the omen coming on, 
Have heaven and earth together demonstrated 


Unto our climatures and countrymen. 
But soft, behold ! lo, where it comes again ! 

Re-enter GHOST. 

I '11 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, 130 

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, 

O, 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, 

[The cock crows. 

Speak of it ; stay, and speak ! Stop it, Marcellus. 
Marcellus. Shall I strike at it with my partisan? 140 
Horatio. Do, if it will not stand. 
Bernardo. T is here ! 

Horatio. 'T is here ! 

Marcellus. '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. 

Bernardo. It was about to speak, when the cock crew. 
Horatio. And then it started like a guilty thing 
Upon a fearful summons. I have heard, 
The cock, that is the trumpet to the morn, 15 

Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding throat 
Awake the god of day ; and at his warning, 
Whether in sea cr 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^ellus. 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; i& 

And then, they say, no spirit can walk abroad, 
The night? are wholesome, then no planets strike, 
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm, 
So hallow'd and so gracious is the time. 

Horatio. So have I heard and do in part believe it. 
But, look, the morn, in russet mantle clad, 
Walks o'er the dew of yon high eastern hill. 
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, i?o 

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? 

Marcellus. Let 's do 't, I pray ; and I this morning know 
Where we shall find him most conveniently. [Exeunt. 

SCENE II. A Room of State in the Castle. 


TIMAND, CORNELIUS, Lords, and Attendants. 

King. Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother's death 
The memory be green, and that it us befitted 
To bear our hearts in grief, and our whole kingdom 
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, 

4 g HAMLET. 

Have we, as 't were with a defeated joy, 10 

With one auspicious and one dropping eye, 

With mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage, 

In equal scale weighing delight and dole, 

Taken to wife ; nor have we 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, 

Holding a weak supposal of our worth, 

Or thinking by our late dear brother's death 

Our state to be disjoint and out of frame, 20 

Colleagued 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 30 

His further gait herein ; in that the levies, 

The lists, and full proportions, are all made 

Out of his subjects ; and we here dispatch 

You, good Cornelius, and you, Voltimand, 

For bearers 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. 

Farewell, and let your haste commend your duty. 39 

Voltim nd \ ^" n tnat anc ^ a ^ tmn S s w iM we show our duty. 
King. We doubt it nothing ; heartily 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 wouldst thou beg, Laertes, 

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 wouldst thou have, Laertes? 

Laertes. Dread my lord, 50 

Your leave and favour to return to France ; 
From whence though willingly I came to Denmark, 
To show my duty in your coronation, 
Yet now, I must confess, that duty done, 
My thoughts and wishes bend again toward France 
And bow them to your gracious leave and pardon. 

King. Have you your father's leave ? What says Polo- 

Polonius. He hath, my lord, wrung from me my slow leave 
By laboursome petition, and at last 

Upon his will I seal'd my hard consent ; 60 

I do beseech you, give him leave to go. 

King. Take thy fair hour, Laertes ; time be thine, 
And thy best graces spend it at thy will ! 
But now, my cousin Hamlet, and my son, 

Hamlet. [Aside] A little more than kin, and less than 

King. How is it that the clouds still hang on you ? 

Hamlet. Not so, my lord ; I am too much i' the sun. 

Queen. Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted colour off, 
And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark. 
Do not for ever with thy vailed lids 70 

Seek for thy noble father in the dust. 
Thou know'st 't is common ; all that lives must die, 
Passing through nature to eternity. 

Hamlet. Ay, madam, it is common. 


Queen. If it be. 

Why seems it so particular with thee? 

Hamlet. Seems, madam ! nay, it is ; I know not ' seems. 
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, 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. 

King. S T is sweet and commendable in your nature, Ham 


To give these mourning duties to your father : 
But, you must know, your father lost a father j 
That father lost, lost his ; and the survivor bound * 

In filial obligation for some term 
To do obsequious 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 in our peevish opposition x 

Take it to heart? Fie ! '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 unprevailing 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 no 

Than that which dearest father bears his son 

Do I impart toward 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. 

Hamlet. I shall in all my best obey you, madam. 120 

King. Why, 't is a loving and a fair reply ; 
Be as ourself in Denmark. Madam, come; 
This gentle and unforc'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 heavens shall bruit again, 
Respeaking earthly thunder. Come away. 

[Exeunt all but Hamlet. 

Hamlet. O that this too, too solid flesh would melt, 
Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew ! 130 

Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd 
His canon 'gainst self -slaughter ! O God ! God ! 
How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable 
Seem to me all the uses of this world ! 
Fie on 't ! O fie ! 't is an unweeded garden, 
That grows to seed ; things rank and gross in nature 
Possess it merely. That it should come to this ! 
But two months dead ! nay, not so much, not two : 
So excellent a king ; that was, to this, 
Hyperion to a satyr ; so loving to my mother 140 

That he might not beteem the winds of heaven 

( 2 HAMLET. 

Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth ! 

Must I remember? why, she would hang on him, 

As if increase of appetite had grown 

By what it fed on ; and yet, within a month 

1 et 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 

O God ! a beast, that wants discourse of reason, 150 

Would have mourn'd longer married with my uncle, 

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 in her galled eyes, 

She married. O 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. 


Horatio. Hail to your lordship ! 

Hamlet. I am glad to see you well : 

Horatio, or I do forget myself. 161 

Horatio. The same, my lord, and your poor servant ever. 

Hamlet. Sir, my good friend ; I '11 change that name with 

you : 

And what make you from Wittenberg, Horatio? 
Marcellus ? 

Mareellus. My good lord 

Hamlet. I am very glad to see you. [7^ Bernardo.] 

Good even, sir. 
But what, in faith, make you from Wittenberg? 

Horatio. A truant disposition, good my lord. 

Hamlet. I would not hear your enemy say so, xw 

Nor shall you do mine ear that violence, 

ACT 7. SCENE 77. 53 

To make it truster of your own report 
Against yourself; I know you are no truant. 
But what is your affair in Elsinore? 
We '11 teach you to drink deep ere you depart. 

Horatio. My lord, I came to see your father's funeral. 

Hamlet. I pray thee, do not mock me, fellow-student ; 
I think it was to see my mother's wedding. 

Horatio. Indeed, my lord, it follow'd hard upon. 

Hamlet. Thrift, thrift, Horatio ! the funeral bak'd meats 
Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables. 181 

Would I had met my dearest foe in heaven 
Or ever I had seen that day, Horatio ! 
My father ! methinks I see my father. 

Horatio. O where, my lord? 

Hamlet. In my mind's eye, Horatio. 

Horatio. I saw him once ; he was a goodly king. 

Hamlet. He was a man, take him for all in all, 
I shall not look upon his like again. 

Horatio. My lord, I think I saw him yesternight. 

Hamlet. Saw? who? too 

Horatio. My lord, the king your father. 

Hamlet. The king my father ! 

Horatio. Season your admiration for a while 
With an attent ear, till I may deliver, 
Upon the witness of these gentlemen, 
This marvel to you. 

Hamlet. For God's love, let me hear. 

Horatio. Two nights together had these gentlemen, 
Marcellus and Bernardo, on their watch, 
In the dead vast and middle of the night, 
Been thus encounter'd. A figure like your father, 
Armed at point 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-surprised eyes, 


Within his truncheon's length ; whilst they, distill'd 

Almost to jelly with the act of fear, 

Stand dumb, and speak not to him. This to me 

In dreadful secrecy 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 good, sic 

The apparition comes. I knew your father ; 

These hands are not more like. 

Hamkt. But where was this? 

Marcellus. My lord, upon the platform where we watch'd. 

Hamlet. Did you not speak to it ? 

Horatio. My lord, I did ; 

But answer made it none : yet once methought 
It lifted up its head and did address 
Itself to motion, like as it would speak ; 
But even then the morning cock crew loud, 
And at the sound it shrunk in haste away, 
And vanish'd from our sight. 

Hamlet. 'T is very strange. SM 

Horatio. As I do live, my honour'd lord, 't is true ; 
And we did think it writ down in our duty 
To let you know of it. 

Hamlet. Indeed, indeed, sirs, but this troubles me. 
Hold you the watch to-night? 

Marcellus. \ 

Bernardo. ] We do > m 7 lord - 

Hamlet. Arm'd, say you? 

Marcellus. \ 

Bernardo.} Arm'd, my lord. 

Hamlet. From top to toe ? 

Marcellus. \ 

Bernardo. \ M >" lord > from nead to f Ot. 

Hamlet. Then saw you not his face ? 

Horatio. O, yes, my lord ; he wore his beaver up. 230 


Hamlet. What, look'd he frowningly? 

Horatio. A countenance more in sorrow than in anger. 

Hamlet. Pale, or red ? 

Horatio. Nay, very pale. 

Hamlet. And fix'd his eyes upon you ? 

Horatio. Most constantly. 

Hamlet. I would I had been there. 

Horatio. It would have much amaz'd you. 

Hamlet. Very like, very like. Stay'd it long? 

Horatio. While one with moderate haste might tell a 

Marccllus. \ . 

Bernardo. \ Lon S er ' lon S er ' 

Horatio. Not when I saw 't. 

Hamlet. His beard was grizzled? no? 

Horatio. It was, as I have seen it in his life, 241 

A sable silver'd. 

Hamlet. I '11 watch to-night ; 

Perchance 't will walk again. 

Horatio. I warrant it will. 

Hamlet. 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 conceaPd this sight, 
Let it be tenable in your silence still j 
And whatsoever else shall hap to-night, 

Give it an understanding, but no tongue : ay. 

I will requite your loves. So, fare you well ; 
Upon the platform, 'twixt eleven and twelve, 
I '11 visit you. 

AIL Our duty to your honour. 

Hamlet. Your loves, as mine to you ; farewell. 

[Exeunt all but Hamlet. 
My father's spirit in arms ! all is not well ; 
T doubt some foul play : would the night were come ! 


Till then sit still, my soul ; foul deeds will rise, 

Though all the earth o'erwhelm them, to men's eyes. [Exit. 

SCENE III. A Room in Polonius's House. 

Laertes. 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. 

Ophelia. Do you doubt that? 

Laertes. For Hamlet and the trifling of his favour, 
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. 

Ophelia. No more but so ? 

Laertes. Think it no more ; M 

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 M 

The safety and health of this 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 particular act and place 


May give his saying deed ; which is no further 

Than the main voice of Denmark goes withal. 

Then weigh what loss your honour may sustain, 

If with too credent ear you list his songs, 30 

Or lose your heart, or your chaste treasure open 

To his unmaster'd importunity. 

Fear it, Ophelia, fear it, my dear sister, 

And keep you in 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, 

Too oft before their buttons be disclos'd ; 

And in the morn and liquid dew of youth 

Contagious blastments are most imminent. 

Be wary then ; best safety lies in fear : 

Youth to itself rebels, though none else near. 

Ophelia, I shall the effect of this good lesson keep, 
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, 
Whiles, like a puffd and reckless libertine, 
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads, v. 

And recks not his own rede. 

Laertes. O, fear me not. 

I stay too long ; but here my father comes. 


A double blessing is a double grace ; 
Occasion smiles upon a second leave. 

Polonius. Yet here, Laertes ! aboard, aboard, for shame ! 
The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail, 
And you are stay'd for. There ; my blessing with thee ! 
And these few precepts in thy memory 


See thou chaiacter. Give thy thoughts no tongue, 

Nor any unproportion'd thought his act. be 

Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar. 

Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, 

Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel ; 

But do not dull thy palm with entertainment 

Of each new-hatch'd, unfledg'd comrade. Beware 

Of entrance to a quarrel, but, being in, 

Bear 't that the opposed may beware of thee. 

Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice ; 

Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment. 

Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy, TC 

But not express'd in fancy ; rich, not gaudy ; 

For the apparel oft proclaims the man, 

And they in France of the best rank and station 

Are most select and generous, chief in that. 

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 own self be true, 

And it must follow, as the night the day, 

Thou canst not then be false to any man. 8 

Farewell ; my blessing season this in thee ! 

Laertes. Most humbly do I take my leave, my lord. 

Polonius. The time invites you ; go, your servants tend. 

Laertes. Farewell, Ophelia ; and remember well 
What I have said to you. 

Ophelia. T is in my memory lock'd, 

And you yourself shall keep the key of it. 

Laertes. Farewell. \Exit. 

Polonius. What is 't, Ophelia, he hath said to you? 

Ophelia. So please you, something touching the Lord 

Polonius. Marry, well bethought : 90 

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 bounteous ; 

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. 

Ophelia. He hath, my lord, of late made many tenders 
Of his affection to me. 100 

Polonius. Affection ! pooh ! you speak like a green girl, 
Unsifted in such perilous circumstance. 
Do you believe his tenders, as you call them? 

Ophelia. I do not know, my lord, what I should think. 

Polonius. Marry, I '11 teach you ; think yourself a baby, 
That you have ta'en these tenders for true pay, 
Which are not sterling. Tender yourself more dearly ; 
Or not to crack the wind of the poor phrase, 
Running it thus you '11 tender me a fool. 

Ophelia. My lord, he hath importun'd me with love no 
In honourable fashion. 

Polonius. Ay, fashion you may call it ; go to, go to. 

Ophelia. And hath given countenance to his speech, my 

With almost all the holy vows of heaven. 

Polonius. Ay, springes to catch woodcocks. I do know, 
When the blood burns, how prodigal the soul 
Lends the tongue vows ; these blazes, daughter, 
Giving more light than heat, extinct in both, 
Even in their promise, as it is a- making, 
You must not take for fire. From this time **> 

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, thac 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 that dye which their investments show, 

But mere implorators of unholy suits, 

Breathing like sanctified and pious bawds, 130 

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 % I charge you ; come your ways. 

Ophelia. I shall obey, my lord. [Exeunt* 

SCENE IV. The Platform. 

Hamlet. The air bites shrewdly ; it is very cold. 

Horatio. It is a nipping and an eager air. 

Hamlet. What hour now? 

Horatio. I think it lacks of twelve. 

Hamlet. No, it is struck. 

Horatio. Indeed? I heard it not : it then draws near the 

Wherein the spirit held his wont to walk. 

[A flourish of trumpets and ordnance shot off within. 
What does this mean, my lord ? 

Hamlet. The king doth wake to-night and takes his 


Keeps wassail, and the swaggering upspring reels ; 
And as he drains his draughts of Rhenish down, M 

The kettle-drum and trumpet thus bray out 
The triumph of his pledge. 

Horatio. Is it a custom? 

Hamlet. Ay, marry is 't ; 
But 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. 

This heavy-headed revel east and west 

Makes us traduc'd and tax'd of other nations : 

They clepe us drunkards, and with swinish phrase 

Soil our addition ; and indeed it takes 20 

From our achievements, though perform'd at height, 

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 the o'ergrowth of some complexion, 

OJFt breaking down the pales and forts of reason. 

Or by some habit that too much o'er-leavens 

The form of plausive manners, that these men, 30 

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 the general censure take corruption 

From that particular fault : the dram of eale 

Doth all the noble substance of a doubt 

To his own scandal. 

Horatio. Look, my lord, it comes! 

Enter GHOST. 

Hamlet. Angels and ministers of grace defend us ! 
Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damn'd, 4^ 

Bring with thee airs from heaven or blasts from hell, 
Be thy intents wicked or charitable, 
Thou comest in such a questionable shape 
That I will speak to thee : I '11 call thee Hamlet, 
King, father ; royal Dane, O, answer me ! 
Let me not burst in ignorance ; but tell 
Why thy canoniz'd bones, hearsed in death, 

5 2 HAMLET. 

Have burst their cerements ; why the sepulchre, 

Wherein we saw thee quietly inurn'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 glimpses 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? 

[Ghost beckons Hamlet. 

Horatio. It beckons you to go away with it, 
As if it some impartment did desire 
To you alone. 

Marcellus. Look, with what courteous action 60 

It waves you to a more removed ground : 
But do not go with it. 

Horatio. No, by no means. 

Hamlet. It will not speak ; then I will follow it. 

Horatio. Do not, my lord. 

Hamlet. Why, what should be the fear? 

I do not set my life at a pin's fee ; 
And for my soul, what can it do to that, 
Being a thing immortal as itself ? 
It waves me forth again ; I '11 follow it. 

Horatio. What if it tempt you toward the flood, my lord, 
Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff r\ 

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; 
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. 


Hamlet. It waves me still. 

Go on ; I '11 follow thee. 

Marcellus. You shall not go, my lord. 80 

Hamlet. Hold off your hands ! 

Horatio. Be rul'd ; you shall not go. 

Hamkt. My fate cries out 

And makes each petty artery in this body 
As hardy as the Nemean lion's nerve. 
Still am I call'd. Unhand me, gentlemen. 
By heaven, I '11 make a ghost of him that lets me ! 
I say, away ! Go on ; I '11 follow thee. 

\_Excunt Ghost and Hamlet. 

Horatio. He waxes desperate with imagination. 

Marcellus. Let 's follow ; 't is not fit thus to obey him. 

Horatio. Have after. To what issue will this come? 89 

Marcelhis. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. 

Horatio. Heaven will direct it. 

Marcellus. Nay, let 's follow him. [Exeunt. 

SCENE V. Another Part of the Platform. 
Enter GHOST and HAMLET. 

Hamlet. Where wilt thou lead me? speak; I '11 go no 

Ghost. Mark me. 

Hamlet. I will. 

Ghost. My hour is almost come, 

When I to sulphurous and tormenting flames 
Must render up myself. 

Hamlet. Alas, poor ghost ! 

Ghost. Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing 
To what I shall unfold. 

Hamlet. Speak ; I am bound to hear. 

Ghost. So art thou to revenge, when thou shalt hear. 

Hamlet. What? 

6 4 


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 
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 porpentine ; 
But this eternal blazon must not be 
To ears of flesh and blood. List, list, O, list ! 
If thou didst ever thy dear father love 

Hamlet. O God ! 

Ghost. Revenge his foul and most unnatural murther. 

Hamlet. Murther 1 

Ghost. Murther most foul, as in the best it is ; 
But this most foul, strange, and unnatural. 

Hamlet. Haste me to know 't, 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 shouldst thou be than the fat weed 
That roots itself in ease on Lethe wharf, 
Wouldst thou not stir in this. Now, Hamlet, hear : 
T is given out that, sleeping in my 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. 

Hamlet. O my prophetic soul ' 

My uncle 1 


Ghost. Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast, 
With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts, 
O wicked wit and gifts, that have the power 
So to seduce ! won to his shameful lust 
The will of my most seeming-virtuous queen ; 

Hamlet, what a falling-off was there ! 
From me, whose love was of that dignity 
That it went hand in hand even with the vow 

1 made to her in marriage, and to decline so 
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. 

But, soft ! methinks I scent the morning air; 
Brief let me be. Sleeping within my orchard, 
My custom always in the afternoon, <o 

Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole, 
With juice of cursed hebenon in a vial, 
And in the porches of my ears did pour 
The leperous distilment ; 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 eager droppings into milk, 
The thin and wholesome blood : so did it mine ; *> 

And a most instant tetter bark'd 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, of queen, at once dispatch'd j 
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 ! O, horrible ! most horrible ! > 

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 pursues! 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 ; 90 

Adien, adieu ! Hamlet, remember me. [Exit. 

Hamlet. O all you host of heaven ! O earth ! what 


And shall I couple hell? O, fie ! Hold, hold, my heart ; 
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 distracted globe. Remember thee ! 
Yea, from the table of my memory 
I Ml wipe away all trivial fond records, 

All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past, x> 

That youth and observation copied there j 
And thy commandment all alone shall live 
Within the book and volume of my brain, 
Unmix'd with baser matter : yes, by heaven i 
O most pernicious woman ! 
O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain ! 
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 oe so in Denmark. [ Writing. 
So, uncle, there you are. Now to my word ; no 


It is 'Adieu, adieu ! remember me.' 
I have sworn 't. 

Marcellus. } P , I7 .. . -, ,, , , , , , 

Horatio. \ ^ Wt ***i M ? lord ' my lord ! 

Marcellus. [ Wthin] Lord Hamlet ! 

Horatio. [ Within'] Heaven secure him ! 

Hamlet So be it ! 

Horatio. [ Within} Hillo, ho, ho, my lord ! 

Hamlet. Hillo, ho, ho, boy ! come, bird, come. 

Marcellus. How is 't, my noble lord? 
Horatio. What news, my lord ? 

Hamlet. O, wonderful ! 
Horatio. Good my lord, tell it. 

Hamlet. No ; you will reveal it. 

Horatio. Not I, my lord, by heaven. 

Marcellus. Nor I, my lord. 120 

Hamlet. How say you, then; would heart of man once 

think it ? 

But you '11 be secret ? 
Horatio. ) 
Marcellus.] Ay, by heaven, my lord. 

Hamlet. There 's ne'er a villain dwelling in all Denmark 
But he 's an arrant knave. 

Horatio. There needs no ghost, my lord, come from the 

To tell us this. 

Hamlet. Why, right: you are i' 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, ac 

Such as it is ; and for mine own poor part, 
Look you, I '11 go pray. 


Horafa rhese are but wild and whming words, my 

Hamlet. I ; m sorry the* o**"'! you. heartily j 
Ves, faith, heartily. 

Horatio. There 's no offence, my lord. 

Hamlet. Yes, by Saint Patrick, but there is, Horatio, 
And much offence too. Touching this vision here, 
It is an honest ghost, that let me tell you ; 
For your desire to know what is between us, 
O'ermaster t as you may. And now, good friends, 140 

As you are friends, scholars, and soldiers, 
Give me one poor request. 

Horatio. What is 't, my lord? we will. 

Hamlet. Never make known what you have seen to-night 

S;,} Mylord>wewillnot 

Hamlet. Nay, but swear 't. 

Horatio. In faitn, 

My lord, not I. 

Marcellus. Nor I, my lord, in faith. 

Hamlet, Upon my sword. 

Marcellus. We have sworn, my lord, already. 

Hamlet. Indeed, upon my sword, indeed. 

Ghost. [Beneath] Swear. 

Hamlet. Ah, ha, boy ! say'st thou so? art thou there, true 
penny ? 150 

Come on you hear this fellow in the cellarage 
Consent to swear. 

Horatio. Propose the oath, my lord. 

Hamlet. Never to speak of this that you have seen. 
Swear by my sword. 

Ghost. [Beneath] Swear. 

Hamlet. Hie et ubique? then we '11 shift our 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. 160 

Ghost. [Beneath] Swear. 

Hamlet. Well said, old mole ! canst work i' the earth so 

A worthy pioner ! Once more remove, good friends. 

Horatio. O day and night, but this is wondrous strange ! 

Hamlet. And therefore as a stranger give it welcome. 
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, 
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. 
But come ; 

Here, as before, never, so help you mercy, 
How strange or odd soe'er I bear myself, 170 

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 this head-shake, 
Or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase, 
As 'Well, well, we know,' or 'We could, and if we would,' 
Or 'If we list to speak/ or 'There be, an if they 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, 180 


Ghost. [Beneath] Swear. 

Hamlet. Rest, rest, perturbed spirit ! So, gentlemen, 
With all my love I do commend me to you ; 
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 your lips, I pray. 
The time is out of joint ; O cursed spite, 
That ever I was born to set it right ! 190 

Nay, come, let 's go together. [Exeunt 


SCENE I. A Room in Polonius's House. 

Polonius. Give him this money and these notes, Reynaldo. 

Reynaldo. I will, my lord. 

Polonius. You shall do marvellous wisely, good ReynaldOj 
Before you visit him, to make inquire 
Of his behaviour. 

Reynaldo. My lord, I did intend it. 

Polonius. Marry, well said, very well said. Look you, 


Inquire me first what Danskers are in Paris, 
And how, and who ; what means, and where they keep j 
What company, at what expense ; and finding 


By this encompassment and drift of question -^. 

That they do know my son, come you more nearer 

Than your particular demands will touch it : 

Take you, as 't were, some distant knowledge of him, 

As thus, ' I know his father and his friends, 

And in part him,' do you mark this, Reynaldo? 

Reynaldo. Ay, very well, my lord. 

Polonius. ' And in part him ; but ' 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 rank * 

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. 

Reynaldo. As gaming, my lord. 

Polonius. Ay, or drinking, fencing, swearing, quarrelling. 
Drabbing ; you may go so far. 

Reynaldo. My lord, that would dishonour him. 

Polonius. Faith, no ; as you may season it in the charge. 
You must not put another scandal on him, 
That he is open to incontinency ; y 

That "s not my meaning : but breathe his faults so quaintly 
That they may seem the taints of liberty, 
The flash and outbreak of a fiery mind, 
A savageness in unreclaimed blood, 
Of general assault. 

Reynaldo. But, my g< od lord, 

Polonius. Wherefore should you do this? 

Reynaldo. Ay, my lord, 

v. would know that. 

Polonius. Marry, sir, here 's my drift ; 

And, I believe, it is a fetch of warrant. 
You laying these slight sullies on my son, 
As 't were a thing a little soil'd i' the working, 40 


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 or the addition 
Of man and country. 

Reynaldo. Very good, my lord. 

Polonius. And then, sir, does he this he does what was 
I about to say? By the mass, I was about to say something ; 
where did I leave? 5* 

Reynaldo. At * closes in the consequence,' at ' friend or so,' 
and ' gentleman.' 

Polonius. At ' closes in the consequence,' ay, marry ; 
He closes thus : ' I know the gentleman ; 
I saw him yesterday, or 't other day, 
Or then, or then, with such, or such, and, as you say, 
There was he gaming, there o'ertook in 's rouse, 
There falling out at tennis ; ' or perchance, 
' I saw him enter such a house of sale,' to 

Videlicet, a brothel, or so forth. 
See you now ; 

Your bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth j 
And thus do we of wisdom and of reach, 
With windlasses 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? 

Reynaldo. My lord, I have. 

Polonius. God be wi' you ; fare you well. 

Reynaldo. Good my lord ! TO 

Polonius. Observe his inclination in yourself. 

Reynaldo. I shall, my lord. 

Polonius. And let him ply his music. 

ACT II. SCENE 7. 73 

Reynaldo. Well, my lord. 

Polonius. Farewell ! [Exit Reynaldo. 

How now, Ophelia ! what 's the matter? 

Ophelia. O, my lord, my lord, I have been so affrighted ! 

Polonius. With what, i' the name of God ? 

Ophelia. My lord, as I was sewing in my closet, 
Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbrac'd ; 
No hat upon his head ; his stockings foul'd, 
Ungarter'd, and down-gyved to his ankle ; 60 

Pale as his shirt; 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. 

Polonius. Mad for thy love? 

Ophelia. My lord, I do not know ; 

But truly, I do fear it. 

Polonius. What said he? 

Ophelia. He took me by the wrist and held me hard ; 
Then goes he to the length of all his arm, 90 

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 arm, 
And thrice his head thus waving up and down, 
He rais'd a sigh so piteous and profound 
As 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. 100 

Polonius. Come, go with me ; I will go seek the king. 
This is the very ecstasy of love, 



Whose violent property fordoes 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? 

Ophelia. No, my good lord, but, as you did command, 
I did repel his letters, and denied 
His access to me. 

Polonius. That hath made him mad. m 

I am sorry that with better heed and judgment 
I had not quoted him. I fear'd he did but trifle, 
And meant to wrack thee ; but beshrew my jealousy 1 
By heaven, it is as proper to our age 
To cast beyond ourselves in our opinions 
As it is common for the younger sort 
To lack discretion. Come, go we to the king : 
This must be known ; which, being kept close, might move 
More grief to hide than hate to utter love. [Exeunt, 

SCENE II. A Room in the Castle. 



King. Welcome, dear Rosencrantz and Guildenstern 1 
Moreover that we much did long to see 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, 
Sith nor the exterior nor the inward man 
Resembles that it was. What it should be, 
More than his father's death, that thus hath put him 
So much from the understanding of himself, 
j cannot dream of. I entreat you both, to 

That, being of so young days brought up with him, 
And sith so neighbour'd to his youth and humour, 

ACT IL SCENE 77. 75 

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 occasion you may glean, 
Whether aught to us unknown afflicts him thus, 
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 w 

To whom he more adheres. If it will please you 
To show us so much gentry and good will 
As to expend your time with us awhile, 
For the supply and profit of our hope, 
Your visitation shall receive such thanks 
As fits a king's remembrance. 

Rosencrantz. Both your majesties 

Might, by the sovereign power you have of us, 
Put your dread pleasures more into command 
Than to entreaty. 

Guildenstern. But we both obey, 

And here give up ourselves, in the full bent 30 

To lay our service freely at your feet, 
To be commanded. 

King. Thanks, Rosencrantz and gentle Guildenstern. 

Queen. Thanks, Guildenstern and gentle Rosencrant? ; 
And I beseech you instantly to visit 
My too much changed son. Go, some of you, 
And bring these gentlemen where Hamlet is. 

Guildenstern. Heavens make our presence and our prac 

Pleasant and helpful to him ! 

Queen. Ay, amen ! 

**f.ncranfa t Guildenstern , and some Attendants 

7(5 HAMLET. 


Pbknius. The ambassadors from Norway, my good lord, 
Are joyfully return'd. ** 

King. Thou still hast been the father of good news. 

Polonius. Have I, my lord ? Assure you, my good liege, 
I hold my duty, as I hold my soul, 
Both to my God and to my gracious king ; 
And I do think, or else this brain of mine 
Hunts not the trail of policy so sure 
As it hath us'd to do, that I have found 
The very cause of Hamlet's lunacy. 

King. O, speak of that ; that do I long to hear. 90 

Polonius. Give first admittance to the ambassadors; 
My news shall be the fruit to that great feast. 

King. Thyself do grace to them, and bring them in. 

[Exit Polonius. 

He tells me, my sweet queen, that he hath found 
The head and source of all your son's distemper. 

Queen. I doubt it is no other but the main, 
His father's death, and our o'erhasty marriage. 

King. Well, we shall sift him. 


Welcome, my good friends I 
Say, Voltimand, what from our brother Norway? 

Voltimand. Most fair return of greetings and desires. c 
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 grieved, 
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 10 

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, [ Giving a paper t 

That it might please you to give quiet pass 

Through your dominions for this enterprise, 

On such regards of safety and allowance 

As therein are set down. 

King. It likes us well ; 80 

And at our more consider'd time we '11 read, 
Answer, and think upon this business. 
Meantime we thank you for your well-took labour. 
Go to your rest ; at night we'll feast together : 
Most welcome home 1 \Exeunt Voltimand and Cornelius. 

Polonius. This business is 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 wi\ 90 

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. 

Polonius. 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 no 


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 while she is mine 

Who, in her duty and obedience, mark, 

Hath given me this ; now gather, and surmise. 

[Reads] ' To the celestial and my soul's idol, the most beautifiea 

Ophelia,' no 

That 's an ill phrase, a vile phrase; 'beautified* is a vile 

phrase : but you shall hear. Thus : 

[Reads] ' In her excellent white bosom, these, etc.' 

Queen. Came this from Hamlet to her? 

Polonius. Good madam, stay awhile ; I will be faithful 
[Reads] 'Doubt thou the stars are fire ; 

Doubt that the sun doth move f 
Dotibt truth to be a liar; 

But never doubt I love. 119 

' O dear Ophelia, I am ill at these numbers. 1 have not 
art to reckon my groans ; but that I 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 shown 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? 

Polonius. What do you think of me? 

King. As of a man faithful and honourable. 130 

Polonius. I would fain prove so. But what might you 

When I had seen this hot love on the wing 


As I perceivM 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 : m 

* Lord Hamlet is a prince, out of thy star ; 

This must not be : ' and then I precepts gave her, 

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 

Into the madness wherein now he raves, w 

And all we mourn for. 

King. Do you think 't is this? 

Queen. It may be, very likely. 

Polonius. Hath there been such a time I'd fain know 


That I have positively said ' 'T is so, 1 
When it prov'd otherwise ? 

Xing. Not that I know. 

Polonius. [Pointing to his head and shoulder] Take this 

from this, if this be otherwise. 
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 ? 

Polonius. You know, sometimes he walks four hours to 
gether 160 

Here in the lobby. 


Queen. So he does indeed. 

Polonius. At such a time I '11 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, 
But keep a farm and carters. 

King. We will try it. 

Queen. But, look, where sadly the poor wretch comes 

Polonius. Away, I do beseech you, both away ; 
I '11 board him presently. 

[Exeunt King, Queen, and Attendants 

Enter HAMLET, reading. 

O, give me leave ; IT 

How does my good Lord Hamlet? 

Hamlet. Well, God-a-mercy. 

Polonius. Do you know me, my lord ? 

Hamlet. Excellent well ; you are a fishmonger. 

Polonius. Not I, my lord. 

Hamlet. Then I would you were so honest a man. 

Polonius. Honest, my lord ! 

Hamlet. Ay, sir ; to be honest, as this world goes, is to be 
one man picked out of ten thousand. 

Polonius. That 's very true, my lord. i8c 

Hamlet. For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, 
being a good kissing carrion, Have you a daughter? 

Polonius. I have, my lord. 

Hamlet. Let her not walk i' the sun : conception is a bless- 
ing; but not as your daughter may conceive. Friend, look 
to 't. 

Polonius. [Aside"} How say you by that? Still harping on 
my daughter ; yet 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? 191 

Hamlet. Words, words, words. 

Polonius. What is the matter, my lord? 

Hamlet. Between who ? 

Polonius. I mean, the matter that you read, my lord. 

Hamlet. Slanders, sir; for the satirical rogue says here 
that old men have grey beards, that their faces are wrinkled, 
their eyes purging thick amber and plum-tree gum, and that 
they have a plentiful lack of wit, together with most weak 
hams : all 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, if like a crab you 
could go backward. 203 

Polonius. \_Aslde~\ TjlOUgh thJS Kp marlnpgg ypj- fl^r^ ic- 

rngt-K^fi i'n j Will you walk out of the air, my lord ? 

Hamlet. Into my grave ? 

Polonius. Indeed, that is out o' the air. [Aside] How 
pregnant sometimes his replies are ! a happiness that often 
madness hits on, which reason and sanity could not so pros- 
perously be delivered of. I will leave him, and suddenly 
contrive the means of meeting between him and my daugh- 
ter. My honourable lord, I will most humbly take my leave 
of you. 

Hamlet. You cannot, sir, take from me any thing that I 
will more willingly part withal ; except my life, except my 
life, except my life. 216 

Polonius. Fare you well, my lord. 

Hamlet. These tedious old fools ! 


Polonius. You go to seek the Lord Hamlet; there he is. 
Rosencrantz. [To Polonius\ God save you, sir ! 220 

[Exit Polonius. 

Guildenstern. My honoured lordl 


Rosencrantz. My most dear lord ! 

Hamlet. My excellent good friends ! How dost thou, 
Guildenstern? Ah, Rosencrantz! Good lads, how do ye 

Rosencrantz. As the indifferent children of the earth. 

Guildenstern. Happy, in that we are not over-happy ; 
On Fortune's cap we are not the very button. 

Hamlet. Nor the soles of her shoe ? 

Rosencrantz. Neither, my lord. 230 

Hamlet. Then you live about her waist, or in the middle 
of her favours? What 's the news? 

Rosencrantz. None, my lord, but that the world 's grown 

Hamlet. Then is doomsday near; but your news is not 
true. Let me question more in particular ; what have you, 
my good friends, deserved at the hands of Fortune, that she 
sends you to prison hither? 

Guildenstern. Prison, my lord ! 

Hamlet. Denmark 's a prison. 240 

Rosencrantz. Then is the world one. 

Hamlet. A goodly one ; in which there are many confines, 
wards, and dungeons, Denmark being one o' the worst. 

Rosencrantz. We think not so, my lord. 

Hamlet. Why, then 't is none to you ; forjhere is npthing- 
either good or had, hut thinking makes it so.: to me it is a 

Rosencrantz. Why, then your ambition makes it one ; 't is 
too narrow for your mind. 249 

Hamlet. O 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. 

Guildenstern. Which dreams indeed are ambition, for the 
very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a 

Hamlet. A dream itself is but a shadow. 


Rosencrantz. Truly, and I hold ambition of so airy and 
light a quality that it is but a shadow's shadow. 

Hamlet. Then are our beggars bodies, and our monaichs 
and outstretched heroes the beggars' shadows. Shall we to 
the court? for, by my fay, I cannot reason. 261 

Rosencrantz. \ .. 

Guildenstern.\^ 'H wait upon you. 

Hamlet. 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? 

Rosencrantz. To visit you, my lord ; no other occasion. 

Hamlet. Beggar that I am, I am even poor in thanks ; but 
I thank you : and sure, dear friends, my thanks are too dear 
a halfpenny. Were you not sent for? Is it your own in- 
clining? Is it a free visitation? Come, deal justly with me : 
come, come ; nay, speak. 272 

Guildenstern. What should we say, my lord? 

Hamlet. Why, any thing, but to the purpose. You were 
sent for; and there is a kind of confession .n your looks 
which your modesties have not craft enough to colour. I 
know the good king and queen have sent for you. 

Rosencrantz. To what end, my lord? 

Hamlet. 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 ? 284 

Rosencrantz. \Aside to Guildenstern\ What say you ? 

Hamlet. \_Aside~\ Nay, then I have an eye of you. If 
you love me, hold not off. 

Guildenstern. My lord, we were sent for. 

Hamlet. I will tell you why ; so shall my anticipation pre- 
vent your discovery, and your secrecy to the king and queen 


moult no leather. I have of late but wherefore I know not 
lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises ; and in- 
deed it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly 
frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory; this 
most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o'erhang- 
ing firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, 
why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pesti- 
lent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is man I 
how noble in reason ! how infinite in faculty ! in form and 
moving how express and admirable ! in action how like an 
angel ! in apprehension how like a god ! the beauty of the 
world ! the paragon of animals ! And yet, to me, what is this 
quintessence of dust ? man delights not me ; no, nor woman 
neither, though by your smiling you seem to say so. 304 

Rosencrantz. My lord, there was no such stuff in my 

Hamlet. Why did you laugh then, when I said ' man de- 
lights not me? ' 

Rosencrantz. To th ; nk, my lord, if you delight not in man, 
what lenten entertainment the players shall receive from 
you ; we coted them on the way, and hither are they com- 
ing to offer you service. 3 i 2 

Hamlet. He that plays the king shall be welcome; his 
majesty shall have tribute of me ; the adventurous knight 
shall use his foil and target ; the lover shall not sigh gratis ; 
the humorous man shall end his part in peace ; the clown 
shall make those laugh whose lungs are tickle o' the sere ; 
and the lady shall say her mind freely, or the blank verse 
shall halt for 't. What players are they? 

Rosmcrantz. Even those you were wont to take delight 
in, the tragedians of the city. 321 

Hamlet. How chances it they travel? their residence, both 
in reputation and profit, was better both ways. 

Rosencrantz. I think their inhibition comes by the means 
of the late innovation. 

ACT 21. SCENE //. 8$ 

Hamlet. Do they hold the same estimation they did when 
1 was in the city? are they so followed? 

Rosencrantz. No, indeed, are they not. 

Hamlet. How comes it? do they grow rusty? 329 

Rosencrantz. Nay, their endeavour keeps in the wonted 
pace ; but there is, sir, an aery 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 stages so they call them that many wearing 
rapiers are afraid of goose-quills, and dare scarce come 
thither. 336 

Hamlet. What, are they children? who maintains 'em? 
how are they escoted? Will they pursue the quality no 
longer than they can sing? will they not say afterwards, if 
they should grow themselves to common players as it is 
most like, if their means are no better their writers do 
them wrong, to make them exclaim against their own suc- 
cession ? 

Rosencrantz. Faith, there has been much to-do on both 
sides, and the nation holds it no sin to tarre them to contro- 
versy ; there was for a while no money bid for argument, 
unless the poet and the player went to cuffs in the ques- 

Hamlet. Is 't possible ? 349 

Guildenstern. O, there has been much throwing about of 

Hamlet. Do the boys carry it away? 

Rosencrantz. Ay, that they do, my lord j Hercules and his 
load too. 

Hamlet. It is not very strange ; for mine uncle is king of 
Denmark, and those that would make mows at him while 
my father lived give twenty, forty, fifty, an hundred ducats 
apiece for his picture in little. 'Sblood, there is something 
in this more than natural, if philosophy could find it out. 359 
[Flourish of trumpets within. 


Guildenstern. There are the players. 

Hamlet. Gentlemen, you are welcome to Elsinore. Your 
hands, come ; the appurtenance of welcome is fashion and 
ceremony : let me comply with you in this garb, lest my ex- 
tent to the players, which, I tell you, must show fairly out- 
ward, should more appear like entertainment than yours. 
You are welcome ; but my uncle-father and aunt-mother are 

Guildenstern. In what, my dear lord ? 

Hamlet. I am but mad north-north-west ; when the wind 
is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw. 370 


Polonius. Well be with you, gentlemen ! 

Hamlet. Hark you, Guildenstern ; and you too ; at 
each ear a hearer: that great baby you see there is not 
yet out of his swadclling-clouts. 

Rosencrantz. Happily he 's the second time come to them ; 
for they say an old man is twice a child. 

Hamlet. I will prophesy he comes to tell me of the play- 
ers ; mark it. You say right, sir : o' Monday morning; 
't was so indeed. 

Polonius. My lord, I have news to tell you. 

Hamlet. My lord, I have news to tell you. When Roscius 
was an actor in Rome, 38o 

Polonius. The actors are come hither, my lord. 

Hamlet. Buz, buz ! 

Polonius. Upon mine honour, 

Hamlet. Then came each actor on his ass, 

Polonius. The best actors in the world, either for tragedy, 
comedy, history, pastoral, pastoral -comical, historical -pas- 
toral, tragical-historical, tragical-comical-historical-pastoral, 
scene indiviclable, or poem unlimited ; Seneca cannot be too 
heavy, nor Plautus too light. For the law of writ and the 
liberty, these are the only men. 390 


Hamlet. O Jephthah, judge of Israel, what a treasure hadst 
thou ! 

Polonius. What treasure had he, my lord? 
Hamlet. Why, 

' One fair daughter, and no more, 

The which he loved passing well.' 
Polonius. [Aside] Still on my daughter. 
Hamlet. Am I not i' the right, old Jephthah? 
Polonius. If you call me Jephthah, my lord, I have a daugh- 
ter that I love passing well. 400 
Hamlet. Nay, that follows not. 
Polonius. What follows, then, my lord? 
Hamlet. 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. 408 

Enter four or five Players. 

You are welcome, masters ; welcome, all. I am glad to see 
ye well. Welcome, good friends. O, my old friend ! thy face 
is valanced since I saw thee last ; comest thou to beard me 
in Denmark? What, my young lady and mistress ! By'r 
lady, your ladyship is nearer to heaven than when I saw you 
last, by the altitude of a chopine. Pray God, your voice, like 
a piece of uncurrent gold, be not cracked within the ring. 
Masters, you are all welcome. We '11 e'en to 't like French 
falconers, fly at any thing we see ; we '11 have a speech 
straight. Come, give us a taste of your quality ; come, a 
passionate speech. 

i Player. What speech, my lord? 420 

Hamlet. I heard thee speak me a speech once, but it was 
never acted ; or, if it was, not above once, for the play, I re- 
member, pleased not the million ; 't was caviare to the gen- 


eral; 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 
allets in the lines to make the matter savoury, nor no mat- 
far in the phrase that might indict the author of affectation ; 
but called it an honest method, as wholesome as sweet, and 
by very much more handsome than fine. One speech in it I 
chiefly loved : 't was ^Eneas' tale to Dido ; and thereabout 
of it especially, where he speaks of Priam's slaughter. If it 
live in your memory, begin at this line ; let me see, let me 
see 435 

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 ; horridly trick'd 

With blood of fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, 

Bak'd and impasted with the parching streets, 

That lend a tyrannous and damned light 

To their lord's murther. Roasted in wrath and fire, 

And thus o'er-sized with coagulate gore, 

With eyes like carbuncles, the hellish Pyrrhus 

Old grandsire Priam seeks. 450 

So, proceed you. 

Polonius. Fore God, my lord, well spoken, with good ac- 
cent and good discretion. 

I Player. 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 

ACT 77. SCENE J. 89 

Hie unnerv'd father falls. Then senseless Iliiuu.. 460 

Seeming to feel this 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, 470 

The bold winds speechless, and the orb below 

As hush as death, anon the dreadful thunder 

Doth rend the region; so, after Pyrrhus' pause 

Aroused vengeance sets him new a-work, 

And never did the Cyclops' hammers fall 

On Mars's armour forg'd for proof eterne 

With less remorse than Pyrrhus' bleeding sword 

Now falls on Priam. 

Out, out, thou strumpet, Fortune ! All you gods, 

In general synod, take away her power; 4>c 

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 ! 

Polonius. This is too long. 

Hamlet. It shall to the barber's, with your beard. Prithee, 
say on : he 's for a jig or a tale of bawdry, or he sleeps. 
Say on ; come to Hecuba. 

I Player. But who, O, who had seen the mobled queen 

Hamlet. The mobled queen ? ' 

Polonius. That 's good ; ' mobled queen ' is good. 490 

I Player. Run barefoot up and down, threatening the flames 
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 alarm of fear caught upt 


Who this had seen, with tongue in venom steep'd, 

'Gainst Fortune's stat'e would treason have pronouncM: 

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, 500 

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. 

Polonius. Look, whether he has not turned his colour and 
has tears in 's eyes. Pray you, no more. 

Hamlet. 'T is well, I '11 have thee speak out the rest soon. 
Good my lord, will you see the players well bestowed? 
Do you hear, let them be well used, for they are the abstract 
and brief chronicles of the time ; after your death you were 
better have a bad epitaph than their ill report while you live. 

Polonius. My lord, I will use them according to their 
desert. 513 

Hamlet. God's bodykins, man, much better ! Use every 
man after his desert, and who should scape whipping? Use 
them after your own honour and dignity ; the less they de- 
serve, the more merit is in your bounty. Take them in. 

Polonius. Come, sirs. 

Hamlet. Follow him, friends ; we '11 hear a play to-mor- 
row. [Exit Polonius with all the Players but the First.'] 
Dost thou hear me, old friend ; can you play the Murther 
ofGonzago? 522 

i Player. Ay, my lord. 

Hamlet. We '11 ha '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? 

I Player. Ay, my lord. 

Hamlet. Very well. Follow that lord ; and look you mock 
him not. [Exit Player.~\ My good friends, I 11 leave you 
till night ; you are welcome to Elsinore. 530 


Rosencrantz. Good my lord ! 

Hamlet. Ay, so, God be wi' ye ! [Exeunt Rosencrantz 
and Guildenstern.] Now I am alone. 
O, 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 own conceit 
That from her working all his visage wann'd, 
Tears in his eyes, distraction in 's aspect, 
A broken voice, and his whole function suiting 540 

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 tears 
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 ears. 550 

Yet I, 

A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak, 
Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause, 
And can say nothing ; no, not for a king, 
Upon whose property and most dear Me 
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 throat, 
As deep as to the lungs? who does me this? 560 


'Swounds, 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 

g 2 HAMLET. 

With this slave's offal. Bloody, bawdy villain ! 
Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain ! 

vengeance ! 

Why, what an ass am I ! This is most brave, 

That I, the son of a dear father murther'd, 570 

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 ! 

Fie upon 't ! foh ! About, my brain ! I have heard 

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 their malefactions ; 

For murther, though it have no tongue, will speak 580 

With most miraculous organ. I 11 have these players 

Play something like the murther of my father 

Before mine uncle : I 11 observe his looks ; 

I'll tent him to the quick : if he but blench, 

1 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, 

As he is very potent with such spirits, 

Abuses me to damn me. I 11 have grounds 590 

More relative than this ; the play 's the thing 

Wherein I 11 catch the conscience of the king. ' [Exit. 


SCENE I. A Room in the Castle. 


King. And can you, by no drift of circumstance, 
Get from him why he puts on this confusion, 
Grating so harshly all his days of quiet 
With turbulent and dangerous lunacy? 



Rosencrantz. He does confess he feels himself distracted, 
But from what cause he will by no means speak. 

Guildenstern. Nor do we find him forward to be sounded, 
But, with a crafty madness, keeps aloof, 
When we would bring him on to some confession 
Of his true state. 

Queen. Did he receive you well? 10 

Rosencrantz. Most like a gentleman. 

Guildenstern. But with much forcing of his disposition. 

Rosencrantz. Niggard of question, but of our demands 
Most free in his reply. 

Queen. Did you assay him 

To any pastime? 

Rosencrantz. 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 ao 

This night to play before him. 

Polonius. '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 content me 
To hear him so inclin'd. 
Good gentlemen, give him a further edge, 
And drive his purpose on to these delights. 

Rosencrantz. We shall, my lord. 

\_Exeunt Rosencrantz and Guildenstem. 

King. Sweet Gertrude, leave us too ; 

For we have closely sent for Hamlet hither, 
That he, as 't were by accident, may here 30 

Affront Ophelia. 

Her father and myself, lawful espials, 
Will so bestow ourselves that, seeing unseen, 
We may of their encounter frankly judge, 


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 virtues 40 

Will bring him to his wonted way again, 
To both your honours. 

Ophelia. Madam, I wish it may. [Exit Queen. 

Polonius. Ophelia, walk you here. Gracious, so please you, 
We will bestow ourselves. \_To Ophelia} Read on this book ; 
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. \_Aside~\ O, 't is too true ! 

How smart a lash that speech doth give my conscience I 50 
The harlot's cheek, beautied with plastering art, 
Is not more ugly to the thing that helps it 
Than is my deed to my most painted word. 
heavy burthen ! 

Polonius. I hear him coming ; let 's withdraw, my lord. 

\_Exeunt King and Polonius. 

Enter HAMLET. 

Hamlet. To be, or not to be, that is the question : 
Whether 't is nobler in the mind to suffer 
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, 
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, 
And by opposing end them ? To die, to sleep, *> 

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 rub : 

For in that sleep of death what dreams may come 

When we have 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 time, 70 

The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely, 

The pangs of dispriz'd 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 ? who would fardels bear, 

To grunt and sweat under a weary life, 

But that the dread of something after death, 

The undiscover'd country from whose bourn 

No traveller returns, puzzles the will, 80 

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 enterprises of great pith and moment 

With this regard their currents turn awry, 

And lose the name of action. Soft you now ! 

The fair Ophelia ! Nymph, in thy orisons 

Be all my sins remember'd. 

Ophelia. Good my lord, go 

How does your honour for this many a day ? 

Hamlet. I humbly thank you ; well, well, well. 

Ophelia. My lord, I have remembrances of yours, 
That I have longed long to re-deliver ; 
I pray you, now receive them. 

Hamlet. No, not I : 

I never gave you aught. 


Ophelia. My honour'd lord, I know right well you did ; 
And with them words of so sweet breath compos'd 
As made the things more rich : their perfume lost, 
Take these again ; for to the noble mind TOO 

"Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind. 
There, my lord. 

Hamlet. Ha, ha ! are you honest? 

Ophelia. My lord? 

Hamlet. Are you fair? 

Ophelia. What means your lordship? 

Hamlet. That if you be honest and fair, your honesty 
should admit no discourse to your beauty. 

Ophelia. Could beauty, my lord, have better commerce 
than with honesty? no 

Hamlet. 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 
sometime a paradox, but now the time gives it proof. I did 
love you once. 

Ophelia. Indeed, my lord, you made me believe so. 

Hamlet. You should not have believed me; for virtue 
cannot so inoculate our old stock but we shall relish of it : 
I loved you not. 

Ophelia. I was the more deceived. 120 

Hamlet. Get thee to a nunnery ; why wouldst thou be a 
breeder of sinners? I am myself indifferent 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, am- 
bitious, with more offences at my beck than I have thoughts 
to put them in, imagination to give them shape, or time to 
act them in. What should such fellows as I do crawling 
between earth and heaven? We are arrant knaves all; be- 
lieve none of us. Go thy ways to a nunnery. Where 's your 
father? 130 

Ophelia. At home, my lord. 

9 g HAMLET. 

Hamlet. Let the doors be shut upon him, that he may 
play the fool no where but in 's own house. Farewell. 

Ophelia. [Asu/e~\ O, help him, you sweet heavens ! 

Hamlet. 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 ; fare- 
well. Or, if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool ; for wise 
men know well enough what monsters you make of them. 
To a nunnery, go ; and quickly too. Farewell. 140 

Ophelia. [Aside'] O heavenly powers, restore him ! 

Hamlet. I have heard of your paintings too, well enough ; 
God has given you one face, and you make yourselves an- 
other : you jig, you amble, and you lisp, and nickname God's 
creatures, and make your wantonness 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. 

Ophelia. O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown ! 150 
The courtier's, scholar's, soldier'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 J 
And I, of ladies most deject and wretched, 
That suck'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 : O, woe is me, 160 

To have seen what I have seen, see what I see ! 


Xing. Love I 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 

AC7 111. bCENE It C# 

O'er which nis melancholy sits on brood, 

And I do doubt the hatch and the disclose 

Will be some danger ; which for to prevent, 

I have in quick determination 

Thus set it down : he shall with speed to England, 

For the demand of our neglected tribute. 170 

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? 

Polonius. It shall do well ; but yet do I believe 
The origin and commencement of his grief 
Sprung from neglected love. How now, Ophelia 1 
You need not tell us what Lord Hamlet said j 
We heard it all. My lord, do as you please; 8o 

But, if you hold it fit, after the play 
Let his queen mother all alone entreat him 
To show his grief : 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, 
To England send him, or confine him where 
Your wisdom best shall think. 

King. It shall be so ; 

Madness in great ones must not unwa.tch'd go. [Exeunt. 

SCENE II. A Hall in the Castle. 
Enter HAMLET and Players. 

Hamlet. 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 spoke 
my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, 
thus, but use all gently ; for in the very torrent, tempest, and, 
as I may say, the whirlwind of passion, you must acquire and 


beget a temperance that may give it smoothness. O, it 
offends me to the soul to hear a robustious periwig-pated 
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 inexplicable dumb-shows and noise. I couldi 
have such a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant; it 
out-herods Herod : pray you, avoid it. 13 

I Player. I warrant your honour. 

Hamlet. Be not too tame neither, but let your own discre- 
tion be your tutor : suit the action to the word, the word to 
the action; with this special observance, that you o'erstep 
not the modesty of nature ; for any thine; so overdone is from 
th/ purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now T 
was andis, to hold, as 7 t were, ~ 

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 unskil- 
ful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve ; the censure 
of the which one must in your allowance o'erweigh a whole 
theatre of others. O, there be players that I have seen play, 
and heard others praise, and that highly, not to speak it pro- 
fanely, that, neither having the accent of Christians nor the 
gait of Christian, pagan, nor man, have so strutted and bel- 
lowed that I have thought some of nature's journeymen had 
made men and not made them well, they imitated humanity 
so abominably. 32 

i Player. I hope we have reformed that Jndifferently with 
us, sir. 

Hamlet. O, 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 barren spectators to laugh too, though in the 
mean time some necessary question of the play be then to 
be considered : that 's villanous, and shows a most pitiful 
ambition in the fool that uses it. Go, make you ready. 41 

^Exeunt Players. 



How now, my lord ! will the king hear this piece of work ? 

Polonius. And the queen too, and that presently. 

Hamlet. Bid the players make haste. \_Exit Polonius^ 
Will you two help to hasten them? 

Rosencrantz. 1 We will lord> 

G uiliten stern.] 

\_Exeunt Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. 

Hatnlet. What ho ! Horatio 1 


Horatio. Here, sweet lord, at your service. 

Hamlet. Horatio, thou art e'en as just a man 
As e'er my conversation cop'd withal. 5 

Horatio. O, my dear lord, 

Hamlet. 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 flatterV, r 
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 her choice 
And could of men distinguish, her election 
Hath seal'd thee for herself; for thou hast been <fc 

As one, in suffering all, that suffers nothing, 
A man that fortune's buffets and rewards 
Hath ta'en with equal thanks : and blest are those 
Whose blood and judgment are so well commingled 
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, 
As I do thee. Something too much of this, 


There is a play to-night before the king ; to 

One scene of it comes near the circumstance 

Which I have told thee of my father's death. 

I prithee, when thou seest that act afoot, 

Even with the very comment of thy 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 

As Vulcan's stithy. Give him heedful note ; 

For I mine eyes will rivet to his face, *> 

And after we will both our judgments join 

In censure of his seeming. 

Horatio. Well, my lord ; 

If he steal aught the whilst this play is playing, 
And scape detecting, I will pay the theft. 

Hamlet. They are coming to the play ; I must be idle : 
Get you a place. 

Danish march. A flourish. Enter KING, QUEEN, POLONIUS, 

King. How fares our cousin Hamlet? 

Hamlet. Excellent, i' faith ; of the chameleon'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. 91 

Hamlet. No, nor mine now. -*-\To Polonius\ My lord, you 
played once i' the university, you say? 

Polonius. That did I, my lord, and was accounted a good 

Hamlet. What did you enact? 

Polonius. I did enact Julius Caesar: I was killed i' th? 
Capitol ; Brutus killed me. 

Hamlet. It was a brute part of him to kill so capital a 
calf there. Be the players ready ? wo 

ACT III. SCENE 11. 103 

Rosenerantz. Ay, my lord ; they stay upon your patience. 

Queen. Come hither, my dear Hamlet, sit by me. 

hamlet. No, good mother, here 's metal more attractive. 
\_Lying down at Ophelia 1 s feet. 

Polonius. \To the King] O, ho ! do you mark that? 

Ophelia. You are merry, my lord. 

Hamlet. Who, I? 

Ophelia. Ay, my lord. 

Hamlet. 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 's two hours. no 

Ophelia. Nay, 't is twice two months, my lord. 

Hamlet. So long ? Nay then, let the devil wear black, for 
I '11 have a suit of sables. O 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 think- 
ing on, with the hobby-horse, whose epitaph is ' For, O, for, 
O, the hobby-horse is forgot ! ' 

Hautboys play. The dumb-show enters. 

Enter a King and a Queen very lovingly ; the Queen em- 
bracing him, and he her. 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 pours poison in the King's 
ears, and exit. The Queen returns, finds the King dead, and 
makes passionate action. The Poisoner, with some two or 
three Mutes, comes in again, seeming to lament with her. The 
dead body is carried away. The Poisoner wooes the Queen 
with gifts ; she seems loath and unwilling awhile, but in the 
end accepts his love. \_Exeunt. 

Ophelia. \Vhat means this, my lord ? 

Hamlet. Marry, this is miching mallecho ; it means mis- 
chief, w 


Ophelia. Belike this show imports tne argument of the 


Enter Prologue. 

Hamlet. We shall know by this fellow : the players cannot 
keep counsel ; they '11 tell all. 

Ophelia. Will he tell us what this show meant? 

Hamlet. Ay, or any show that you '11 show him ; be not 
you ashamed to show, he '11 not shame to tell you what it 

Ophelia. You are naught, you are naught ; I '11 mark the 
play. 1 3 I 

Prologue. For us, and for our tragedy, 

Here stooping to your clemency, 

We beg your hearing patiently. \_Exit. 

Hamlet. Is this a prologue, or the posy of a ring? 
Ophelia. 'T is brief, my lord. 
Hamlet. As woman's love. 

Enter two Players, King and Queen. 

Player King. Full thirty times hath Phoebus' cart gone round 
Neptune's salt wash and Tellus' orbed ground, 

And thirty dozen moons with borrow'd sheen '4* 

About the world have times twelve thirties been, 
Since love our hearts and Hymen did our hands 
Unite commutual in most sacred bands. 

Player Queen. So many journeys may the sun and moon 
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 ; 

For women's fear and love holds quantity, J 5 

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. 

Player King. Faith, I must leave thee, love, and shortly too; 


My operant powers their 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 

Player Queen. O, confound the rest I ifo 

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. 

Hamlet. [Aside] Wormwood, wormwood ! 

Player Queen. The instances 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. 

Player King. I do believe you think what now you speak, 
But what we do determine oft we break. 170 

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: rfo 

Where joy most revels, grief doth most lament ; 
Grief joys, joy grieves, on slender accident. 
This world is not for aye, nor 't is not strange 
That even our loves should with our fortunes change; 
For 't is a question left us yet to prove, 
Whether love lead fortune or else fortune love. 
The great man down, you mark his favourites flies: 
The poor advanc'd makes friends of enemies. 
And hitherto doth love on fortune tend ; 

For who not needs shall never lack a friend, tgo 

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. 

Player Queen. Nor earth to me give food, nor heaven light ! 
Sport and repose lock from me day and night ! 
To desperation turn my trust and hope! 
An anchor's 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 ! 

Hamlet. If she should break it now ! 

Player King. 'T is deeply sworn. Sweet, leave me here a while ; 
My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile 
The tedious day with sleep. [Sleeps. 

Player Queen. Sleep rock thy brain; <> 

And never come mischance between us twain I \Extt. 

Hamlet. Madam, how like you this play? 

Queen. The lady protests too much, methinks. 

Hamlet. O, but she '11 keep her word. 

King. Have you heard the argument? Is there no 
offence in 't ! 

Hamlet. No, no, they do but jest, poison in jest ; no of- 
fence i' the world. 

King. What do you call the play ? 9 

Hamlet. The Mouse-trap. Marry, how? Tropically. This 
play is the image of a murther done in Vienna : Gonzago 
is the duke's name ; his wife, Baptista : you shall see anon ; 
't is a knavish piece of work : but what o' that? your maj- 
esty and we that have free souls, it touches us not; let the 
galled jade wince, our withers are unwrung. 

This is one Lucianus, nephew to the king. 

Ophelia. You are as good as a chorus, my lord. 

Hamlet. I could interpret between you and your love, if 
I could see the puppets dallying. 

Ophelia. You are keen, my lord, you are keen. 930 


Hamlet. Begin, murtherer ; pox, leave thy damnable faces, 
and begin. Come : the croaking raven doth bellow for re- 

Lucianus. Thoughts black, hands apt, drugs fit, and time agreeing; 
Confederate 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. 239 

\_Pours the poison into the sleeper's ear. 
Hamlet. He poisons him i' the garden for 's estate. His 
name 's Gonzago ; the story is extant, and writ in choice 
Italian. You shall see anon how the murtherer gets the 
love of Gonzago's wife. 
Ophelia. The king rises ! 
Hamlet. What, frighted with false fire I 
Queen. How fares my lord ? 
Polonius. Give o'er the play 1 
King. Give me some light ! away ! 
All. Lights, lights, lights ! 

\Exeunt all but Hamlet and Horatio. 
Hamlet. Why, let the strucken deer go weep, 250 

The hart ungalled play; 
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 ol 
my fortunes turn Turk with me with two Provincial roses 
on my razed shoes, get me a fellowship in a cry of players, 

Horatio. Half a share. 
Hamlet. A whole one, I. 

For thou dost know, O Damon dear, fe 

This realm dismantled was 
Of Jove himself; and now reigns here 

A very, very pajock. 
Horatio. You might have rhymed. 


Hamlet. O good Horatio, I '11 take the ghost's word for a 
thousand pound. Didst perceive ? 

Horatio. Very well, my lord. 

Hamlet. Upon the talk of the poisoning? 

Horatio. I did very well note him. 

Hamlet. Ah, ha 1 Come, some music ! come, the record- 
ers 1 a " 
For if the king like not the comedy, 
Why then, belike, he likes it not, perdy. 
Come, some music 1 


Guildenstern. Good my lord, vouchsafe me a word with 

Hamlet. Sir, a whole history. 

Guildenstern. The king, sir, 

Hamlet. Ay, sir, what of him? 

Guildenstern. Is in his retirement marvellous distempered. 

Hamlet. With drink, sir? 281 

Guildenstern. No, my lord, rather with choler. 

Hamlet. Your wisdom should show itself more richer to 
signify this to his doctor ; for, for me to put him to his pur- 
gation would perhaps plunge him into far more choler. 

Guildenstern. Good my lord, put your discourse into some 
frame, and start not so wildly from my affair. 

Hamlet. I am tame, sir ; pronounce. 

Guildenstern. The queen, your mother, in most great af- 
fliction of spirit, hath sent me to you. 290 

Hamlet. You are welcome. 

Guildenstern. Nay, good my lord, this courtesy is not of 
the right breed. If it shall please you to make me a whole- 
some answer, I will do your mother's commandment ; if not 
your pardon and my return shall be the end of my business. 

Hamlet. Sir, I cannot. 

Guildenstern. What, my lord 


Hamlet. Make you a wholesome answer ; my wit 's dis- 
eased : but, sir, such answer as I can make, you shall com- 
mand, or, rather, as you say, my mother; therefore no 
more, but to the matter : my mother, you say, 301 

Rosencrantz. Then thus she says : your behaviour hath 
struck her into amazement and admiration. 

Hamlet. O wonderful son, that can so astonish a mother ! 
But is there no sequel at the heels of this mother's admira- 
tion ? Impart. 

Rosencrantz. She desires to speak with you in her closet, 
ere you go to bed. 

Hamlet. We shall obey, were she ten times our mother. 
Have you any further trade with us? 31 

Rosencrantz. My lord, you once did love me. 

Hamlet. So I do still, by these pickers and stealers. 

Rosencrantz. Good my lord, what is your cause of distem- 
per? you do, surely, bar the door upon your own liberty, if 
you deny your griefs to your friend. 

Hamlet. Sir, I lack advancement. 

Rosencrantz. How can that be, when you have the voice 
of t'he king himself for your succession in Denmark ? 

Hamlet. Ay, sir, but ' while the grass grows,' the proverb 
is something musty. 320 

Re-enter Players with recorders. 

O, the recorders ! let me see one. To withdraw with you, 
why do you go about to recover the wind of me, as if you 
would drive me into a toil? 

Guildenstern. O, my lord, if my duty be too bold, my love 
is too unmannerly. 

Hamlet. I do not well understand that. Will you play 
upon this pipe ? 

Guildenstern. My lord, I cannot. 

Hamlet. I pray you. 

Guildenstern. Believe me, I cannot. 330 


Hamtei. 1 do beseech you. 

Guildenstern. I know no touch of it, my lord. 

Hamlet. T is as easy as lying; govern these ventages 
with your ringers and thumb, give it breath with your mouth, 
and it will discourse most eloquent music. Look you, these 
are the stops. 

Guildenstern. But these cannot I command to any utter- 
ance of harmony ; I have not the skill. 338 
' Hamlet. 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, excellent 
voice, in this little organ; yet cannot you make it speak. 
'Sblood, do you think 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. 

God bless you, sir ! 

Polonius. My lord, the queen would speak with you, and 
presently. 3S o 

Hamlet. Do you see yonder cloud that 's almost in shape 
of a camel? 

D olonius. By the mass, and 't is like a camel, indeed. 

Hamlet. Methinks it is like a weasel. 

Polonius. It is backed like a weasel. 

Hamlet. Or like a whale? 

Polonius. Very like a whale. 

Hamlet. Then will I come to my mother by and by. 
Aside] They fool me to the top of my bent. I will come 
by and by. 36o 

Polonius. I will say so. [Exit Polonius. 

Hamlet. By and by is easily said. Leave me, friends. 

[Exeunt all but Hamlet. 


'T is now the very witching time of night, 

When churchyards yawn, and hell itself breathes out 

Contagion to this world ; now could I drink hot blood, 

And do such bitter business as the day 

Would quake to look on. Soft ! now to my mother. 

heart, lose not thy nature ; let not ever 
The soul of Nero enter this firm bosom ; 

Let me be cruel, not unnatural. 370 

1 will speak daggers to her, but use none ; 
My tongue and soul in this be hypocrites : 
How in my words soever she be shent, 

To give them seals never, my soul, consent ! [Exit. 

SCENE III. A Room in the Castle. 

King. I like him not, nor stands it safe with us 
To let his madness range. Therefore prepare you ; 
I your commission will forthwith dispatch, 
And he to England shall along with you. 
The terms of our estate may not endure 
Hazard so near us as doth hourly grow 
Out of his lunacies. 

Guildenstern. 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. 10 

Rosencrantz. 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 weal depends and rests 
The lives of many. The cease of majesty 
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, 

112 HAMLET. 

To whose huge spokes ten thousand lesser things 

Are mortis'd and adjoin'd ; which, when it falls, 20 

Each small annexment, petty consequence, 

Attends the boisterous ruin. Never alone 

Did the king sigh, but with a general groan. 
King. Arm you, I pray you, to this speedy voyage; 

For we will fetters put upon this fear, 

Which now goes too free-footed. 

Rosencrantz. \ , . , 

GuUdenstern] We will haste us. 

[Exeunt Rosencrantz and GuUdenstern. 


Polonius. My lord, he 's going to his mother's closet. 
Behind the arras I '11 convey myself, 
To hear the process ; I '11 warrant she '11 tax him home : 
And, as you said, and wisely was it said, 3 o 

'T is meet that some more audience than a mother, 
Since nature makes them partial, should o'erhear 
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 Polonius. 

O, 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, 40 

And, like a man to double business bound, 
I stand in pause where I shall first begin, 
And both neglect. What if this cursed hand 
Were thicker than itself with brother's blood, 
Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens 
To wash it white as snow? Whereto serves mercy 

ACT III. SCENE 111. 113 

But to confront the visage of offence? 

And what 's in prayer but this twofold force, 

To be forestalled ere we come to fall, 

Or pardon'd being down? Then I '11 look up; so 

My fault is past. But, O, what form of prayer 

Can serve my turn ? * Forgive me my foul murther? ' 

That cannot be ; since I am still possess'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 in 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 ! O bosom black as death ! 

O limed soul, that struggling to be free 

Art more engag'd 1 Help, angels ! Make assay ! 

Bow, stubborn knees ; and, heart with strings of steel, 70 

Be soft as sinews of the new-born babe 1 

All may be welL \Rctircs and kneels, 

Enter HAMLET. 

Hamlet. 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 reveng'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, * 

With all his crimes broad blown, as flush 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 reveng'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 : 
When he is drunk asleep, or in his rage, 
Or in the incestuous pleasure of his bed ; go 

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. 

King. [Rising] My words fly up, my thoughts remain be- 

jWords without thoughts never to heaven go. [Exit. 

\ SCENE IV. TTie Queen's Closet 


Poknius. He will come straight Look you lay home to 


Tell him his pranks have been too broad to bear with, 
And that your grace hath screen'd and stood between 
Much heat and him. I Ml silence me even here. 
Pray you, be round with him. 

Hamlet. [Within] Mother! mother! mother! 

Queen. I >n warrant you. 

Fear me not. Withdraw, I hear him coming. 

\Polonius hides behind the arras. 

ACT ///. SCENE IV 115 

Enter HAMLET. 

Hamlet. Now, mother, what's the matter? 

Queen. Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended. 

Hamlet. Mother, you have my father much offended. 

Queen. Come, come, you answer with an idle tongue. 

Hamlet. Go, go, you question with a wicked tongue. 

Queen. Why, how now, Hamlet ! 

Hamkt. What 's the matter now ? 

Queen. Have you forgot me? 

Hamlet. No, by the rood, not so : 

You are the queen, your husband's brother's wife ; 
And would it were not so ! you are my mother. 

Queen. Nay, then, I Ml set those to you that can speak. 

Hamlet. Come, come, and sit you down ; you shall not 

budge : 

You go not till 1 set you up a glass 
Where you may see the inmost part of you. 20 

Queen. What wilt thou do? thou wilt not murther me? 
Help, help, ho ! 

Polonius. [Behind''] What, ho ! help, help, help ! 

Hamlet. [Drawing} How now ! a rat? Dead, for a, 
dead ! [Makes a pass through the arras. 

Polonius. [Behind] O, I am slain ! [Falls and dies. 

Queen. O me, what hast thou done? 

Hamlet. Nay, I know not ; 

Is it the king? 

Queen. O, what a rash and bloody deed is this ! 

Hamlet. A bloody deed ! almost as bad, good mother, 
As kill a king, and marry with his brother. 

Queen. As kill a king ! 

Hamlet. Ay, lady, 't was my word. 30 

[Lifts up the arras and discovers Polonius. 
Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell ! 
I took thee for thy better : take thy fortune ; 

j !g HAMLET. 

Thou find'st to be too busy is some danger. 

Leave wringing of your hands : peace ! sit you down, 

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 darest wag thy 

In noise so rude against me? 

Hamlet. Such an act 40 

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 ; O, 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 and compound mass, 

With tristful visage, as against the doom, 50 

Is thought-sick at the act. 

Queen. Ay me, what act, 

That roars so loud and thunders in the index ? 

Hamlet. Look here, upon this picture, and on this, 
The counterfeit presentment of two brothers. 
See, what a grace was seated on this brow : 
Hyperion's curls; the front of Jove himself; 
An eye like Mars, to threaten and command \ 
A station like the herald Mercury 
New-lighted on a heaven-kissing hill ; 

A combination and a form indeed, 60 

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 judgment 70 

Would step from this to this? Sense, sure, you have, 

Else could you not have motion ; but sure, that sense 

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. What devil was *t 

That thus hath cozen'd you at hoodman-blind? 

Eyes without feeling, feeling without sight, 

Ears without hands or eyes, smelling sans all, 

Or but a sickly part of one true sense Bo 

Could not so mope. 

O shame ! where is thy blush? Rebellious hell, 

If thou canst mutine in a matron's bones, 

To flaming yoiith 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 burn, 

And reason panders will. 

Queen, O Hamlet, speak no more : 

Thou turn'st mine eyes into my very soul, 
And there I see such black and grained spots 90 

As will not leave their tinct. 

Hamlet. Nay, but to live 

Stew'd in corruption, 

Queen. O, speak to me no more ; 

These words like daggers enter in mine ears : 
No more, sweet Hamlet ! 

Hamlet. A murtherer and a villain.- 

A slave that is not twentieth part the tithe 

,13 HAMLET. 

Of your precedent lord ; a vice of kings ; 
A cutpurse of the empire and the rule, 
That from a shelf the precious diadem stole, 
And put il in his pocket ! 

Queen. No more ! 

Hamlet. A king of shreds and patches, c 

Enter Ghost. 

Save me, and hover o'er me with your wings, 
You heavenly guards ! What would your gracious figure? 

Queen. Alas ! he 's mad ! 

Hamlet. Do you not come your tardy son to chide, 
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 : MO 

O, step between her and her fighting soul ; 
Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works. 
Speak to her, Hamlet. 

Hamlet. How is it with you, lady? 

Queen. Alas, how is 't with you, 
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, 
Your bedded hair, like life in excrements, 
Starts up, and stands an end. O gentle son, MO 

Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper 
Sprinkle cool patience. Whereon do you look ? 

Hamlet. 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 me ; 
Lest with this piteous action you convert 

ACT ///. SCENE IV. 119 

My stern effects : then what I have to do 

Will want true colour ; tears perchance for blood. 

Queen. To whom do you speak this ? 

Hamlet. Do you see nothing there ? 

Queen. Nothing at all ; yet all that is I see. no 

Hamlet. Nor did you nothing hear? 

Queen. No, nothing but ourselves. 

Hamlet. Why, look you there ! look, how it steals away 1 
My father, in his habit as he liv ? d ! 
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 
Js very cunning in. 

Hamlet. Ecstasy ! 

My pulse, as yours, doth temperately keep time, 
And makes as healthful music : it is not madness 
That I have utter'd ; bring me to the test, u 

And I the matter will re-word, which madness 
Would gambol from. Mother, for love of grace, 
Lay not that flattering unction to your soul, _ 
That not your trespass but my" rn'aclness speaks ; 
It will but skin and film the ulcerous place, 
Whilst rank corruption, mining all within, 
Infects unseen. Confess yourself to heaven ; 
Repent what 's past, avoid what is to come ; 
And do not spread the compost on the weeds, 
To make them ranker. Forgive me this my virtue ; nc 

For in the fatness of these pursy times 
Virtue itself of vice must pardon beg, 
Vea, curb and woo for leave to do him good. 

Queen. O Hamlet, thou hast cleft my heart in twain. 

Hamlet. 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 ; 

, ao HAMLET. 

Assume a virtue, if you have it not. 
That monster, custom, who all sense doth eat, 
Of habits devil, is angel yet in this, <** 

That to the use of actions fair and good 
He likewise gives a frock or livery, 
That aptly is put on. Refrain to-night, 
And that shall lend a kind of easiness 
To the next abstinence : the next more easy ; 
For use almost can change the stamp of nature, 
And either master the devil, or throw hi.n out 
With wondrous potency. Once more, good night : 
And when you are desirous to be blest, 
I '11 blessing beg of you. For this same lord, 170 

\Pointing to Polonius. 

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 minister. 
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? 

Hamlet. 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, 
Oi paddling 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. T were good you let him know ; 
For who, that 's but a queen, fair, sober, wise, 
Would from a paddock, from a bat, a gib, 
Such dear concernings hide ? who would do so ? 
No, in despite of sense and secrecy, 190 


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 breath, 
And breath of life, I have no life to breathe 
What thou hast said to me. 

Hamlet. I must to England ; you know that ? 

Queen. Alack, 

I had forgot ; 't is so concluded on. 

Hamlet. There 's letters seaFd, and my two schoolfellows 
Whom I will trust as I will adders fang'd aoJ 

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 enginer 
Hoist with his own petar : and 't shall go hard 
But I will delve one yard below their mines, 
And blow them at the moon. O, 't is most sweet, 
When in one line two crafts directly meet 1 
This man shall set me packing; 

I '11 lug the guts into the neighbour room. aw 

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 Polonius. 



SCENE I. A Room in the Castle. 

King. There 's matter in these sighs : these profound 


You must translate ; 't is fit we understand them. 
Where is your son? 

Queen. Bestow this place on us a little while. 

[Exeunt Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. 
Ah, my good lord, what have I seen to-night ! 

King. What, Gertrude? How does Hamlet? 

Queen. Mad as the sea and wind, when both contend 
Which is the mightier ; in his lawless fit, 
Behind the arras hearing something stir, 
Whips out his rapier, cries, ' A rat, a rat ! ' 10 

ACT IV. SCENE /. 123 

And in this brainish apprehension kills 
The unseen good old man. 

King. O heavy deed ! 

It had been so with us, had we been there; 
His liberty is full of threats to all, 
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 haunt, 
This mad young man ; but so much was our love, 
We would not understand what was most fit, m 

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. O Gertrude, come away ! 
The sun no sooner shall the mountains touch, 
But we will ship him hence ; and this vile deed 30 

We must, with all our majesty and skill, 
Both countenance and excuse. Ho, Guildenstern ! 

Friends both, go join you with some further aid 5 
Hamlet in madness hath Polonius slain, 
And from his mother's closet hath he dragg'd him. 
Go seek him out ; speak fair, and bring the body 
Into the chapel. I pray you haste in this. 

\_Exeunt Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. 
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. O, come away ! 

My soul is full of discord and dismay. [Exeunt. 

SCENE II. Another Room in the Castle. 

Enter HAMLET. 
Hamlet. Safely stowed. 

Rosencrantz. j [wuhin] Hamlet ! Lord Hamlet ! 

Guildenstern. } l 

Hamlet. What noise? who calls on Hamlet? O, here 
they come. 


Rosencrantz. What have you done, my lord, with the 
dead body? 

Hamlet. Compounded it with dust, whereto 't is kin. 

Rosencrantz. Tell us where 't is, that we may take it 

And bear it to the chapel. 

Hamlet. Do not believe it. 

Rosencrantz. Believe what ? 10 

Hamlet. That I can keep your counsel and not mine own. 
Besides, to be demanded of a sponge, what replication 
should be made by the son of a king ? 

Rosencrantz. Take you me for a sponge, my lord? 

Hamlet. Ay, sir, that soaks up the king's countenance, 
his rewards, his authorities. But such officers do the king 
best service in the end; he keeps them, as an ape doth 
nuts, in the corner of his jaw, first mouthed, to be last 
swallowed : when he needs what you have gleaned, it is 
but squeezing you, and, sponge, you shall be dry again. 20 

Rosencrantz. I understand you not, my lord. 

Hamlet. I am glad of it; a knavish speech sleeps in a 
foolish ear. 


Rosencrantz. My lord, you must tell us where the body is, 
and go with us to the king. 

Hamlet. The body is with the king, but the king is not 
with the body. The king is a thing 

Guildenstern. A thing, my lord ! 

Hamlet. Of nothing ; bring me to him. Hide fox, and 
all after. [Exeunt. 

SCENE III. Another Room in the Castle. 
Enter KING, attended. 

King. I have sent to seek him, and to find 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, w 

Or not at all. 


How now ! what hath befallen ? ( 

Roscncrantz. Where the dead body is bestow'd, my lord, 
We cannot get from him. 

King. But where is he ? 

Rosencrantz. Without, my lord; guarded, to know your 


King. Bring him before us. 
Rosencrantz. Ho, Guildenstern ! bring in my lord. 

King. Now, Hamlet, where 's Polonius? 


Hamlet. At supper. 

King. At supper ! where ? *9 

Hamlet. Not where he eats, but where he is eaten ; a cer- 
tain convocation of politic 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! 

Hamlet. 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? 

Hamlet. Nothing but to show you how a king may go a 
progress through the guts of a beggar. 31 

King. Where is Polonius? 

Hamlet. In heaven ; send thither to see : if your messen- 
ger find him not there, seek him i' the other place yourself. 
But indeed, if you find him not within this month, you shall 
nose him as you go up the stairs into the lobby. 

King. Go seek him there. [To some Attendants. 

Hamlet. He will stay till ye come. [Exeunt Attendants. 

King. Hamlet, this deed, for thine especial safety, 
Which we do tender, as we dearly grieve 40 

For that which thou hast done, must send thee hence 
With fiery quickness ; therefore prepare thyself. 
The bark is ready, and the wind at help, 
The associates tend, and every thing is bent 
For England. 

Hamlet. For England I 

King. Ay, Hamlet. 

Hamlet. Good. 

King. So is it, if thou knew'st our purposes. 

Hamlet. I see a cherub that sees them. But, come ; fol 
England ! Farewell, dear mother. 

King. Thy loving father, Hamlet 49 


Hamlet. My mother ; father and mother is man and wife ; 
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 1 for every thing is seal'd and done 
That else leans on the affair ; pray you, make haste. 

[Exeunt Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. 
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 60 

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. [Exit. 

SCENE IV. A Plain in Denmark. 
Enter FORTINBRAS, a Captain, and Soldiers, marching. 

Fortinbras. Go, captain, from me greet the Danish king \ 
Tell him that by his license Fortinbras 
Claims the conveyance of a promis'd march 
Over his kingdom. You know the rendezvous. 
If that his majesty would aught with us, 
We shall express our duty in his eye ; 
And let him know so. 

Captain. I will do 't, my lord. 

Fortinbras. Go softly on. 

[Exeunt Fortinbras and Soldiers 



Hamlet. Good sir, whose powers are these? 

Captain. They are of Norway, sir. 

Hamlet. How purpos'd, sir, I pray you? 

Captain. Against some part of Poland. 

Hamlet. Who commands them, sir? 

Captain. The nephew to old Norway, Fortinbras. 

Hamlet. Goes it against the main of Poland, sir, 
Or for some frontier? 

Captain. 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. 

Hamlet. Why, then the Polack never will defend it 

Captain. Yes, 't is already garrison'd. 

Hamlet. Two thousand souls and twenty thousand ducats 
Will not debate the question of this straw ; 
This is the imposthume of much wealth and peace, 
That inward breaks, and shows no cause without 
Why the man dies. I humbly thank you, sir. 

Captain. God be wi' you, sir. \_Exit. 

Rosencrantz. Will 't please you go, my lord ? 

Hamlet. I '11 be with you straight. Go a little before, y 
\_Exeunt all except Hamlet. 
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 in us unus'd. Now, whether it be 


Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple 40 

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 cause and will and strength and means 

To do 't. Examples gross as earth exhort me ; 

Witness this army of such mass and charge, 

Led by a delicate and tender prince, 

Whose spirit with divine ambition puff d 

Makes mouths 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, 6* 

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, HORATIO, and a Gentleman. 

Queen. I will not speak with her. 
Gentleman. She is importunate, indeed distract ; 
Her mood will needs be pitied. 

Queen. What would she have? 

130 HAMLET. 

Gentleman. 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 doubt, 
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 ; M 

Which, as her winks and nods and gestures yield them, 
Indeed would make one think there might be thought, 
Though nothing sure, yet much unhappily. 
Horatio. 'T were good she were spoken with, for she jmay 

Dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds. 

Queen. Let her come in. [Exit Horatio. 

[Aside] 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, 
It spills itself in fearing to be spilt. *> 

Re-enter HORATIO, -with OPHELIA. 
Ophelia. Where is the beauteous majesty of Denmark? 
Queen. How now, Ophelia ! 

Ophelia. [Sings] How should I your true love know y 

From another one ? V 

By his cockle hat and sta/ t ' 

And his sandal shoo n. 

Queen. Alas, sweet lady, what imports this song? 
Ophelia. Say you ? nay, pray you, mark. 

[Sings] He is dead and gone, lady, 

He is dead and gone ; 
At his head a grass-grsen turf t 

At his heels a stone. 
Queen. Nay, but, Ophelia, 
Ophelia. Pray you, mark. 
[Sings] White his shroud as the mountain snow, 


Enter KING. 

Queen. Alas, look here, my lord. 

Ophelia. [Sings] Larded with sweet flowers ; 

Which bewept to the grave did go 

With true-love shower** 

King. How do you, pretty lady ? o 

Ophelia. Well, God Meld you ! 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. [Aside] Conceit upon her father! 

Ophelia. Pray you, let 's have no words of this ; but when 

they ask you what it means, say you this : 

fSings] To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day t 

All in the morning betime t 
And I a maid at your window. 

To be your Valentine. y> 

King. How long hath she been thus? 

Ophelia. 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 brother 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. [Exit. 

King. Follow her close ; give her good watch, I pray you. 

[Exit Horatio. 

O, this is the poison of deep grief; it springs 
All from her father's death. O Gertrude, Gertrude, 60 

When sorrows_cpnie > Jh_ey- .come not single spies, 
But in battalions. FirsVhej-iather-gfain ; 
Next, your son gone ; and he most violent author 
Of his own just remove : the people muddied, 
Thick and unwholesome in their thoughts and whispers, 
For good Polonius' 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 mere beasts : 

Last, and as much containing as all these, 70 

Her 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 person to arraign 

In ear and ear. O my dear Gertrude, this, 

Like to a murthering-piece, in many places 

Gives me superfluous death, [A noise within. 

Queen. Alack, what noise is this? 79 

King. Where are my Switzers? Let them guard the 

Enter another Gentleman. 

What is the matter? 

Gentleman. Save yourself, my lord ; 

The ocean, overpeering of his list, 
Eats not the flats with more impetuous haste 
Than young Laertes, in a riotous head, 
O'erbears your officers. The rabble call him lord; 
And, 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 I ' 
Caps, hands, and tongues, applaud it to the clouds, 90 

' Laertes shall be king, Laertes king ! ' 

Queen. How cheerfully on the false trail they cry ! 
O, this is counter, you false Danish dogs ! 

King. The doors are broke. \Noise within. 

Enter LAERTES, anned; Danes following. 
Laertes. Where is this king? Sirs, stand you all without. 


Danes. No, let *s come in. 

Laertes. I pray you, give me leave. 

Danes. We will, we will. \_They retire without the door. 

Laertes. I thank you : keep the door. O thou vile king, 
Give me my father I 

Queen. Calmly, good Laertes. 

Laertes. That drop of blood that *s calm proclaims me 
bastard, 100 

Cries cuckold to my father, brands the harlot 
Even here, between the chaste unsmirched brows 
Of my true mother. 

King. What is the cause, Laertes, 

That 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 can but peep to what it would, 
Acts little of his will. Tell me, Laertes, 
Why thou art thus incens'd. Let him go, Gertrude* 
Speak, man. no 

Laertes. Where is my father? 

King. Dead. 

Queen. But not by him. 

King* Let him demand his fill. 

Laertes. How came he dead? I '11 not be juggled with: 
To hell, allegiance 1 vows, to the blackest devil 1 
Conscience and grace, to the profoundest pit 1 
I dare damnation. To this point I stand : 
That both the worlds I give to negligence, 
Let come what comes ; only I '11 be reveng'd 
Most throughly for my father. 

King. Who shall stay you ? 

Laertes. My will, not all the world ; MO 

And for my means, I '11 husband them so well, 
They shall go far with little. 

King. Good Laertes, 



li you desire to know the certainty 
Of your dear father's death, is 't writ in your revenge, 
That, swoopstake, you will draw both friend and foe, 
Winner and loser? 

Laertes. None but his enemies. 

King. Will you know them then? 

Laertes. To his good friends thus wide I '11 ope my arms ; 
And like the kind life-rendering pelican, 
Repast them with my blood. 

King. Why, now you speak 130 

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. 

Danes. [ Within\ Let her come in. 

Laertes. How now 1 what noise is that? 

Re-enter OPHELIA. 

O heat, dry up my brains ! tears seven times salt, 

Burn out the sense and virtue of mine eye ! 

By heaven, thy madness shall be paid by weight, 

Till our scale turn the beam. O rose of May I no 

Dear maid, kind sister, sweet Ophelia ! 

O 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. 

Ophelia. [Sings] They bore him barefaced on the bier; 
Hey non nonny, nonny, hey nonny; 
And on his grave rains many a tear. 
Fare you well, my dove ! I5a 

Laertes. Hadst thou thy wits, and didst persuade revenge, 
It could not move thus. 

ACT If. SCENE V. 135 

Ophelia. You must sing, Down a-down> and you call him 
a-down-a. O, how the wheel becomes itl It is the false 
steward, that stole his master's daughter. 
Laertes. This nothing 's more than matter. 
Ophelia. There 's rosemary, that 's for remembrance; 
pray you, love, remember : and there is pansies, that 's for 

Laertes. A document in madness, thoughts and remem- 
brance fitted. 160 
Ophelia. There 's fennel for you, and columbines ; there 's 
rue for you ; and here 's some for me ; we may call it herb 
of grace o' Sundays ; O, you must wear your rue with a dif- 
ference. There 's a daisy : I would give you some violets, 
but they withered all when my father died; they say he 
made a good end, 

[Sings] For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy. 
Laertes. Thought and affliction, passion, hell itself, 
She turns to favour and to prettiness. 

Ophelia. [Sings] And will he not come again? *to 

And will he not come again t 
No, no, he is dead; 
Go to thy death-bed, 
He never will come again. 
His beard was white assnow t 
All flaxen was his poll; 
He is gone, he is gone, 
And we cast away moan : 
God ha' mercy on his soul! 179 

And of all Christian souls, I pray God. God be wi' ye. 


Laertes. Do you see this, O God ? 
King. Laertes, I must commune with your grief, 
Or you deny me right. Go but apart, 
Make choice of whom your wisest friends you will, 
And they shall hear and judge 'twixt you and me. 

, 3 6 HAMLET. 

If by direct or by collateral hand 

They find us touch'd, we will our kingdom givt, 

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. 

Laertes. Let this be so ; 

His means of death, his obscure burial 
No trophy, sword, nor hatchment o'er his bones, 
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 Castie. 
Enter HORATIO and a Servant. 

Horatio. What are they that would speak with me? 

Servant. Sailors, sir ; they say they have letters for you. 

Horatio. 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. 

i Sailor. God bless you, sir. 
Horatio. Let him bless thee too. 

i Sailor. He shall, sir, an 't please him. There 's a letter 
for you, sir it comes from the ambassador that was bound 
for England if your name be Horatio, as I am let to know 
it is. 

I Horatio. [Reads] 'Horatio, when thou shalt have overlooked 
\ this, give these fellows some means to the king; they have letters. 


for him. Ere we were two days old at sea, a pirate of very 
warlike appointment gave us chase. Finding ourselves too slow 
of sail, we put on a compelled valour; in the grapple I boarded 
them: on 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 have sent ; and repair 
thou to me with as much speed as thou wouldst fly death. I 
have words to speak in thine ear will make thee dtimb / yet are 
they much too light for the bore of the matter. These good fel- 
lows will bring thee where I am. Rosencrantz and Guilden- 
stern hold their course for England ; of them I have much to tell 
thee. Farewell. He that thou knowest thine, HAMLET.' 
Come, I will make you way for these your letters ; 27 

And do 't the speedier, that you may direct me 
To him from whom you brought them. ^Exeunt. 


vv \KA^5cEJte Vn. Another Room in the Castle. 


NWf- *>r*)i Enter KING and LAERTES. 

y~ *f** *Y* ' 

\v King. Now must your conscience my acquittance seal, 
And you must put me in your heart for friend, 
Sith you have heard, and with a knowing ear, 
That he which hath your noble father slain 
Pursued my life. 

Laertes. 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 stirr'd up. 

King. O, for two special reasons, 

Which may to you perhaps seem much unsinevv'd, 
But yet to me they are strong. The queen his mother 
Lives almost by his looks ; and for myself 
My virtue or my plague, be it either which 

1 38 HAMLET. 

She's so conjunctive to my life and soul, 

That, as the star moves not but in his sphere, 

I could not but by her. The other motive, 

Why to a public count I might not go, 

Is the great love the general gender bear him ; 

Who, dipping all his faults in their affection, 

Would, like the spring that turneth wood to stone, * 

Convert his gyves to graces : so that my arrows, 

Too slightly timber'd for so loud a wind, 

Would have reverted to my bow again, 

And not where I had aim'd them. 

Laertes. And so have I a noble father lost ; 
A sister driven into desperate terms, 
Whose worth, if praises may go back again, 
Stood challenger on mount of all the age 
For her perfections : but my revenge will come. 

King. Break not your sleeps for that j you must not think 
That we are made of stuff so flat and dull 31 

That we can let our beard be shook with danger, 
And think it pastime. You shortly shall hear more : 
I lov'd your father, and we love ourself ; 
And that, I hope, will teach you to imagine 

Enter a Messenger. 
How now! what news? 

Messenger. Letters, my lord, from Hamlet : 

This to your majesty j this to the queen. 

King. From Hamlet 1 who brought them ? 

Messenger. Sailors, my lord, they say ; I saw them not : 
They were given to me by Claudio ; he receiv'd them <c 

Of him that brought them. 

King' Laertes, you shall hear them. 

Leave us. [Exit Messenger. 

[Reads] High and mighty, You sJiall know I am set naked 
on your kingdom. To-morrow shall I beg leave to see your 

ACT IV. SC.AA VI, 139 

kingty eyes ; when I shall, first asking yout paraon thereunto, 
recount the occasion of my sudden and more strange return. 


What should this mean? Are all the rest come back? 
Or is it some abuse, and no such thing? 

Laertes. Know you the hand? 

King. T is Hamlet's character. * Naked I ' 

And in a postscript here, he says ' alone.' 51 

Can you advise me? 

Laertes. I 'm 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 didest thou.' 

King. If it be so, Laertes 

As how should it be so? how otherwise? 
Will you be rul'd by me? 

Laertes. Ay, my lord ; 

So you will not o'errule me to a peace. 

King. To thine own peace. If he be now return'd, 60 
As checking at 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 practice 
And call it accident. 

Laertes. 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, j 

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 him 
As did that one, and that, in my regard. 
Of the unworthiest siege. 

1 4 HAMLET. 

Laertes. 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. Two months since, to 

Here was a gentleman of Normandy : 
I 've seen myself, and serv'd against, the French, 
And they can well on horseback ; but this gallant 
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 topp'd my thought 
That I, in forgery of shapes and tricks, 
Come short of what he did. 

Laertes. A Norman was 't? 

King. A Norman. go 

Laertes. Upon my life, Lamond. 

King. The very same. 

Laertes. I know him well ; he is the brooch indeed 
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 of their nation, 
He swore, had neither motion, guard, nor eye, 100 

If you oppos'd them. 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 

Laertes. What out of this, my lord ? 

King. Laertes, was your father <fcar to you? 


Or are you like the painting of a sorrow, 
A face without a heart? 

Laertes. Why ask you this? 

King. Not that I think you did not love your father; 
But that I know love is begun by time, 
And that I see, in passages of proof, 
Time qualifies the spark and fire of it. 
There lives within the very flame of love 
A kind of wick or snuff that will abate it ; 
And nothing is at a like goodness still, 
For goodness, growing to a plurisy, 
Dies in his own too-much. That we would do, 
We should do when we would : for this ' would ' changes 
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 : 
Hamlet comes back ; what would you undertake, 
To show yourself your father's son in deed 
More than in words? 

Laertes. To cut his throat i' the church. 

King. No place, indeed, should murther sanctuarize ; 
Revenge should have no bounds. But, good Laertes, 
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, together 
\nd wager on your heads. He, being remiss, 
Most generous and free from all contriving, 
Will not peruse the foils; so that, with ease 
Or with a little shuffling, you may choose 
A sword unbated, and in a pass of practice 
Requite him for your father. 

Laertes 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 means 
May fit us to our shape. If this should fail, 
And that our drift look through our bad performance. i 
T were better not assay'd ; therefore this project 
Should have a back or second, that might hold 
If this should blast in proof. Soft ! let me see : 
We '11 make a solemn wager on your cunnings, 
I ha 't : 

When in your motion you are hot and dry 
As make your bouts more Solent to that end 
And that he calls for drink, I '11 have prepar'd him 
A chalice for the nonce, whereon but sipping, 
If he by chance escape your venom'd stuck, i 

Our purpose may hold there. 

Enter QUEEN. 

How now, sweet queen ! 

Queen. One woe doth tread upon another's heel, 
So fast they follow. Your sister 's drown'd, Laertes. 

Laertes. Drown'd 1 O, where ? 

Queen. There is a willow grows aslant a brook, 
That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream ; 
There with fantastic garlands did she come 
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 : 170 

There, on the pendent boughs her coronet weeds 

Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke, 

When down her 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 element : but long it could not be 

Till that her garments, heavy with their drink, i&o 

Pull'd the poor wretch from her melodious lay 

To muddy death. 

Laertes. Alas, then, is she drown'd ? 

Queen. Drown'd, drown'd. 

Laertes. Too much of water hast thou, poor Ophelia, 
And therefore I forbid my tears. But yet 
It is our trick ; nature her custom 
Let shame say what it will : wbfthese 
The woman will be out. Acfieu, my lord ; 
I have a speech of hre, that fain would blaze, 
But that this folly douts it. 

King. Let 's follow, Gertrude ; 190 

How much I had to do to calm his rage ! 
Now fear I this will give it start again ; 
Therefore let 's follow. [Exeunt. 


SCENE I. A Churchyard. 
Enter two Clowns, with spades, etc. 

1 Clown. Is she to be buried in Christian burial that wiK 
fully seeks her own salvation ? 

2 Clown. I tell thee she is ; and therefore make her grave 
straight : the crowner hath sat on her, and finds it Christian 

1 Clown. How can that be, unless she drowned herself in 
her own defence ? 

2 Clown. Why, 't 5s found so. 

I Clown. It must be se ojfendendo; it cannot be else. Fot 

ACT V. SCENE /. 145 

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 Clown. Nay, but hear you, goodman delver, 

1 Clown. 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 himself: argal, he that is not guilty of his own 
death shortens not his own life. 

2 Clown. But is this law? 20 

1 Clown. Ay, marry, is 't ; crowner's quest law. 

2 Clown. Will you ha' the truth on 't? If this had not 
been a gentlewoman, she should have been buried out o' 
Christian burial. 

1 Clown. 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 their even-Christian. Come, 
my spade. There is no ancient gentlemen but gardeners, 
ditchers, and grave -makers; they hold up Adam's profes- 
sion. 30 

2 Clown. Was he a gentleman ? 

1 Clown. He was the first that ever bore arms. 

2 Clown. Why, he had none. 

1 Clown. What, art a heathen ? How dost thou under- 
stand 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 thy- 

2 Clown. Go to. 

1 Clown. What is he that builds stronger than either the 
mason, the shipwright, or the carpenter? 4 

2 Cloum. The gallows - maker ; for that frame outlives a 
thousand tenants. 

I Clown. I like thy wit well, in good faith: the gallows 


does well; but how does it well? it does well to those that 
do ill ; now thou dost ill to say the gallows is built stronger 
than the church : argal, the gallows may do well to thee. 
To 't again, come. 

2 Clown. Who builds stronger than a mason, a ship- 
wright, or a carpenter? & 

1 Clown. Ay, tell me that, and unyoke. 

2 Clown. Marry, now I can tell. 

1 Clown. To 't. 

2 Clown. Mass, I cannot tell. 

Enter HAMLET and HORATIO, at a distance. 
I Clown. 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. 

\He digs, and sings. 
In youth, when I did love, did love , 60 

Methought it was very sweet, 
To contract O ! the time, for ah ! my behove, 

O y methought, there was nothing meet. 
Hamlet. Has this fellow no feeling of his business, that 
he sings at grave-making? 

Horatio. Custom hath made it in him a property of easi- 

Hamlet. T is e'en so ; the hand of little employment hath 
the daintier sense. 
I Clown. [Sings] 

But age, with his stealing steps, 70 

Hath claw'd me in his clutch, 
And hath shipped me intil the land, 
As if I had never been such. 

[Throws up a skull. 
Hamlet. That skull had a tongue in it, and could sing 

ACT V. SCENE /. 147 

once ; how the knave jowls it to the ground, as if it were 
Cain's jaw-bone, that did the first murther ! It might be 
the pate of a politician, which this ass now o'er-reaches ; 
one that would circumvent God, might it not? 

Horatio. It might, my lord. 79 

Hamlet. Or of a courtier, which could say ' Good morrow, 
sweet lord ! How dost thou, good lord?' This might be 
my lord such-a-one, that praised my lord -such-a-one's horse, 
when he meant to beg it, might it not ? 

Horatio. Ay, my lord. 

Hamlet. Why, e'en so ; and now my Lady Worm's, chap- 
less, and knocked about the mazzard with a sexton's spade : 
here's fine revolution, an we had the trick to see 't. Did 
these bones cost no more the breeding, but to play at log- 
gats with 'em ? mine ache to think on 't 

I Clown. [Sings] 

A pick-axe, and a spade, a spade t 

For and a shrouding sheet ; 
O, a pit of clay for to be made 
For such a guest is tneet. 

[ Throws up another skua. 

Hamlet. There 's another; why may not that be the skull 
of a lawyer? Where be his quiddits now, his quillets, his 
cases, his tenures, and his tricks ? why does 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? Hum ! 
This fellow might be in 's time a great buyer of land, 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 indent- 
ures? The very conveyances of his lands will hardly lie in 
this box; and must the inheritor himself have no more, ha? 

Horatio. Not a jot more, my lord. 


Hamlet. Is not parchment made of sheep-skins? 

Horatio. Ay, my lord, and of calf-skins too. 109 

Hamlet. They are sheep and calves which seek wit as- 
surance in that. I will speak to this fellow. Whose grave 's 
this, sirrah? 

\ Clown. Mine, sir. 

[Sings] O, a pit of clay for to be made 
' For such a guest is meet. 

Hamlet. I think it be thine, indeed, for thou liest in 't. 

i Clown. 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. 

Hamlet. Thou dost lie in 't, to be in 't and say it is thine : 
't is for the dead, not for the quick : therefore thou liest. 

i Clown. T is a quick lie, sir ; 't will away again, from 
me to you. " 

Hamlet. What man dost thou dig it for? 

i Clown. For no man, sir. 

Hamlet. What woman, then? 

i Clown. For none, neither. 

Hamlet. Who is to be buried in 't? 

i Clown. One that was a woman, sir ; but, rest her soul, 
she 's dead. 129 

Hamlet. How absolute the knave is 1 we must speak by 
the card, or equivocation will undo us. By the Lord, Hora- 
tio, these three years I have taken a note of it ; the age is 
grown so picked that the toe of the peasant comes so neai 
the heel of the courtier, he galls his kibe. How long hast 
thou been a grave-maker? 

: Clown. Of all the days i' the year, I came to 't that 
day that our last king Hamlet overcame Fortinbras. 

Hamlet. How long is that since? 

i Clown. Cannot you tell that? every fool can tell that : 
it was the very day that young Hamlet was born ; be that 
is mad, and sent into England. u< 

Hamlet. Ay, marry, why was he sent into England ? 

ACT V. SCENE /. 149 

I Clown. Why, because he was mad : he shall recover his 
wits there ; or, if he do not, it 's no great matter there. 

Hamlet. Why? 

i Clown. T will not be seen in him there ; there the men 
are as mad as he. 

Hamlet. How came he mad ? 

i Clown. Very strangely, they say. 

Hamlet. How strangely? 150 

i Clown. Faith, e'en with losing his wits. 

Hamlet. Upon what ground? 

i Clown. Why, here in Denmark; I have been sexton 
here, man and boy, thirty years. 

Hamlet. How long will a man lie i' the earth ere he rot? 

i Clown. I' 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. 

Hamlet. Why he more than another? 160 

i Clown. 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 whoreson dead body. Here 's a skull 
now ; this skull has lain in the earth three and twenty years. 

Hamlet. Whose was it? 

i Clown. A whoreson mad fellow's it was ; whose do you 
think it was? 

Hamlet. Nay, I know not. 

i Clown. A pestilence on him for a mad rogue 1 a' poured 
a flagon of Rhenish on my head once. This same skull, sir, 
was Yorick's skull, the king's jester. 171 

Hamlet. This? 

I Clown. E'en that. 

Hamlet. Let me see. [Takes the skit!?."] Alas, poor Yor- 
ick ! 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 in my imagination 

,50 HAMLET. 

it is I my gorge rises at it Here hung those lips that 1 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 grinning? quite chop-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. 185 

Horatio. What 's that, my lord? 

Hamlet. Dost thou think Alexander looked o* this fashion 
i' the earth? 

Horatio. E'en so. 

Hamlet. And smelt so? pah 1 \Puts down the skull. 

Horatio. E'en so, my lord. 19* 

Hamlet. To what base uses we may return, Horatio ! Why 
may not imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander, till 
he find it stopping a bung-hole? 

Horatio. T were to consider too curiously, to consider so. 

Hamlet 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? * 

Imperious Caesar, dead and turn'd to clay, 
Might stop a hole to keep the wind away ; 
O, that that earth, which kept the world in awe, 
Should patch a wall to expel the winter's flaw ! 
But soft ! but soft ! aside ! here comes the king, 

Enter Priests, etc., in procession ; the Corpse of OPHELIA, 
LAERTES and Mourners following; KING, QUEEN, theit 
trains, etc. 

The queen, the courtiers; who is that they follow? 
And with such maimed rites? This doth betoken 

ACT r. SCENE I. 151 

The corse they follow did with desperate hand 

Fordo it own life ; 't was of some estate. aio 

Couch we awhile, and mark. \Retiring with Horatio, 

Laertes. What ceremony else? 

Hamlet. That is Laertes, a very noble youth ; mark. 

Laertes. What ceremony else? 

i Priest. Her obsequies have been as far enlarg'd 
As we have warrantise : her death was doubtful j 
And, but that great command o'ersways the order, 
She should in ground unsanctified have lodg'd 
Till the last trumpet ; for charitable prayers, 
Shards, flints, and pebbles should be thrown on her : 

Yet here she is allow'd her virgin crants, 
Her maiden strewments, and the bringing home 
Of bell and burial. 

Laertes. Must there no more be done? 

i Priest. No more be done ; 

We should profane the service of the dead 
To sing a requiem and such rest to her 
As to peace-parted souls. 

Laertes. Lay her 'i the earth ; 

And from her fair and unpolluted flesh 
May violets spring ! I tell thee, churlish priest, 
A ministering angel shall my sister be, > 

When thou liest howling. 

Hamlet. What, the fair Ophelia ! 

Queen. Sweets to the sweet ; farewell ! [Scattering flowers, 
I hop'd thou shouldst have been my Hamlet's wife ; 
I thought thy bride-bed to have deck'd, sweet maid, 
And not t* have strew'd thy grave. 

Laertes. O, treble woe 

Fall ten times treble on that cursed head 
Whose wicked deed thy most ingenious sense 
Depriv'd thee of ! Hold off the earth awhile, 
Till I have caught her once more in mine arms. 

[Leaps into the grave. 



Now pile your dust upon the quick and dead, 240 

Till of this flat a mountain you have made 
To o'ertop old Pelion or the skyish head 
Of blue Olympus. 

Hamlet. [Advancing] What is he whose grief 
Bears such an emphasis ? whose phrase of sorrow 
Conjures the wandering stars, and makes them stand 
Like wonder-wounded hearers ? This is I, 
Hamlet the Dane ! [Leaps into the grave. 

Laertes. The devil take thy soul ! 

[Grappling with him. 

Hamlet. Thou pray'st not well. 

I prithee, take thy fingers from my throat ; 250 

For, though I am not splenitive and rash, 
Yet have I something in me dangerous, 
Which let thy wisdom fear. Hold off thy hand ! 

King. Pluck them asunder. 

Queen. Hamlet, Hamlet ! 

All. Gentlemen, 

Horatio. Good my lord, be quiet. 

[The Attendants part them, and they come out of the grave. 

Hamlet. Why, I will fight with him upon this theme 
Until my eyelids will no longer wag. 

Queen. my son, what theme? 

Hamlet. I lov'd Ophelia ; forty thousand brothers 
Could not, with all their quantity of love, 260 

Make up my sum. What wilt thou do for her? 

King. 0, he is mad", Laertes. 

Queen. For love of God,' forbear him. 

Hamlet. 'Swounds, show me what thou 'It do : 
Woo't weep? woo't fight? woo't fast? woo't tear thyself? 
Woo't drink up eisel? eat 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 j 

ACT V. SCENE //. 153 

And, if them prate of mountains, let them throw 970 

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. 

. Queen. This is mere madness : 

And thus awhile 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. 

Hamlet. Hear you, sir ; 

What is the reason that you use me thus? 
I lov'd you ever. But it is no matter ; 8o 

Let Hercules himself do what he may, 
The cat will mew, and dog will have his day. [Exit. 

King. I pray you, good Horatio, wait upon him. 

\_Exit Horatio. 
[To Laettes~\ Strengthen your patience in our last night's 

speech j 

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. [Exeuni 

SCENE II. A Hall in the Castle. 

Hamlet. So much for this, sir; now let me see the other; 
You do remember all the circumstance? 

Horatio. Remember it, my lord ! 

Hamlet. Sir, in my heart there was a kind of fighting, 
That would not let me sleep ; methought I lay 
Worse than the mutines in the bilboes. Rashly, 
And prais'd be rashness for it, let us know, 



Our indiscretion sometimes serves us well, 
When our deep plots do fail ; and that should teach us 
There 's a divinity that shapes our ends, K 

Rough-hew them how we will, 

Horatio. That is most certain. 

Hamlet. Up from my cabin, 
My sea-gown scarfd about me, in the dark 
Grop'd I to find out them ; had my desire, 
Finger'd their packet, and in find withdrew 
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 reasons ao 

Importing Denmark's health and England's too, 

With, ho! such bugs and goblins in my life, 

That, on th< supervise, no leisure bated, 

No, not to stay the grinding of the axe, 

My head should be struck off. 

Horatio. Is 't possible? 

Hamlet. Here 's the commission ; read it at more leisure. 
But wilt thou hear me how I did proceed? 

Horatio. I beseech you. 

Hamlet. Being thus be-netted round with villanies 
Ere I could make a prologue to my brains, 30 

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 effect of what I wrote? 

Horatio. Ay, good my lord. 

Hamlet. An earnest conjuration from the king 
As England was his faithful tributary, 


As love between them like the palm might flourish, t 

As peace should still her wheaten garland wear 

And stand a comma 'tween their amities, 

And many such-like as's of great charge, 

That, on the view and knowing of these contents, 

Without debatement further, more or less, 

He should the bearers put to sudden death, 

Not shriving-time allow'd. 

Horatio. How was this seaPd? 

Hamlet. Why, even in that was heaven ordinant. 
I had my father's signet in my purse, 

Which was the model of that Danish seal ; j 

Folded the writ up in form of the other, 
Subscrib'd it, gave 't the impression, plac'd it safely, 
The changeling never known. Now, the next day 
Was our sea-fight ; and what to this was sequent 
Thou know'st already. 

Horatio. So Guildenstern and Rosencrantz go to 't. 

Hamlet. Why, man, they did make love to this employment : 
They are not near my conscience ; their defeat 
Does by their own insinuation grow. 

'T is dangerous when the baser nature comes 60 

Between the pass and fell incensed points 
Of mighty opposites. 

Horatio. Why, what a king is this ! 

Hamlet. Does it not, thinks 't thee, stand me now upon 
( He 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 conscience, 
To quit him with this arm ? and is 't not to be damn'd, 
To let this canker of our nature come 
In further evil ? 70 

Horatio. It must be shortly known to him from England 
What is the issue of the business there. 

j^6 HAMLET. 

Hamlet. 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 Ml court his favours ; 
But, sure, the bravery of his grief did put me 
Into a towering passion. 

Horatio. Peace I who comes here ? & 

Enter OSRIC. 

Osric. Your lordship is right welcome back to Denmark. 

Hamlet. I humbly thank you, sir. \_Aside to Horatio] Dost 
know this water-fly ? 

Horatio. [Aside to Hamlet] No, my good lord. 

Hamlet. \_Aside to Horatio] Thy state is the more gracious ; 
for 't is a vice to know him. He hath much land, and fer- 
tile ; 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. 

Osric. Sweet lord, if your lordship were at leisure, I should 
impart a thing to you from his majesty. 9* 

Hamlet. I will receive it, sir, with all diligence of spirit. 
Put your bonnet to his right use ; 't is for the head. 

Osric. I thank your lordship, it is very hot. 

Hamlet. No, believe me, 't is very cold; the wind is north- 1 

Osric. It is indifferent cold, my lord, indeed. 

Hamlet. But yet methinks it is very sultry and hot for my 

Osric. Exceedingly, my lord it is very sultry, as 't 
were, I cannot tell how. But, my lord, his majesty bade 
me signify to you that he has laid a great wager on your 
bead. Sir, mis is the matter, 103 

Hamlet. I beseech you, remember 

\_Hamlet moves him to put on his hat. 


Osric. Nay, in good faith; for mine ease, in good faith. 
Sir, here is newly come to court Laertes ; believe me, an ab- 
solute gentleman, full of most excellent differences, of very 
soft society and great showing: indeed, to speak feelingly of 
him, he is the card or calendar of gentry, for you shall find in 
him the continent of what part a gentleman would see. no 

Hamlet. Sir, his definement suffers no perdition in you ; 
though, I know, to divide him inventorially would dizzy the 
arithmetic of memory, and yet but yaw 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 diction of him, his semblable is his 
mirror, and who else would trace him, his umbrage, nothing 

Osric. Your lordship speaks most infallibly of him. 

Hamlet. The concernancy, sir? why do we wrap the gen- 
tleman in our more rawer breath ? 121 

Osric. Sir? 

Horatio. Is 't not possible to understand in another 
tongue ? You will do 't, sir, really. 

Hamlet. What imports the nomination of this gentleman? 

Osric. Of Laertes ? 

Horatio. [Aside to Hamlei\ His purse is empty already ; 
all 's golden words are spent. 

Hamlet. Of him, sir. 

Osric. I know you are not ignorant 130 

Hamlet. I would you did, sir ; yet, in faith, if you did, it 
would not much approve me. Well, sir? 

Osric. You are not ignorant of what excellence Laertes 

Hamlet. I dare not confess that, lest I should compare 
with him in excellence ; but, to know a man well, were to 
know himself. 

Osric. I mean, sir, for his weapon ; but in the imputation 
laid on him by them, in his meed he 's unfellowed. 


Hamlet. What 's his weapon? M 

Osric. Rapier and dagger. 

Hamlet. That 's two of his weapons ; but, well. 

Osric. The king, sir, hath wagered with him six Barbary 
horses; against the which he has imponed, as I take it, six 
French rapiers and poniards, with their assigns, as girdle, 
hangers, and 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. 

Hamlet. What call you the carriages? 

Horatio. [Aside to Hamlef\ I knew you must be edified 
by the margent ere you had done. 151 

Osric. The carriages, sir, are the hangers. 

Hamlet. The phrase would be more germane to the mat- 
ter, 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 
carriages ; that 's the French bet against the Danish. Why 
is this ' imponed,' as you call it ? 

Osric. The king, sir, hath laid that in a dozen passes be- 
tween yourself and him, he shall not exceed you three hits : 
he hath laid on twelve for nine ; and it would come to im- 
mediate trial, if your lordship would vouchsafe the answer. 

Hamlet. How if I answer no ? 163 

Osric. I mean, my lord, the opposition of your person in 

Hamlet. Sir, I will walk here in the hall : if it please hi. 
majesty, 't is the breathing ume of day with me ; let the 
foils be brought, the gentleman willing, and the king hold 
his purpose, I will win for him if I can ; if not, I will gain 
nothing but my shame and the odd hits. i?o 

Osric. Shall I re-deliver you e'en so? 

Hamlet. To this effect, sir, after what flourish your nature 

Osric. I commend my duty to your lordship- 

ACT V. SCENE It. 159 

Hamlet. Yours, yours. \_Exit Osric.] He does well to 
commend it himself; there are no tongues else for 's turn. 

Horatio. This lapwing runs away with the shell on his 

Hamlet. 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 and win- 
nowed opinion; and do but blow them to their trial, the 
bubbles are out. 185 

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. 

Hamlet. 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. 192 

Lord. The king and queen and all are coming down. 

Hamkt. In happy time. 

Lord. The queen desires you to use some gentle enter- 
Jtainment to Laertes before you fall to play. 
^y Hamlet. She well instructs me. [Exit Lord. 

Horatio. You will lose this wager, my lord. 

Hdmlet. I do not think so : since he went into France, I 
e been in continual practice; I shall win at the odds. 

t thou wouldst not think how ill all's here about my 
heart ; but it is no matter. 202 

o. Nay, good my lord, 

Hamlet. It is but foolery ; but it is such a kind of gain- 
giving, as would perhaps trouble a woman. 

Horatio. If your mind dislike any thing, obey it. I will 
forestall their repair hither, and say you are not fit. 

!60 HAMLET. 

Hamlet. Not a whit ; we defy augury : there 's a special 
providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, 't is 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. Since no man knows 
aught of what he leaves, what is 't to leave betimes? Let be. 

Enter KING, QUEEN, LAERTES, Lords, OSRIC, and Attend- 
ants with foils, etc. 

King. Come, Hamlet, come, and take this hand from me. 
\_The King puts Laertes's hand into Hamlefs. 

Hamlet. Give me your pardon, sir : I've done you wrong ; 
But pardon 't, as you are a gentleman. s 

This presence knows, 

And you must needs have heard, how I am punish'd 
With sore distraction. What I have done, 
That might your nature, honour, and exception 
Roughly awake, I here proclaim was madness. * 

Was 't Hamlet wrong'd Laertes? Never Hamlet: 
If Hamlet from himself be ta'en away, 
And when he 's not himself does wrong Laertes, 
Then Hamlet does it not ; Hamlet denies it. 
Who does it, then ? His madness : if 't be so, 
Hamlet is of the faction that is wrong'd ; 
His madness is poor Hamlet's enemy. 
Sir, in this audience, 
Let my disclaiming from a purpos'd evil 
Free me so far in your most generous thoughts, 
That I have shot mine arrow o'er the house, 
And hurt my brother. 

Laertes. I am satisfied in nature, 

Whose motive, in this case, should stir me most 
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, 

ACT V. SCENE If. : 6i 

To keep my name ungor'd. But till that time, 
I do receive your offer'd love like love, 
And will not wrong it. 

Hamlet. I embrace it freely, 040 

And will this brother's wager frankly play. 
Give us the foils. Come on. 

Laertes. Come, one for me. 

Hamlet. I '11 be your foil, Laertes ; in mine ignorance. 
Your skill shall, like a star i' the darkest night, 
Stick fiery off indeed. 

Laertes. You mock me, sir. 

Hamlet. No, by this hand. 

King. Give them the foils, young Osric, Cousin Hamlet, 
You know the wager? 

Hamlet. Very well, my lord ; 

Your grace hath laid the odds o' the weaker side. 

King. I do not fear it ; I have seen you both : 2SO 

But since he is better 'd, we have therefore odds. 
Laertes. This is too heavy, let me see another. 
Hamlet. This likes me well. These foils have all a 


Osric. Ay, my good lord. \Theyprcparetoplay. 

King. Set me the stoups of wine upon that table. 
If Hamlet give the first or second hit, 
Or quit in answer of the third exchange, 
Let all the battlements their ordnance fire : 
The king shall drink to Hamlet's better breath; 
And in the cup an union shall he throw, ^ 

Richer than that which four successive kings 
In Denmark's crown have worn. Give me the cups j 
And let the kettle to the trumpet speak, 
The trumpet to the cannoneer without, 
The cannons to the heavens, the heavens to earth, 
Now the king drinks to Hamlet ! ' Come, begin : 
And you, the judges, bear a wary eye. 

!6 2 HAMLET. 

Hamlet. Come on, sir. 

Laertes. Come, my lord. [They play 

Hamlet. One. 

Laertes. No. 

Hamlet. Judgment. 

Osric. A hit, a very palpable hit. 

Laertes. Well; again. 

King. Stay j give me drink. Hamlet, this pearl is thine ; 
Here 's to thy health. 

[Trumpets sound, and cannon shot off within. 
Give him the cup. 7* 

Hamlet. I '11 play this bout first ; set it by awhile. 
Come. [They play. ~\ Another hit ; what say you ? 

Laertes. 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 ; 
The queen carouses to thy fortune, Hamlet. 

Hamlet. Good madam, 

King. Gertrude, do not drink. 

Queen. I will, my lord ; I pray you, pardon me. 

King. [Aside~\ It is the poison'd cup ; it is too late. 280 

Hamlet. I dare not drink yet, madam ; by and by. 

Queen. Come, let me wipe thy face. 

Laertes. My lord, I '11 hit him now. 

King. I do not think *t 

Laertes. [Aside] And yet 't is almost 'gainst my conscience. 

Hamlet. 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. 

Laertes. Say you so? come on. [They play. 

Osric. Nothing, neither way. 489 

Laertes. Have at you now ! 

[Laertes wounds Hamlet; then, in scuffling, they 
change rapiers, and Hamlet wounds Laertes. 



j?* Part them; they are incens'd. 

Hamlet. Nay, come, again. ^ The Q ueenfalls . 

J7 * TU vi L ok to the queen there, ho ! 

Horatio They bleed on both sides.-How is it, my lord? 
Osnc. How is 't, Laertes? 

Laertes Why, as a woodcock to mine own springe, Osric : 
I am justly kill'd with mine own treachery. 

Hamlet. How does the queen ? 

She swoons to see them bleed. 

Queen. No, no, the drink, the drink,-O my dear Ham- 

The drink, the drink ! I am poison'd. {Dies 

Hamlet. O villany ! Ho ! let the door be lock'd I 
Treachery ! Seek it out ! 

Laertes. It is here, Hamlet. Hamlet, thou art slain : 
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. 

Hamlet. The point envenom'd too ! _ 
Then venom, to thy work | [Sfa&s fhg K{ 

All. Treason ! treason ! 

King. O, yet defend me, friends ; I am but hurt 
Hamlet. Here, thou incestuous, murtherous, damned Dane 
Drink off this potion ! Is thy union here? 
Follow my mother ! fKin d' 

Laertes. He is justly serv'd ; 

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 ! r/5 . 

Hamlet. Heaven make thee free of it ! I follow thee "' 

T 6 4 HAMLET. 

I am dead, Horatio. Wretched queen, adieu ! 321 

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 could tell you 

But let it be. Horatio, I am dead ; 

Thou livest ; report me and my cause aright 

To the unsatisfied. 

Horatio. Never believe it ; 

I am more an antique Roman than a Dane : 
Here 's yet some liquor left. 

Hamlet. As thou 'rt a man, 330 

Give me the cup : let go ; by heaven, I '11 have 't. 

God \- Horatio, what a wounded name, 

Things standing thus unknown, shall live behind me ! 
If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart, 
Absent thee from felicity awhile, 
And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain, 
To tell my story. [March afar of, and shot within. 

What warlike noise is this? 

Osric. Young Fortinbras, with conquest come from 


To the ambassadors of England gives 
This warlike volley. 

Hamlet. 0, I die, Horatio ; 340 

The potent poison quite o'er-crows my spirit. 

1 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. [Dies. 

Horatio. Now cracks a noble heart, Good night, sweet 


And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest ! 
Why does the drum come hither ? [March within. 


Enter FORTINBRAS, the English Ambassadors, and others. 

Fortinbras. Where is this sight ? 

Horatio. What is it ye would see ? 

If ought of woe or wonder, cease your search. 351 

Fortinbras. This quarry cries on havoc. O proud death, 
What feast is toward in thine eternal cell, 
That thou so many princes at a shot 
So bloodily hast struck? 

i Ambassador. The sight is dismal \ 

And our affairs from England come too late : 
The ears are senseless that should give us hearing, 
To tell him his commandment is ftilfill'd, 
That Rozencrantz and Guildenstern are dead. 
Where should we have our thanks ? 

Horatio. Not from his mouth, 

Had it the ability of life to thank you ; 361 

He never gave commandment for their death. 
But since, so jump upon this bloody question, 
You from the Polack wars, and you from England, 
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 you hear 
Of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts, 

Of accidental judgments, casual slaughters, 370 

Of deaths put on by cunning and forc'd cause, 
And, in this upshot, purposes mistook 
Fallen on the inventors heads. All this can I 
Truly deliver. 

Fortinbras. Let us haste to hear it, 
And call the noblest to the audience. 
For 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. 

1 66 HAMLET. 

Horatio. Of that I shall have also cause to speak, 
And from his mouth whose voice will draw on more ; 380 

But let this same be presently perform'd, 
Even while men's minds are wild, lest more mischance, 
On plots and errors, happen. 

Fortinbras. Let four captains 

Bear Hamlet, like a soldier, to the stage ; 
For he was likely, had he been put on, 
To have prov'd most royally : and, for his passage, 
The soldiers' music and the rites of war 
Speak loudly for him. 
Take up the bodies. Such a sight as this 
Becomes the field, but here shows much amiss. 390 

Go, bid the soldiers shoot. 

[A dead march. Exeunt, bearing off the dead bodies ; 
after which a peal of ordnance is shot off. 



Abbott (or Gr.), Abbott's Shakespearian Grammar (third edition). 

A. S., Anglo-Saxon. 

A. V., Authorized Version of the Bible (1611). 

A. Y. L. (followed by reference to page), Rolfe's edition of As You Ltkt It. 

B. and F., Beaumont and Fletcher. 
B. J., Ben Jonson. 

Caldecott, T. Caldecott's edition of Hamlet (London, 1819). 

Camb. ed., "Cambridge edition" of Shakespeare, edited by Clark and Wright 

Cf. (confer), compare. 

Coll., Collier (second edition). 

Coll. MS., Manuscript Corrections of Second Folio, edited by Collier. 

D., Dyce (second edition). 

F., Furness's " New Variorum" edition of Hamlet (Philadelphia, 1877). 

H., Hudson (first edition). 

Hen. V. (followed by reference \.opage~), Rolfe's edition of Henry V. 

Hen. VIII. ("followed by reference to page), Rolfe's edition of Henry VIH. 

Id. (idem), the same. 

J. C. (followed by reference \opage"), Rolfe's edition of Julius Casar 

J. H., John Hunter's edition of Hamlet (London, 1865). 

K., Knight (second edition). 

M., Rev. C. E. Moberly's " Rugby" edition of Hamlet (London, 1873). 

Macb. (followed by reference to page), Rolfe's edition of Macbeth. 

Mer., Rolfe's edition of The Merchant of Venice. 

M. N. D. (followed by reference topage), Rolfe's edition of A Midsummer-Night'* 

Nares, Glossary, edited by Halliwell and Wright (London, 1859). 

Prol., Prologue. 

Rich II. (followed by reference to page), Rolfe's edition of Richard II. 

S. f Shakespeare. 

Schmidt, A. Schmidt's S hakes f ear t- Lexicon (Berlin, 1874). 

Sr., Singer. 

St., Staunton. 

Temp, (followed by reference \ofage). Rolfe's edition of The Temfest. 

Theo., Theobald. 

V., Verplanck. 

W., White. 

Walker, Wm. Sidney Walker's Critical Examination of the Text of Shakespeare 
(London, 1860}. 

Warb., Warburton. 

Wb., Webster's Dictionary (revised quarto edition of 1864). 

Wore., Worcester's Dictionary (quarto edition). 

Wr., Clark and Wright's " Clarendon Press" edition of Hamlet (Oxford, 1872). 

The abbreviations of the names of Shakespeare's Plays will be readily understood; as 
T. N. for Twelfth Night, Cor. for Coriolanus, 3 Hen. VI. for The Third Part of 
King Henry the Sixth, etc. P. P. refers to The Passionate Pilgrim ; V. and A . to 
Venus and Adonis; L. C. to Lover's Complaint; and Sonn. to the Sonnets. 

JKf The numbers of the lines (except for Hamlet) are those of the " Globe " edition. 


" He smote the sledded Polacks on the ice " (i. i. 63). 


SCENE I. In the quartos the acts and scenes are not marked; in the 
folios they are indicated only as far as ii. 2. 

Ehinore. " The scene is at the celebrated castle of Kronborg, com- 
manding the entrance of the Sound. In its vaults the mythic Danish 
champion Holger was thought to be seated at the board, asleep for age 
after age, till the day of fate awakens him" (M.). The cut on p. 41 is 
taken from this castle. 



1. Who '5 there ? For the " interjectional line," see Gr. 512. 
Coleridge says : " That S. meant to put an effect in the actor's power 

in these very first words is evident from the impatience expressed by 
the startled Francisco in the line that follows. A brave man is never 
so peremptory as when he fears that he is afraid." 

2 . Me. Emphatic ; as the measure shows. 

3. Long live the king ! Commonly explained as the watchword of the 
night; but, as Delius points out, Horatio and Marcellus in 15 below 
give a different response to the same challenge. Pye believes that it 
corresponds to the old French usage of replying Vive le rot ! to the chal- 
lenge Qui vive ? 

6. Upon your hour. Just at your hour. Wr. compares Rich. III. iii. 
2. 5 : "upon the stroke of four;" M.for M. iv. I. 17: "much upon this 
time," etc. See also Gr. 191. Cf. the modern "on time." 

7. Now struck. Steevens conjectured " new struck;" as in R. and F 
i. i. 167: "But new struck nine." 

8. Much thanks. Thanks is a quasi-singular. Cf. Luke, xii. 19 : " much 
goods," etc. For the old use of much = great, see Gr. 51; and for the 
adverbial use of bitter, Gr. i. 

9. Sick at heart. F. quotes Strachey : " The key-note of the tragedy 
is struck in the simple preludings of this common sentry's midnight 
guard, to sound afterwards in ever-spreading vibrations through the 
complicated though harmonious strains of Hamlet's own watch through 
a darker and colder night than the senses can feel." 

10. Not a mouse stirring. Coleridge remarks: "The attention to 
minute sounds naturally associated with the recollection of minute ob- 
jects, and the more familiar and trifling, the more impressive from the 
unusualness of their producing any impression at all gives a philosophic 
pertinency to this last image; but it has likewise its dramatic use and 
purpose. For its commonness in ordinary conversation tends to produce 
the sense of reality, and at once hides the poet, and yet approximates the 
reader or spectator to that state in which the highest poetry will appear, 
and in its component parts, though not in the whole composition, really 
is, the language of nature. If I should not speak it, I feel that I should 
be thinking it; the voice only is the poet's, the words are my own." 

13. Rivals. Partners, companions. The 1st quarto has "partners." 
S. does not use the word again in this sense; unless, with Schmidt, we 
see it in M. N. D. iii. 2. 156: " And now both rivals to mock Helena." 
We find, however, corrival = companion in 2 Hen. IV. iv. 4. 31, and 
rivality = partnership in A. and C. iii. 5. 8. For the origin of the word, 
see Wb. 

15. Dane. King of Denmark; as in i. 2. 44 below. 

16. Give you good night. That is, God give, etc. For other contrac- 
tions of like greetings, cf. A. F. Z. v. I. 16: "God ye good even;" R. and 
F. i. 2. 58: "God gi' good-den; " Hen. V. iii. 2. 89: "God-den," etc. 
We have the full form in L. L. L. iv. 2. 84 : " God give you good mor- 
row," etc. Wr. quotes B. and F., Knt. of Burning Pestle, epil.: "God 
give you good night." 

19. A piece of him. "As we say, 'something like him.' The phrase 

ACT /. SCENE /. I 7 f 

has none of the deep meaning which some of the German editors find in 
it" (M.). For these German comments, see F. 

21. Has this thing, etc. Coleridge remarks that " even the word again 
has its credibilizing effect ;" and he points out how Marcellus from this 
thing rises to this dreaded sight, and then to this apparition, "an intelli- 
gent spirit, that is, to be spoken to." 

23. Fantasy. Imagination ; as in 54 below. Cf. I Hen. IV. v. 4. 138 : 
" Or is it fantasy that plays upon our eyesight ?" See also M. N. D. v. 
I. 5, M. W. v. 5. 55, etc. For another sense see iv. 4. 62 below ; and for 
another (=love), M. N. D. i. I. 32, A. Y. L. ii. 4. 31, v. 2. 100, etc. 

25. Seen of us. The 1st quarto has "scene by vs." O/=by is very 
common in S. Cf. iv. 2. 12 below ; also Macb. iii. 6. 27, etc. Gr. 170. 

27. The minutes of this night. "Through this night, minute by min- 
ute " (M.). Steevens quotes Ford, Fancies Chaste and A r oble t v. I : " Ere 
vhe minutes of the night warn us to rest." 

29. Approve. Prove, confirm. Cf. M. ofV. iii. 2. 79: "approve it with 
a text," etc. 

33. What, etc. " What depends on a verb of speech, implied either in 
assail your ears or in story ; that is, 'let us tell you what we have seen,' 
or 'our story describing what we have seen' " (Gr. 252). 

Sit we. First person imperative ; or, as Abbott calls it (Gr. 361), 
subjunctive = suppose we sit. Cf. 168 below: "Break we our watch 
up," etc. 

35. Last night, etc. Coleridge observes : " In the deep feeling which 
Bernardo has of the solemn nature of what he is about to relate, he 
makes an effort to master his own imaginative terrors by an elevation 
of style itself a continuation of the effort by turning off from the 
apparition, as from something which would force him too deeply into 
himself, to the outward objects, the realities of nature, which had accom- 
panied it." 

36. Yond. See J. C. p. 134 or Temp. p. 121. 

Pole. Pole-star ; as in Oth. ii. i. 15 : "the ever-fixed pole." 
Clarke remarks : " Nothing more natural than for a sentinel to watch 
the course of a particular star while on his lonely midnight watch ; and 
what a radiance of poetry is shed on the passage by the casual allusion !" 

37. Illume. Used nowhere else by S. He has illuminate twice, and 
illumine three times. 

39. Beating. The 1st quarto has "towling," and the Coll. MS. "tolling." 
. 40. Thee. Apparently -thou, as often after imperatives. See Macb. 
p. 170 (note on Hie thee), or Gr. 212. 

Coleridge remarks : " Note the judgment displayed in having the two 
persons present, who, as having seen the Ghost before, are naturally 
eager in confirming their former opinions, whilst the skeptic is silent, 
and after having been twice addressed by his friends, answers with two 
nasty syllables ' Most like ' and a confession of horror 

* It harrows me with fear and wonder.' 

O heaven ! words are wasted on those who feel, and to those who do not 
feel the exquisite judgment of Shakspeare in this scene, what can be said' 

1?2 NOTES. 

Hume himself could not but have had faith in this Ghost dramatically, 
let his anti-ghostism have been as strong as Samson against other ghosts 
less powerfully raised." 

42 Scholar. Alluding to the use of Latin in exorcisms. Cf. Much 
Ado, ii. I. 264 : " I would to God some scholar would conjure her !" 
Reed quotes B. and F., Night Walker, ii. I : 

"Let 's call the butler up, for he speaks Latin, 
And that will daunt the devil." 

In like manner the honest butler in Addison's Drummer recommends 
the steward to speak Latin to the ghost. 

44. Harrows. Steevens quotes Milton, Comus, 565: " A maz'cl I stood, 
harrow'd with grief and fear." Cf. i. 5. 16 below. 

45. It -would be spoke to. For -would, see Gr. 329 ; and for spoke, Gr. 343. 
" There was, and is, a notion that a ghost cannot speak until it is spoken 
to " (Wr.). 

46. Usurp'' st. "Zeugma: the Ghost invades the night and assumes 
the form of the king" (M.). 

49. Sometimes. Used by S. interchangeably with sometime formerly. 
Cf. Rich. II. i. 2. 54, Hen. VIII. ii. 4. 181, etc. 

55. On '(. Of it. See Gr. 181. M. thinks it is used here in its ordi- 
nary sense. 

56. Might. Could. See Gr. 312. 

57. Sensible. For adjectives used like this in both an active and a 
passive sense, see Gr. 3. 

Avouch is not elsewhere made a noun by S. For other examples of 
verbs used as nouns (Gr. 451), see 73 (" cast "), iii. i. 166 ("hatch" and 
" disclose "), iv. 5. 64 (" remove "), v. 2. 23 (" supervise "), v. 2. 207 (" re- 
pair "), etc. 

60. Armour. F. asks : " Was this the very armour that he wore thirty 
years before, on the day Hamlet was born (see v. I. 136-141) ? How old 
is Horatio?" 

61. Norway. The King of Norway. See Macb. p. 239, note on England. 

62. Parle. Parley. See Hen. V. p. 164. 

63. Sledded Polacks. Polanders on sleds, or sledges. The 1st quarto 
has "sleaded pollax," the 1st and 2d folios "sledded Pollax" (changed 
to "Polax" inthe3d and "Poleaxe" in the 4th folio). Rowe has "Pole- 
axe," and Pope (followed by Capell, Steevens, and Sr.) " Polack." The 
Germans, who have been much troubled by the passage, generally adopt 
"Pole-axe." Schmidt explains sledded as' "probably having a sled or 
sledge, that is, a heavy hammer to it, or similar to a heavy hammer." He 
adds, " Hamlet, provoked to anger in a conference with the king of 
Norway, struck the ice with his pole-axe as with a heavy hammer." F. 
gives nearly two pages of comical German comments on the passage, with 
some English ones equally amusing. 

For /Wdr = Polander 'or Polish, cf. ii. 2. 63, 75, iv. 4. 23, and v. 2. 364 
below; also Webster, White Devil: "Like a shav'd Polack." S. uses 
the word in no other play, and sledded only here. 

65. Jump. The quarto reading ; the folios have "just," which means 

ACT I. SCENE J. 173 

the same. Cf. v. 2. 363 below : "jump upon this bloody question." See 
also Oth. ii. 3. 392. 

Dead. Cf. i. 2. 198 below : "the dead vast and middle of the night." 
See also Sonn. 43. n, Hen. V. iii. chor. 19, Rich. III. v. 3. 180, etc. 

67, 68. In what, etc. I know not what particular line of thought to 
follow, but in a general way my opinion is, etc. 

70. Good now. For this " vocative use " of good (with or without now), 
cf. Temp. i. i. 3, 16, 20, C. of E. iv. 4. 22, T. and C. iii. I. 122, A. and C. i. 
2. 25, etc. Johnson makes it here =" in good time, a la bonne heure." 
See Gr. 13. 

72. Toils. For the transitive use, cf. M. N. D. v. I. 74: "have toiled 
:heir memories ;" 2 Hen. VI. i. I. 83 : " toil his wits," etc. Abbott refers 
to Gr. 290 (verbs formed from nouns, etc), but 291 (intransitive verbs 
used transitively) would be better.* 

Subject. Used collectively (-people) as in i. 2. 33 below. Cf. M.for 
M. iii. 2. 145, v. i. 14, W. T. i. i. 43, etc. 

74. Mart. Marketing, buying. The word is also used as a verb 
'=buy or sell) ; as in W. T. iv. 4. 363, J. C. iv. 3. n, etc. 

75. Impress. Impressment ; as in T. and C. ii. I. 107 and A. and C. 
iii. 7. 37. Lord Campbell remarks : " Such confidence has there been 
in Shakespeare's accuracy that this passage has been quoted both by 
text-writers and by judges on the bench as an authority upon the legality 
of the press-gang, and upon the debated question whether shipwrights, as 
well as common seamen, are liable to be pressed into the service of the 
loyal navy." 

77. Toward. At hand, forthcoming. Cf. M. N. D. iii. l. 8l : "a play 
toward," etc. See also v. 2. 353 below. 

81. Even but now. See Gr. 130. 

to Latham (quoted by F.), a corrupt French 
form, equivalent to Fierumbras or Fierabras, which is a derivative from 

82. Fortinbras. According i 

ferri brachinm (arm of iron). 

83. Emulate. Emulous. Used by S. only here. Cf. adulterate, i. 5. 
42 below. Gr. 342. 

84. The combat. " That is, the combat that ends all dispute " (Gr. 92). 

86. Wr. makes this line an Alexandrine ; Abbott (Gr. 469) counts this 
Fortinbras as one foot. It might be scanned thus : " Did slay | this 
Fort | inbras, who | by a seal'd | compact." For compact, see Gr. 490. 

87. Law and heraldry. Wr. and Schmidt explain this as = " heraldic 
law," or "law of heraldry." M. says : " Law would be wanted to draw 
up accurately the contract, heraldry to give it a binding force in honour ; 
as the court of chivalry ' has cognizance of contracts touching deeds of 
arms or of war out of the realm.' " 

88. Those his lands. See Macb. p. 179 (note on That their fitness}, and 
Hen. V. p. 169 (note on This your air). Gr. 239. 

89. Seiz'd of. Possessed of; still a legal term. 

* In quoting the passage he gives the preceding line, " Why this same toil and most 
observant watch," which would favour his explanation ; but I do not know where ht 
gets that reading. It is given neither in the collation of the Camb. ed. nor in that of F. 
S. has the intransitive /W/ nine times. 


90. Moiety. Strictly a half (as in A. W. iii. 2. 69, /&. V. v. 2. 229, etc.), 
but often used by S. for any portion (Schmidt). Cf. M. of V. iv. i. 26, 
I Hen. IV. iii. i. 96, etc. 

91. Had return 1 d. Would have returned. Gr. 361. 

93. Covenant. The folio has " cou'nant," the quartos " comart." D. 
and Wr. think that S. may have coined the latter word ( = joint bargain), 
and afterwards changed it to covenant. 

94. Carriage, etc. " By the tenor of the article as drawn up " (M.). 

96. Unimproved. "Not regulated or guided by knowledge or expe- 
rience" (Johnson); "untutored" (Wr.) ; "undisciplined" (M.) ; "not 
yet turned to account, unemployed" (Schmidt). Nares and D., on the 
other hand, explain it as = "unreproved, unimpeached," and St. as = "un- 
governable." The 1st quarto has "inapproved." On mettle, see Macb. 
p. 181 or Rich. II. p. 157. 

97. Skirts. Cf. A. Y. L. iii. 2. 354 : " here in the skirts of the forest, 
like fringe upon a petticoat." 

98. Shark' 'd up. Picked up without distinction (Steevens) or illegally 
(Schmidt). List muster-roll, as in i. 2. 32 below. On resolutes, see 
Gr. 433. 

99. For food and diet. "For no pay but their keep. Being landless 
they have nothing to lose, and the war would at the worst feed them" (M.). 

100. Stomach. Courage ; with possibly a play on the other sense, as 
in T. G. ofV. i. 2. 68 and Hen. V. iii. 7. 166. For some of the meanings 
of the word in S. see Temp. p. 115. 

102. But. In the sense of except, where we should use than (Gr. 127). 
See also 108 below. 

103. Compulsative. The folio reading ; the quartos have " compulsa- 
tory." S. uses neither word elsewhere, but he has " compulsive " in iii. 
4. 86 below and in Oth. iii. 3. 454. 

107. Romage. " Bustle, turmoil " (Schmidt). S. uses the word only 
here. For its origin see Wb. Wedgwood gives a less probable deriva- 

108. Lines 108-125 are omitted in the folio. K. suggests that S. prob- 
ably suppressed the passage after he had written J. C. 

Be. The word " expresses more doubt than is after a verb of think- 
ing" (Gr. 299, where some striking examples are given). 

109. Sort. Suit, accord. Schmidt wavers between this sense and " fall 
out, have an issue " (as in Much Ado, v. 4. 7, M. N D. iii. 2. 352, etc.). 

112. Mote. In three of the quartos it is spelt "moth," which probably 
had the same pronunciation. See A. Y. L. p. 179, note on Goats. 

114. Mightiest. Used like the Latin superlative very mighty (Gr. 8). 
On the passage, cf. J. C. ii. 2. 18 fol. 

117. As stars, etc. There is some corruption here, and perhaps a line 
has dropped out. The attempts to mend the passage have not been 
satisfactory. As M. suggests, "if a line is supposed to be omitted, it 
would be better to borrow from J. C. ii. 2, and read 

'[Fierce fiery warriors fought upon the clouds,] 
As stars with trains of fire and dews of blood ; 
Disaster hid the sun,* etc.. 

ACT I. SCENE I. 175 

rather than indulge the genius, as some editors have done, by coining a 

Disaster (like influence, aspect, retrograde, etc.) was an astrological term. 
It is used as a verb in A. and C. ii. 7. 18. 

118. The moist star. The moon. Cf. W. T. i. 2. I : " the watery star ;' 
and M. M D. ii. I. 162 : " the watery moon." On the next line Wr. quotes 
W. T. i. 2. 427 : 

"You may as well 
Forbid the sea for to obey the moon;" 

and M. misquotes Coleridge, Anc. Mariner : 

"Still as a slave before his lord, 

The ocean hath no blast ; 
His great bright eye most silently 

Up to the moon is cast, 
If he may know which way to go, 

For she guides him smooth or grim- 
See, brother, see, how graciously 

She looketh down on him 1" 

120. Voss refers to Matt. xxiv. 29. 

121. Precurse. Used by S. only here ; and precursor only in Temp. \. 
2. 201. Wr. says that " precurser " occurs in Phainix and Turtle, 6, but 
the eds. generally have "precurrer." 

Fierce. Wild, terrible. It means "immoderate, excessive " (Schmidt) 
in T. of A. iv. 2. 30 and Hen. VIII. i. i. 54 ; and Steevens would give it a 
similar sense ("conspicuous, glaring ") here. 

122. Still. Constantly, always ; as often. Gr. 69. On harbingers, see 
Macb. p. 1 68. 

123. Omen. The event portended by the omen. S. uses the word 
nowhere else. Upton cites Virgil, sEn. I. 346, where ominibus, literally 
the omens of the marriage rite, is put for the rite itself; and Farmer 
quotes Heywood, Life of Merlin : 

" Merlin, well vers'd in many a hidden spell, 
His countries omen did long since foretell." 

124. Demonstrated. Accented on first syllable, as in Hen. V. iv. 2. 54; 
but on the second in T. of A. i. 1.91, Oth. i. I. 61, etc. 

125. Climatures. Regions ; used by S. only here. For climate in the 
same sense, see Rich. II. iv. I. 130 and J. C. i. 3. 32. 

127. Cross it. According to Blakeway, whoever crossed the spot on 
which a spectre was seen became subject to its malignant influence. 
Among the reasons for supposing the young Earl of Derby (who died in 
1594) to have been bewitched, Lodge states that a figure of a tall man 
appeared in his chamber " who twice crossed him swiftly," and when the 
earl came to the place where he saw the apparition "he fell sick." 

129. For the short line here and below, see Gr. 512. 

130, 131. Alluding, as Simrock suggests, to the idea that a ghost may 
often be " laid " when a living person does for him what he himself ought 
to have done when alive. 

134. Happily. According to Nares and Schmidt haply, as often; 
but it may be=luckily, as some critics make it. H. points out that the 

iy6 NOTES. 

structure of this solemn appeal is almost identical with that of a very dif- 
ferent strain in A. Y. L. ii. 4. 33~4 2 - 

136. Or ifthou hast, etc. Steevens quotes Dekker, Knight's Conjuring: 
" If any of them had bound the spirit of gold by any charmes in caves, or 
in iron fetters under the ground, they should for their own soules quiet 
(which questionlesse else would whine up and down) if not for the good 
of their children, release it." 

138. They say. Clarke notes the propriety of these words in the 
'mouth of Horatio, "the scholar and the unbeliever in ghosts." 

140. Partisan. A kind of halberd. Cf. R. and y. i. I. 80, 101, A. and C. 
ii. 7. 14, etc. 

143. Majestical. Used by S. oftener than majestic. Cf. Hen. V. iii. 
chor. 1 6, iv. i. 284, etc. 

145. As the air, invulnerable. Malone compares Macb. v. 8. 9 and K. 
John, ii. i. 252. 

149. / have heard, etc. Cf. M. N. D. iii. 2. 381 fok, and Milton, Hymn 
on Nativ. 229-234, etc. Farmer quotes Prudentius, Ad Gallicinium : 

" Ferunt, vagantes daemonas, 
Laetos tenebris noctium, 
Gallo canente exterritos 
Sparsim timere et cedere." 

150. The trumpet, etc. For trumpet trumpeter, cf. Hen. V. iv. 2. 6l : 
" I will the banner from a trumpet take," etc. Malone quotes from 
England's Parnassus, 1600 : "And now the cocke, the morning's trum 
peter." Coleridge remarks that " how to elevate a thing almost mean 
by its familiarity, young poets may learn in this treatment of the cock- 

153. Whether in sea, etc. "According to the pneumatology of that 
time, every element was inhabited by its peculiar order of spirits " (John- 
son). Cf. Milton, // Pens. 93 : 

" And of those demons that are found 
In fire, air, flood, or under ground, 
Whose power hath a true consent 
With planet or with element." 

154. Extravagant. In its etymological sense of wandering beyond its 
confine, or limit. Cf. L. L. L. iv. 2. 68 : "a foolish extravagant spirit ;" 
and Oth. i. I. 137 : " an extravagant and wheeling stranger." S. uses the 
word only in these passages, and extravagancy ( ^vagrancy) only in T. N. 
ii. i. 12. So erring is used in its literal sense ; as in A. Y. L. iii. 2. 138 
and Oth. i. 3. 362. Cf. Gr. p. 13. 

155. For the accent of confine, cf. Temp. iv. I. 121, Sonn. 84. 3, etc. ; for 
the other one, see Kick. II. i. 3. 137, Rich. III. iv. 4. 3, etc. 

156. Probation. Proof; as 4 n Macb. iii. i. 80, Cymb. v. 5. 362, etc. The 
word is here a quadrisyllable. Gr. 479. 

158. 'Gainst. Used metaphorically of time (Gr. 142), as in M. N. D. iii. 
2. 99 : " against he do appear," etc. Cf. iii. 4. 50 below. 

161. Spirit. Monosyllabic (=sprite), as often. 6^463. 

Can walk. The folio reading ; the 1st quarto has " dare walke," the 
later quartos " dare sturre." 



162. Strike. Exert a malign influence. Cf. T. A. ii. 4. 14 : " If I do 
wake, some planet strike me down." See also Cor. ii. 2. 117 and IV. T. 
i. 2. 201. As Wr. remarks, we still have " moonstruck." 

163. Takes. Bewitches, blasts. F. quotes Florio : "Assiderare: to blast 
or strike with a planet, to be taken." Cf. M. W. iv. 4. 32 : "blasts the 
tree and takes the cattle ;" Lear, ii. 4. 166 : " taking airs ;" Id. iii. 4. 61 : 
" Bless thee from whirlwinds, star-blasting, and taking!" and A. and C. 
iv. 2. 37 : " Now the witch take me, if I meant it thus !" 

164. Gracious. Blessed, benign ; "partaking of the nature of the epi- 
thet with which it is associated " (Caldecott). 

165. And do in part believe it. " A happy expression of the half-scepti- 
cal, half-complying spirit of Shakespeare's time, when witchcraft was be- 
lieved, antipodes doubted '' (M.). 

166. 167. As Hunter suggests, Milton must have had this beautiful 
personification in mind when he wrote P. L. v. I : 

"Now mom, her rosy steps in tli' eastern clime 
Advancing, sow'd the earth with orient pearls." 

173. Loves. For the plural, see Macb. p. 209 or Rich. II. p. 206 (note 
on Sights). 

175. Conveniently. The folio reading; the quartos have "convenient" 
(Gr. i). 

SCENE II. i. " In the King's speech, observe the set and pedantically 
antithetic form of the sentences when touching that which galled the heels 
of conscience, the strain of undignified rhetoric, and yet in what fol- 
lows concerning the public weal, a certain appropriate majesty. Indeed, 
was he not a royal brother ?" (Coleridge). 

2. That. See Gr. 284. 

4. Brow of woe. " Mourning brow" (L.L.L. v. 2. 754). Wr. compares 
iv. 6. 19 : " thieves of mercy ;" M. of V. ii. 8. 42 : " mind of love ;" Lear, 
i 4. 306 : " brow of youth," etc. 

6. With wisest sorrow. " With the due proportion of sorrow " (M.). 

8. Sometime. The folio has "sometimes." S. uses both forms adjec- 
tively. Cf. Rich. II. i. 2. 54: "thy sometimes brother's wife;" Id. v. i. 
37 : "good sometime queen," etc. See on i. i. 49 above. 

9. Of. The quartos have " to." 

10. Defeated. Marred, disfigured. Cf. Oth. i. 3. 346 : "defeat thy fa- 
vour with an usurped beard." So defeature disfigurement in V. and A. 
736, C. of E. ii. I. 98 and v. I. 299. 

11. One... one. So in the folio; the quartos have "an... a."' Stee- 
vens quotes W. T. v. 2. 80: "She had one eye declined for the loss of her 
husband, another elevated that the oracle was fulfilled." 

Malone explains dropping as "depressed or fast downwards," and W. 
substitutes " drooping." 

14. To wife. Cf. Temp. ii. I. 75: "Such a paragon to their queen," 
etc. Gr. 189. 

Barr'd. Excluded, acted without the concurrence of. Cf. Hen. V. i. z 
12, 92, Lear, v. 3. 85, etc. 

15. Wisdoms. See on loves, i. I. 173 above. 


: 7 8 


1 7. TKat you know. What you already know. See Gr. 244. Theo. 
points it thus : " Now follows that you know, young Fortinbras," etc. 
(so Walker, with colon instead of comma). 

1 8 Supposal. Opinion ; used by S. only here. 

20. Disjoint. For the form cf. iii. I. 155: "most deject." See also 
Hi. 4. 180, 205, and iv. 5. 2. Gr. 342. 

21. Colleagued, QIC. With no ally but this imaginary advantage. Ihe 
quartos have " this dream." 

22. Pester. The word originally meant to crowd, as in Milton, Comus, 
7 : " Confin'd and pester'd in this pinfold here." Cf. Cor. iv. 6. 7 : " Dis- 
sentious numbers pestering (that is, infesting) streets," etc. See also 
Webster, Malcontent, v. 2 : " the hall will be so pestered anon." 

23. Importing. Abbott (Gr. p. 16) thinks this is used for " importun- 
ing ;" but cf. T. of A. v. 2. n : 

" With letters of entreaty, which imported 

His fellowship i' the cause ;" 

Oth. ii. 2. 3 : " tidings now arrived, importing the mere perdition of the 
Turkish fleet," etc. See also iv. 7. 80 and v. 2. 21 below. 

24. Bonds. The folio reading ; the quartos have " bands," which 
means the same. 

27. Writ. For the past tense S. uses writ oftener than wrote ; for the 
participle he has usually writ or written, sometimes wrote. Gr. 343. 

31. Gait. " Used metaphorically for proceeding in a business" (Nares). 
In. that = inasmuch as. 

32. Proportions. Contingents, quotas ; as in Hen. F. i. 2. 137, 304, etc. 

33. Subject. See on i. i. 72 above. 

38. Dilated. " Detailed" (Schmidt). Cf. A. W. ii. i. 59 : "a more di- 
lated farewell." The 1st quarto has "related," the later quartos "de- 
lated." Greene has the word in the sense of delayed, in A Maiden's 
Dream: "Nor might the pleas be over-long dilated." 

For the "confusion of construction" in allow, see Gr. 412. On this 
point K. remarks : " We 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 lines have been corrected by the editors of Shakespeare 
who have thus obliterated the traces of our tongue's history. It is re- 
markable that the very commentators who were always ready to fix the 
charge of ignorance of the. rudiments of grammar upon Shakespeare, 
have admitted the following passage in a note to 2 Hen. IV. by that ele- 
gant modern scholar, T. Warton : ' Beaumont and Fletcher's play con- 
tains many satirical strokes against Heywood's comedy, the force of 
which are entirely lost to those who have not seen that comedy.' " 

39. Let your haste, etc. " Let your haste show that you perform your 
duty well " (Wr.). 

41. Nothing. Adverbially = not at all ; as often in S. Cf. M. of V. i, 
I. 165 : "nothing undervalued to Cato's daughter," etc. Gr. 55. 

42. You. For the change to thou in 45 fol., see Gr. 235. 

45. Lose your voice. Waste your words. Cf. 118 below: "lose her 
47. Native. Naturally related. Cf. A. W. i. i. 238 : " native things " 


(that is, kindred things). Delius remarks that native expresses a con- 
nection that is congenital, instrumental one that is mechanical. 

51. Leave and favour. " Kind permission " (Caldecott). 

56. Pardon. " Almost = leave, permission " (Schmidt). Cf. A. and C. 
in. 6. 60 : " His pardon for return." 

59. Laboursome. Cf. Cymb. iii. 4. 167 : "laboursome (^elaborate) and 
dainty trims. S. uses the word only twice, laborious not at all 

Lines 58-60 are not in the folio. 

63. And thy best graces, etc. " May the fairest graces that you are 
master of help you to spend the time at your will " (M.). 

64. Cousin. Nephew. Elsewhere it means niece (as in A Y. L i 2 
164, i. 3. 44, etc.) uncle ( T N i. 5. 131, v . i. 313), brother-in-law (i 'lien. 
IV. i in. i. 51), and grandchild (K. John, iii. 3. 17, Oth. \. i. 113, etc.) It 
is also used as a mere complimentary form of address between princes, 
etc. (aat. V. v. 2. 4, Rich. III. in. 4. 37, etc.). 

_ 65. A little more than kin, etc. If Hamlet refers to himself, the mean- 
ing seems to be : more than a mere kinsman (being step-son as well as 
nephew) and less than kind (because I hate you). If he applies them to 
the king, we may accept the paraphrase of W. : " In marrying my mother 
you have made yourself something more than my kinsman; and at the 

e nearer in kindness." Steevens compares Lyly, Mother Bombie I?o 4 
the nearer we are in blood, the further we must be from love the 
greater the kindred is, the less the kindness must be ;" and Gorboduc 
1561 : " In kmde a father, but not kindelynesse." 

K ty.J^ m ^ h C ! he sun - " More careless and idle than I ought to 
be (Schmidt) Johnson, Caldecott, and-others see here an allusion to 
the old proverb, " Out of heaven's blessing into the warm sun," that is 
out of house and home," in Hamlet's case, deprived of his right or 
the succession to the throne. For a summary of other interpretations, 

68. Nighted. Black as night (Or. 294). S. uses the word again in 
Lear, iv. 5. 13 .- "his mghted life." 

Scarlet was the colour then worn by the kings, queens, and princes of 
IJenmark. K. says : " It thus happens, curiously enough, that the ob- 
jections of the queen and Claudius to the appearance of Hamlet in black 
are authorized, not only by the well-known custom of the earlv Danes 
never to mourn for their nearest and dearest relatives and friends, but 
also by the fact that, although black was at least their favourite if not 
indeed, their national colour, Hamlet, as a prince of the blood, should 
have been attired in the royal scarlet." 

7 r^ V< $ e *J M t' Down cast eyes. Cf. V. and A. 956 : " She vail'd her 
eyelids ;" M of V. , i. 28 : "Vailing her high top lower than her ribs," 
etc. SteMer. p. 128. We have a play on the word in Marlowe's Hero 
and Leander: " Vail'd to the ground, veiling her eyelids close." 

72. Lives. The 2d and later folios have "live," which is adopted bv 
Coll., D., and H. 

180 NOTES. 

74. Ay, madam, etc. Coleridge says : " Here observe Hamlet's deli- 
cacy to his mother, and how the suppression prepares him for the over- 
flow in the next speech, in which his character is more developed by 
bringing forward his aversion to externals, and which betrays his habit 
of brooding over the world within him, coupled with a prodigality of 
beautiful words, which are the half-embodyings of thought, and are more 
than thought, and have an outness, a reality sui generis, and yet contain 
their correspondence and shadowy affinity to the images and movements 
within. Note also Hamlet's silence to the long speech of the king which 
follows, and his respectful, but general, answer to his mother." 

M. quotes Tennyson, In Memoriam, vi. : 

" That loss is common would not make 
My own less bitter; rather more: 
Too common ! never morning wore 
To evening, but some heart did break." 

77. Inky. Again used metaphorically in A. Y. L. iii. 5. 46: "your 
inky brows." 

81 Haviour. Often printed " 'haviour," but see Rich. II. p. 162. 

82. Shows. The quartos have " chapes " or " shapes." 

83. Denote. Indicate, mark. Cf. Sonn. 148. 7, Oth. iii. 3. 428, iv. t 
290, etc. 

85. Passeth. As Corson remarks, the older form suits the tone of the 
passage better, and avoids the concurrence of sibilants. 

M. quotes Rich. II. iv i. 295-298: " Tis very true, my grief lies all 
within," etc. 

87. Commendable. Accented on the first syllable, as regularly in S. 
(cf. Much Ado, iii. I. 71, 73, etc.), with the single exception (which Schmidt 
considers doubtful) of M. ofV. i. I. 1 1 1 Abbott (Gr. 490) would give the 
latter accent here. 

90. That father, etc. That lost father lost his; or (Gr. 246) that father 
(who was) lost lost his. 

Bound. Was bound. For the ellipsis, cf. iii. 3. 62 (Wr.). See Gr 403. 

92. Obsequious. Funereal ; from obsequies (Johnson) ; as in T. A. v. 3. 
152 and Sonn. 31. 5. Cf. the adverb obsequiously in Rich. III. i. 2. 3. 

Persever. The regular spelling and accent in S. Cf. A. W. iv. 2. 36, 
37, where it rhymes with ever. Gr. 492. 

93. Condolement. Sorrow, mourning. Used by S. only here and (blun- 
deringly) in Per. ii. i 156. 

95. Incorrect. Contumacious, unsubmissive; used by S. only here, 
like unfortified (= weak) in the next line. 

97. Simple. Foolish. 

99. Any the most. Cf. Cymb. i. 4. 65: "any the rarest." 

Tp sense. Depending on vulgar, and = " anything the most commonly 
perceived" (Gr. 419,2). 

104. Who. For who" personifying irrational antecedents," see Gr. 264. 

105. Till he. SeeGr. 184,206. 

107. Unprevailing. Unavailing. So prevail = avail in R. andj. iii. 3. 
60 : "It helps not, it prevails not." Cf. Peele, Sir Clyomon, 1599 : " pur- 
suit prevaileth nought;" Marlowe, Dido, v. 2: "What can my tears or 


cries prevail me now?" Malone quotes Dryden, Essay on Dramatit 
Poetry: "He may often prevail himself of the same advantages;" and 
Absalom and Achitophd, 461 (ist ed.) : " Prevail* yourself of what occa- 
sion gives." 

109. Immediate. Cf. 2 Hen. IV. iv. 5. 42 : 

" My due from thee is this imperial crown, 
Which, as immediate from thy place and blood, 
Derives itself to me." 

I ip. Nobility. " Dignity, greatness " (Schmidt), or " eminence and dis- 
tinction " (Heath). 

112. Impart. As the verb has no object, various emendations, not 
worth mentioning, have been suggested. It is probably one of the many 
instances of " confusion of construction " in S. Cf. i. 3. 50 below, and see 
Gr. 415. As Delius suggests, the poet probably regarded no less nobility 
of love as the object of impart, and forgot, owing to the intermediate 
clause, that he had written with no less. On for as for, as regards, see 
Gr. 149. 

113. The university of Wittenberg was founded in 1502, and is men- 
tioned in Marlowe's Doctor Faustus and other English books of the time. 
For school university, cf. A. Y. L.\. I. 6. 

114. Retrograde. Contrary ; an astrological term. Cf. A. IV. i. I. 212, 
where Parolles says he was born " under Mars," and Helena sarcastical- 
ly remarks, " When he was retrograde, I think." See on i. I. 117 above. 

115. Bend you. Bend yourself (Gr. 223), be inclined. Cf. I Hen. IV. 
v. 5. 36 : " bend you with your dearest speed." 

I2O. In all my best. Cf. Oth. iii. 4. 127 : "I have spoken for you all 
my best." In i. 5. 27 below we have " in the best " where we should say 
"at the best" 

124. Sits smiling to my heart. The meaning is clear, but the expres- 
sion is peculiar. Cf. Cor. iv. 2. 48 : 

"it would unclog my heart 
Of what lies heavy to 't ;" 

M.for. M. v. i. 394 : " Your brother's death, I know, sits at your heart." 
Delius would connect to with smiling. Ritson proposed "on my heart" 
In grace. In honour; as in M. N. D. iv. i. 139: "in grace of our so- 

125. Denmark. That is, the king of Denmark. Johnson says: "The 
king's intemperance is very strongly impressed; everything that happens 
to him gives him occasion to drink." 

127. Rouse. Bumper; as in Oth. ii. 3. 66. The word is of Danish 
origin (see Wb.), and not connected with carouse. It is now used only 
in the sense of a drinking bout or carousal. Cf. i. 4. 8 and ii. I. 58 below. 
See also Marlowe, Dr. Faustus, iii. 4 : " He took his rouse with stoups 

The change to " Avail " in later eds. is due to Derrick, and not, as Malone states, to 
Dryden himself. There is another instance in the Introduction to the A nnus Mirabilis : 
" I could not prevail myself of it in the English" (here also changed to "avail" by Der- 
rick). It is an imitation of the French idiom, se frtvaloir de. 


of Rhenish wine ;" Massinger, Duke of Milan, i. I : " Stands bound to 
take his rouse ;" Bondman, ii. 3 : "another rouse !" etc. 

The Danish court in the time of S. was known throughout Europe for 
its intemperance. Sir John Harrington in 1606 refers as follows to the 
visit of Christian IV. of Denmark (uncle of Anne, queen of James I.) to 
England : " 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 could never get to taste good liquor, now follow the 
fashion, and wallow in beastly delights. The ladies abandon their sobri- 
ety, 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 himseTf or herself." 

Bruit. Noise abroad. Cf. Macb. v. 7. 22, etc. 

129. Too, too. A common reduplication. Cf. J?. of L. 174, 2". G. of V. 
ii. 4. 205, M. W. ii. 2. 260, M. ofV. ii. 6. 42, etc. See Mer. p. 143. 

On the passage Coleridge remarks : "This tczdium vitcz is a common 
oppression on minds cast in the Hamlet mould, and is caused by dispro- 
portionate mental exertion, which necessitates exhaustion of bodily feel- 
ing. Where there is a just coincidence of external and internal action, 
pleasure is always the result ; but where the former is deficient, and the 
mind's appetency of the ideal is unchecked, realities will seem cold and 
unmoving. In such cases, passion combines itself with the indefinite 
alone. In this mood of his mind the relation of the appearance of his 
father's spirit in arms is made all at once to Hamlet : it is Horatio's 
speech, in particular a perfect model of the true style of dramatic nar- 
rative ; the purest poetry, and yet in the most natural language, equal- 
ly remote from the ink-horn and the plough." 

M. says : " The base affinities of our nature are ever present to Ham- 
let's mind. Here he thinks of the body as hiding from us the freshness, 
life, and nobleness of God's creation. If it were to pass away, silently 
and spontaneously, like the mist on a mountain-side, or if, curtain-like, 
we might tear it down by an act of violence, it may be that we should see 
quite another prospect ; at any rate, the vile things now before us would 
be gone forever." 

130. Resolve. Cf. L. C. 296: "resolv'd my reason into tears;" T. of 

' "The sea 's a thief, whose liquid surge resolves 
The moon into salt tears." 

Nares quotes Lyly, Euphues: " I could be content to resolve myself into 

132. Canon. "Theo. first pointed out that this did not refer to a piece 
of artillery, but to a divine decree " (F.). Wordsworth (Shakespeare's 
Knowledge and Use of the Bible] says : " Unless it be the Sixth Com- 
mandment, the canon must be one of natural religion." Cf. Cymb. iii. 4. 

"Against self-slaughter 
There is a prohibition so divine 
That cravens my weak hand." 

137. Merely. Absolutely. See Temp. p. 1 1 1 or J. C. p. 129. 


140. Hyperion. Apollo. Cf. Hen. V. iv. i. 292, T. and C. ii. 3. 207, 
etc. The accent is properly on the penult, but the general usage of Eng- 
lish poets has thrown it back. See Wore. Even an accomplished clas- 
sical scholar like Gray could write : " Hyperion's march and glittering 
shafts of war." 

To is often thus used in comparisons. Cf. Temp. \. 2. 480, C. of E. i. 2. 
35, etc. See also i. 5. 52 and Hi. I. 52 below. 

A satyr, Warb. says : " By the satyr is meant Pan, as by Hyperion 
Apollo. Pan and Apollo were brothers ; and the allusion is to the con- 
tention between those gods for the preference in music." But more 
probably, as Steevens suggests, the beauty of Apollo is contrasted with 
the deformity of a satyr. 


141. Might not beteem. Could not allow. Gr. 312. S. uses beteem 
again in M. IV. D, i. I. 131. See note in our ed. p. 128. 

142. Visit. For the omission of to, see Gr. 349. 

147. Or ere. A reduplication, or being = before. See Temp. p. 112. 

149. Ntobe. Again alluded to in T. and C. v. 10. 19: "Make wells 
and Niobes of the maids and wives." 

150. Discourse of reason. "The reasoning faculty " (Wr.). The phrase 
occurs again in T. and C. ii. 2. 1 1 6, and " discourse of thought " in Oth. iv. 
2. 153. Cf. "reason and discourse" in M. for M. i. 2. 190, and "dis- 
course " in iv. 4. 37 below. 

153. Hercules. Cf. ii. 2. 353 below. Allusions to Hercules are very 
common in S. 

155. Left the flushing. Ceased to produce redness. Cf. iii. 4. 34 below : 
" Leave wringing of your hands," etc. Schmidt suggests doubtfully, 

1 8 4 


"ere her tears had had time to redden her eyes ?" Wr. refers to the 
transitive use of flush = to fill with water; but the word here is proba- 
bly used in the other sense. On galled eyes, cf. Rich. III. iv. 4. 53 and 
T. and C. v. 3. 55. 

157. Dexterity. "Nimbleness" (Schmidt). Walker suspects that S. 
wrote " celerity;" but elsewhere the idea of adroitness in the word seems 
to have suggested to S. that of quickness. Cf. R. of L. 1389, M. W. iv. 
5. 121 and I Hen. IV. ii. 4. 286. 

158. Nor it cannot. Cf. iii. 2. 183 below : "nor 't is not strange," etc. 
Gr. 406. 

156. Break. Subjunctive (Gr. 364) or 3d person imperative; not 2d 
person imperative, as many eds. make it by putting a comma after it. 
13. Change. Exchange. Johnson explains the passage: "I'll be 

II. 185 

your servant, you shall be my friend ;" but it may mean simply, " I '11 
exchange the name of 'friend with you." 

164. What make you? What are you doing? Cf. Oth. iii. 4. 169: 
" What make you from home ?" The phrase is common in S. and is 
quibbled upon in L. L. L. iv. 3. 190 fol. and Kick. III. i. 3. 164 fol. See 
ii. 2. 266 below. 

167. Good even, sir. Addressed to Bernardo, whom Hamlet does not 
recognize (W.). 

170. Hear. The quarto reading; that of the folios is "have," adopted 
by K., Sr., and W. 

171. That. Such. See Gr. 277, and cf. i. v. 48 below. 

172. Truster. Cf. T. of A. iv. I. 10 : "And cut your trusters' throats." 
Gr. 443. 

177. I pray thee. As Corson remarks, this reading of the folio is bet- 
ter than " I prithee," an earnest entreaty being meant 

179. Upon. For the adverbial use, see Gr. 192. 

180. BaKd meats. We have "bakemeats" in Gen. xl. 17 (printed with 
a hyphen in the ed. of 1611, as Wr. states) and "bake mete" in Chau- 
cer, C. T. 343. It was an old custom to furnish a cold entertainment 
for the mourners at a funeral. Collins quotes the old romance of Syr 
Degore : 

"A great feaste would he holde 
Upon his queries mornynge day, 
That was buryed in an abbay ; 

and Malone adds from Hayward's Life and Ratgne of King Henrie the 
Fourth, 1599: "Then hee [Richard II.] was . . . obscurely interred, 
without the charge of a dinner for celebrating the funeral." For further 
information on the subject, see Brande's Popular Antiquities (Bohn's ed.) 
vol. ii. pp. 237-245. The custom did not continue long after the time of 
S., for Flecknoe, in his ^Enigmatical Characters, 1665, says of " a curious 
glutton" that when he dies he "onely regrets that funeral feasts are 
cuite left off, else he should have the pleasure of one feast more (in im- 
a'gination at least) even after death." 

182. Dearest foe. Cf. A. Y. L. \. 3. 34: "my father hated his father 
dearly," etc. See Temp. p. 124 (note on The dearest ofth 1 loss] or Rich. II. 
p. 151. 

183. Or ever I had. The folio has "Ere I had ever," which some edi- 
tors prefer. See on 147 above. 

185. O where. The quartos omit the O. 

In my mind's eye. Cf. R. of L. 1426: "unseen, save to the eye of 
mind ;" Chaucer, C. T. 4972 : " with eyen of his mynde. See also Much 
Ado,\v. 1.231. 

190. Saw ? who ? Some eds. print " Saw who ?" and D. says that the 
Kembles, Kean, and Macready gave the words as a single question. For 
the -who^whom, see Gr. 274. 

192. Season. "Qualify, temper" (Schmidt), as in ii. I. 28 below. Cf. 
M. of V. iv. i. 197 : " When mercy seasons justice." 

193. Attent. Attentive ; used again in Per, iii. prol. II : "Be attent." 
Spenser uses it as a noun in F. Q. iii. 9. 52 : " With vigilant regard and 


dew attent ;" and Id. vi. 9. 37 : " And kept her sneepe with diligent at 
Deliver^ relate, as in 209 and v. 2. 374 below. Cf. Temp. ii. I. 45, v. 

' 198.' Vast. The reading of 1st quarto ; the later quartos and the folic 
have " waste. r Malone and Steevens read " waist "= middle. Marston, 
in his MaleconMit, 1604, has "waist of night." Vast, like waste,=vo\d 
'emptiness. Cf. Tump. \. 2. 327 : " that vast of night." 

200. At point. The folio has "at all points." Cf. Rich. If. i. 3. 2: 
" Yea, at all points ;" Spenser, F. Q. i. 1. 16 : " Armed to point ;" Id. i. 2. 
12 : "all armde to point," etc. See also Macb. p. 241, note on At a point. 

Cap-a-pe. Cap-^-pied, from head to foot ; used again in W. T. iv. 4. 
761 : " I am courtier cap-a-pe." Cf. 228 below. 

202. Thrice. In the folio joined to by them. 

204. Distiltd. The folio has " bestil'd," and the Coll. MS. "bechill'd." 
Sr. quotes Sylvester, Du Bartas: " Melt thee, distill thee, turne to wax 
or snow." 

205. Act. Action, operation. Ct Oth. iii. 3. 328 : 

"Dangerous conceits are in their natures poisons, 
Which at the first are scarce found to distaste, 
But with a little act upon the blood 
Burn like the mines of sulphur." 

207. Dreadful. Filled with dread ; as in R. of L. 450, Rich. III. i I. 
8, etc. See on i. I. 57 above. 

216. It head. Cf. Temp. ii. I. 163 : " of it own kind ;" Hen. V. v. 2. 40: 
"in it own fertility;" Ltar t i. 4. 236: "it 's had it head bit off by it 
young," etc. See Gr. 228 or Temp. p. 120. This possessive it occuis 
fourteen times in the folio (not counting a doubtful case in T. G. ofV. v. 
2. 21), it's nine times, and its only once (M.for M. i. 2. 4). Milton has 
its three times (P. L. i. 254, iv. 813, and Hymn on Nativ. 106). Its does 
not occur in the A. V. of 1611, and the possessive it is found only in Lev. 
xxv. 5 ("its" in modern eds.). 

217. Like as. Cf. Sonn. 60. I : " Like as the waves make towards the 
pebbled shore ;" T. and C. i. 2. 7 : " like as there were husbandry in 
war," etc. C Gr. 107 and 116. 

218. But even. See on i. i. 8l above. 
222. Writ. See on 27 above. 

226. Arm'd, say you? This refers to the ghost, not to Horatio and 
Marcellus as some have understood it. 

230. Beaver. The movable front of the helmet. Cf. 2 Hen. IV. iv. i. 
120 : " their beavers down," etc. It is sometimes put for the helmet, as 
in i Hen. IV. iv. i. 104: "with his beaver on," etc. Hunter quotes 
Spenser, F. Q. iv. 6. 25 : "they their bevers up did reare." For the deri- 
vation of the word, see Wb. 

^ 237. Like. Likely ; as often. Cf. ii. 2. 341 below. See also M.ofV. 
ii. 7. 49 : " Is 't like that lead contains her ?" etc. 

238. Tell. Count. Cf. Rich. III. i. 4. 122 : " while one would tell 
twenty," etc. The word is now obsolete in this sense, except in the 


r d " te " ing one ' s bMds -" cc **= >> 

been mo?t exL^ h ^ tWCen ^' /23W and "'^ ^^^ He had 

251. Loves. See on i. i. 173 above. 

^r ^^o Say rather >' our loves - Cf - 163 above. 

256. Doubt. Suspect. Cf. Cor. Hi. i. 153 CV/, jfj , IQ etc 

258. 7b ,', eyes. The foli ' 

omits the comma afte - and 

as good sense to con " ect * - 



2to '^.'"H""'.- * ca P ri . " impulsive fancy. Wr. quotes <M i j 
Sow, a'nfseTrK 2 ? ea "" :r ' d CU " id F ' S t HI * 

, anse 9 

7. ^vfy. Early, vernal ; perhaps peculiar to this passage (Nares) 
e'asute^Gr. 4*' ^ ^^ ' iable l "? "^ " 
?o S K" Cf A / Gra p tifi 'rt tl ' n ' ? 3Stime < Schmidt ) ! sed by S. only here. 
is due to Swe " ^ ^^ edS ' haVC 3 Peri d after *' the cha S 


"Ihe mother of three daughters, well upbroueht 
In goodly thewes, and godly exercise;* 

'' r ' for worth and e tl 

sum incr in ' 

havJ ^"/f' ?"?', deCeit ' UsCd Olll >' here and in L. C. 303 but we 
have -. cautelous (-false, deceitful) in Cor. iv. i. 33 and 7 C ii i 
Rushton suggests that S. had in mind Swinburn, Treatise on mils i 
1 here is no cautele under heaven, whereby the libertie nf ,K* 

1 88 NOTES. 

revoking his testament can be utterly taken away." Besmirch is used 
literally in Hen. V. iv. 3..iio. 

16. The virtue of his will. " His virtuous intentions " (Mason). 

1 8. This line is not in the quartos. 

19. Unvalued. Of low birth, mean. In the only other instance in S. 
(Rich. III. i. 4. 27) it means invaluable. Cf. Marlowe, Tamburlane, i. 2 : 
" loss unvalued " (that is, inestimable). Here again Rushton cites Swin- 
burn ; " it is not lawful for legetaries to carve for themselves, taking their 
legacies at their own pleasure." 

21. Safety. A trisyllable. Cf. Gr. 477 and 488. The folio has " sanc- 
tity," andTheo. substituted "sanity," which W. adopts and Abbott (Gr. 
484) favours. D., H., and St. read "the health," which is perhaps the 
best emendation, if any be required. 

26. Particular act and place . "The peculiar line of conduct prescribed 
to him by his rank " (Schmidt). The folio has " peculiar Sect and force." 
W. reads " peculiar sect and place;" making sect = class, rank. 

28. Withal. An emphatic form otwith (Gr. 196). 

30. Credent. Credulous. Cf. L. C. 279: 

" Lending soft audience to my sweet design 
And credent soul to that strong-bonded oath 
That shall prefer and undertake my troth." 
It means credible in M. for M. iv. 4. 29 and W. T. i. 2. 142. 

32. Unmaster'd. " Uncontrolled, unbridled " (Schmidt). 

36. Chariest. " Most scrupulous" (D.). So chariness = scrupulous- 
ness in M. W. ii. I. 102. 

38. Scapes. Not " 'scapes," being used in prose by Bacon and others. 
See Macb. p. 214 or Wb. s. v. 

39. Canker. Canker-worm. See M. N. D. p. 150. 

40. Buttons. Buds (Fr. bouton). 

42. Blastments. Blights; used by S. only here. Wr. quotes Coleridge, 
Zapolya : " Shall shoot his blastments on the land." 

43. Best safety, etc. Cf. Macb. iii. 5. 32, and see note in our ed. p. 223. 

44. Youth, etc. " In the absence of any tempter, youth rebels against 
itself, that is, the passions of youth revolt from the power of self-restraint; 
there is a traitor in the camp" (Wr.). 

None else near. For the omission of is, see Gr. 403. 

46. Good my brother. See Gr. 13. 

47. Ungracious. " Graceless " (Wr.). Cf. Rich. II. ii. 3. 89, 1 Hen. 
IV. ii. 4. 490, etc. 

49. Whiles. Used by S. interchangeably with -while and -whilst. The 
folio has " Whilst " here. Puffed = bloated. 

50. Primrose. Cf. Macb. ii. 3. 21 : "the primrose way to the ever- 
lasting bonfire." Note the change of person in Himself. 

5 1 . Recks not his own rede. Cares not for his own counsel. Cf. Spen- 
ser, F. Q. vi. 2. 30: "To whose wise read she hearkning," etc. So the 
verb rede or read advise, as in F. Q. i. i. 13: "Therefore I read be- 
ware," etc. 

Fear me not. Fear not for me. Cf. iii. 4. 7 and iv. 5. 105 below. 
See also M. for M. iv. I. 70, Much Ado, iii. i . 31, etc. Gr. 200. 

ACT 1. SCENE III. 189 

52. I stay too long. " Laertes seems to think that Ophelia's spirited 
reply is giving the conversation a needless and inconvenient turn ; for 
that for sisters to lecture brothers is an inversion of the natural order of 
things "(M.). 

53. Double. Laertes had already taken leave of his father. 

56. Sits. Often used of the wind. Cf. M. of V. i. i. 18, Rich. II. ii. I. 
265, Hen. V. ii. 2. 12, etc. 

59. Character. Write, inscribe. S. accents the verb either on the first 
or the second syllable ; the noun on the. first, except in Rich. III. iii. I. 
81 (Schmidt). 

Dowden remarks on the passage : " The advice of Polonius is a cento 
of quotations from Lyly's Euphues* Its significance must be looked 
for less in the matter than in the sententious manner. Polonius has been 
wise with the little wisdom of worldly prudence. He has been a master 
of indirect means of getting at the truth, 'windlaces and assays ot bias.' 
In the shallow lore of life he has been learned. Of true wisdom he has 
never had a gleam. And what Shakspere wishes to signify in this speech 
is that wisdom of Polonius' kind consists in a set of maxims ; all such 
wisdom might be set down for the head-lines of copy-books. That is to 
say, his wisdom is not the outflow of a rich or deep nature, but the little, 
accumulated hoard of a long and superficial experience. This is what 
the sententious manner signifies. And very rightly Shakspere has put 
into Polonius' mouth the noble lines, 

'To thine own self be true, 
And it must follow, as the night the day, 
Thou canst not then be false to any man.' 

Yes ; Polonius has got one great truth among his copy-book maxims, 
but it comes in as a little bit of hard, unvital wisdom like the rest. ''Dress 
well, don't lend or borrow money ; to thine own self be true.' " 

60. Unproportion 'd. " Disorderly, unsuitable " (Schmidt). 

61. Vulgar. The word denotes the extreme of familiar, or "free-and- 
easy" with everybody. Cf. I Hen. IV. iii. 2. 41 : 

"So common-hackney'd in the eyes of men, 
So stale and cheap to vulgar company." 

62. And their adoption tried. "And whose adoption thou hast tried" 
(Wr.) ; or, perhaps, " their adoption having been tried," as Delius and 
others explain it (Gr. 376, 377). 

63. Grapple. Cf. Macb. iii. i. 106 : " Grapples you to the heart and 
love of us." For hoops Pope substituted "hooks." 

64. Do not dull, etc. " Do not make thy palm callous by shaking 
every man by the hand " (Johnson). Wr. quotes Cymb. i. 6. 106 : 

* Mr. W. L. Rushton, in his Shakespeare's Euphuism, pp. 44-47. places side by side 
the precepts cf Polonius and Euphues. "Pol. Give thy thoughts no tongue. Euph. Be 
not lavish of thy tongue. Pol. Do not dull thy palm, etc. Euph. Every one that shaketh 
thee by the hand is not joined to thee in heart. Pol. Beware of entrance to a quarrel, 
etc. Euph. Be not quarrelous for every light occasion. Pol. Give every man thine ear, 
but few thy voice. Euph. It shall be thrice better to hear what they say, than to speak 
what thou thinkest." Both Polonius and Euphues speak of the advice given as " these 
few precepts." 



"join gripes with hands 
Made hard with hourly falsehood." 

65. Comrade. Accented on the last syllable, as in i Hen. IV* iv. I. 96; 
on the first in Lear, ii. 4. 213. S. uses the word only three times. The 
quartos have " courage " here. 

69. Censure. Opinion; as often. Cf. Macb. v. 4. 14: "our just cen- 
sures;" and see note in our ed. p. 251. See also i. 4. 35 and iii. 2. 24 

70. Costly. Tschischwitz makes the construction "costly thy habit 
buy as thy purse can ;" but it is simpler to make it " as costly be thy 
habit as," etc. Cf. Gr. 276. 

71. Express 1 d in fancy. "Marked or singular in device" (M.), or, in 
modern slang, "loud." 

74. A corrupt line. The ist quarto reads : " Are of a most select and 
general! chiefe in that ;" the 2d and 3d : "Or of a most select and gen- 
erous, chiefe in that," the "Or" being changed to " Ar" and "Are" in 
the 4th and 5th. The folio has " Are of a most select and generous 
cheff in that," which is followed (reading "chief") by K., V., M., and 
others ; Me/being explained as "eminence, superiority," or as " the up- 
per part of a heraldic shield." The Coll. MS. changes chief to "choice." 
W. reads, very plausibly, " Are most select and generous in that." The 
reading in the text is due to Rowe, and is followed by D. (ad ed.). H., 
F., and others. Chief chiefly, especially. 

77- Husbandry. Thrift, economy. Cf. Macb. ii. 1.4: " There 's hus- 
bandry in heaven ; Their candles are all out," etc. 

81. Season. " Mature, ripen " (Schmidt). Cf. iii. 3. 86 below. 

83. Tend. Attend, are waiting ; as in iv. 3. 44 below. Cf. the transi- 
tive use in Temp. i. 2. 47, Lear, ii. 4. 266, etc. 

86. And you, etc. That is, I will remember it till you give me leave 
to forget it. 

90. Bethought. Thought of. Ci.Per.v. 1.44: "'T is well bethought." 
The verb is often used reflectively, as in M. ofV. i. i. 31, M. N. D. iv. i. 
155, etc. On marry, see Mer. p. 138. 

94. Put on me. Told me (Schmidt) ; or possibly a little stronger than 
that, and=impressed upon me. Cf. A. Y. L. \. 2. 99, M. for M. ii. 2. m 
T. N.V.I. 70, etc. 

98. Give me up the truth. Cf. Rich. III. i. 4. 189 : " have given their 
verdict up Unto the frowning judge." 

101. Green. Still used colloquially in this sense- inexperienced, un- 
sophisticated. Cf. V. and A. 806, W. T. iii. 2. 182, K. John. ii. i. 472, iii. 
4. 145, etc. See also "greenly," iv. 5. 66 below. 

102. Unsifted. Untried; used by S. only here. Cf. Luke, xxii. 31. 
Circumstance is used collectively (Delius). 

106. Tenders. That is, promises to pay. Cf. M. N. D. iii. 2. 87 and 
Sonn. 83. 4. 

109. Running. The quartos have "Wrong," the folios "Roaming;" 
the emendation is due to Coll. "Wronging" and " Wringing " have 
also been suggested. 

HO. Importun'd. Accent on the second syllable, as regularly in S. 


A/ f'fZf' iV 5 "- 19 : 7, 1 here }m Prtue death awhile, until ;", 
"'' A 

might wfbfspaid^ 3re n0t " thC f li0 ' and eXCe P< for the e 
115. Springes. Snares. Cf. v. 2. 294 below and 

. . . . v. 2. 294 eow and W T iv 

cock was proverbial for a simpleton (Nares) Cf. Ttff 
this woodcock, what an ass it is '" J W \l i ; n w u 

1 1 6. Prodigal. Used adverbially. Gr i 

w?-iS3!5 r SL 1 ^,^;,,"" 1 *" also ^ - ^ 3- 

daighte^ Adiss y ]lable ' Gr. 47 3. The folio reads, For this time 
121. Somewhat. The quartos have "something." 

Cf.7SAL2. m,H<.r.\. 2. 

used by s - 

, ,,, - ]aw , JapCTS headed with reli jous fonn|)] 

? -k Dl y ac S (J? 1 " 180 ". Schmidt), or misuse (M.). 

The 2C| and 3<i quartos and the folios have "moment 

r - 43o) sives " 

human nature. It is a well-established fact, that on the brink 


, 92 NOTES. 

serious enterprise, or event of moment, men almost invariably endeavom 
to elude the pressure of their own thoughts by turning aside to trivia) 
objects and familiar circumstances : thus this dialogue on the platform 
begins with remarks on the coldness of the air, and inquiries, obliquely 
connected, indeed, with the expected hour of the visitation, but thrown 
out in a seeming vacuity of topics, as to the striking of the clock and so 
forth. The same desire to escape from the impending thought is carried 
on in Hamlet's account of, and moralizing on, the Danish custom of was- 
sailing : he runs off from the particular to the universal, and in his re- 
pugnance to personal and individual concerns, escapes, as it were, from 
himself in generalizations, and smothers the impatience and uneasy feel- 
ings of the moment in abstract reasoning. Besides this, another purpose 
is answered ; for by thus entangling the attention of the audience in the 
nice distinctions and parenthetical sentences of this speech of Hamlet's, 
Shakspeare takes them completely by surprise on the appearance of the 
Ghost, which comes upon them in all the suddenness of its visionary 
character. Indeed, no modern writer would have dared, like Shak- 
speare, to have preceded this last visitation by two distinct appearances, 
or could have contrived that the third should rise upon the former two 
in impressiveness and solemnity of interest." 

1. Shrewdly. Sharply, keenly. See Hen. F.p. 1 70, and cf. J. C. p. 145. 
The folio reads, " is it very cold ?" 

2. Eager. Sharp, biting (Fr. aigre). Cf. i. 5. 69 below. 
5. It then. The folio reads "then it." 

8. Rouse. See on i. 2. 127. 

9. Wassail. Drinking - bout, carousal. Cf. L. L. L. v. 2. 318 : " At 
wakes and wassails," etc. See Macb. p. 180. 

Upspring. Probably a wild German dance. Steevens quotes Chap- 
man's AlphonsMS, Emperor of Germany : 

"We Germans have no changes in our dances 

An Almain and an up-spring, that is all." 

According to Elze, the word is a translation of the German Hupfauf, the 
last and wildest dance at the old German merry-makings ; but Schmidt 
says that "ffupjauf\s, an apochryphal dance and may as well be trans- 
lated from upspring" Pope substituted " upstart," and some make /- 
spring= upstart. 

Reels is a verb with upspring for its object, as Schmidt and F. explain 
it ; not a noun, as St. makes it. 

10. Rhenish. Cf. M. off. i. 2. 104 : " a deep glass of Rhenish wine ;" 
Id. iii. i. 44 : "red wine and Rhenish." See also v. I. 170 below. 

11. Kettle-drums. Douce quotes Cleaveland, Fuscara: "As Danes 
carowse by kettle-drums." 

12. The triumph, etc. "The universal acceptance of his pledge" (M.); 
or the expression may be "bitterest irony" (Delius). 

15. Manner. Custom, fashion ; with perhaps a reference to man*-. 
Cf. the play on the words in L. L. L. i. i. 207 fol. 

16. D. quotes from an old play : " He keeps his promise best that 
breaks with hell." 

17. This heavy-headed revel, etc. Lines 17-38 are omitted in the folios. 


East and west. As Johnson points out, these words modify traduc'a, 
ot revel 

1 8. Ttufd. Censured. Cf- A. Y. L. ii. 7. 71: 

" Why, who cries out on pride, 
That can therein tax ar.y private party," etc. 

See also A. Y. L. p. 142, note on Taxation; and cf. Webster, Cure for a 
Cuckold, i. i : "She is without taxation." 

19. Clepe. Call. Cf. Macb. iii. i. 94, and see note in our eel. p. 209. 
Drunkards. Steevens says that in Queen Elizabeth's time there was a 

Dane in London who is referred to in Rowland's Looke to It as follows : 

"You that will drinke Reynaldo vnto death: 
The Dane, that would carowse out of his Boote." 

Cf. Oth. i. 2. 84: "Why, he drinks you, with facility, your Dane dead 
drunk. " 

With swinish phrase, etc. S;ain our name by calling us swine. Ad- 
dition=t\\\e, as in Macb. i. 3. 106, etc. Hunter thinks there maybe an 
allusion to "some parody on the style of the kings of Denmark," and 
Wr. suggests the possibility of a pun on Sweyn, a common name of those 

21. At height. "To the utmost" (Caldecott). Cf. Sonn. 15. 9: "at 
height decrease," etc. 

22. The pith, etc. " The best and most valuable part of the praise 
that would otherwise be attributed to us " (Johnson) ; or, more concisely, 
the best part of our reputation. For attribute-^ reputation, Schmidt 
compares T. and C. ii. 3. 125 and Per. iv. 3. 18. 

24. Mole of nature. Natural blemish. 

25. Malone quotes J?. of L. 538: 

' For marks descried in men's nativity 
Are nature's faults, not their own infamy." 

On as= namely, see Gr. 113. 

26. His. Its. Gr. 228. 

27. Complexion. "Temperament, natural disposition" (Schmidt). 
3f. M. of V. iii. I. 32 and v. 2. 99 below. 

30. Plaitsive. Plausible, pleasing. Cf. A. W. i. 2. 53 and iv. I. 29 

32. Nature's livery, etc. A defect either natural (cf. " mole of nature " 
above) or accidental. Star z. mark like a star. Cf. Cymb.v. 5. 364- 
" Upon his neck a mole, a sanguine star." Ritson says it is a term in 
ferriery. Theo. substituted " scar." 

33. Their. The quartos have " His," which S. may have written. Cf. 
the change from singular to plural in iii. 2. 173, 174 below, and see Gr. 


34. Undergo. Experience, enjoy (Schmidt). Cf. M.for M. i. I 24: 
* To undergo such ample grace and honour." 

35. Censure. Opinion, judgment. See on i. 3. 69 above. 

36. 37. A corrupt passage, not satisfactorily mended by any of the 
countless attempts to do it. F. fills six closely printed pages with a 

Xmmary of these, and they are more amusing than edifying. Some of 

I 94 NOTES. 

the changes proposed are comparatively simple and plausible, while 
others are of the wildest and most preposterous sort. The genera! mean- 
ing cf the passage is obvious from the preceding statement, of which it 
is evidently a figurative repetition. The idea is that of a little leaven of 
evil leavening the whole lump of " noble substance ;" and it seems prob- 
able that "evil," or some word of the same sense ("ill," "vile," "base," 
etc., have been suggested) is disguised in eale. It is a significant fact 
that, in ii. 2. 586 below, the 2d quarto has "deale" for devil. D. says 
that eale itself is used in the western counties of England in the sense of 
"reproach ;" and "eale, to reproach," is given in Halliwell and Wright's 
Archaic Diet, as a Devonshire word. Of a doubt has been changed to 
" often dout " ( =do out, efface), " ever dout," " oft corrupt," etc. These 
are samples of the better sort of emendations ; for such absurdities as 
"dram of ale," "dram of eel," "bran of meal," "often daub," "over- 
clout," etc., we must refer the reader to F, 

38. His. Its ; as in 26 above. 

40. A spirit of health. "A healed or saved spirit " (Wr.). 

42. Intents. The folio has " events," which some critics defend. 

43. Questionable. "Inviting question" (Theo.). Cf. unquestionable 
averse to conversation, in A. Y. L. iii. 2. 393. S. uses the word only here. 

45. Royal Dane. We follow F. in adopting the punctuation proposed 
anonymously in a London journal in 1761. The modern eds. generally, 
with the folio, join Royal Dane to Father, but the climax naturally ends 
with the latter word. F. says: "Mr. Edwin Booth has informed me 
that his father always spoke the line thus, and that he himself has al- 
ways so spoken it." 

47. Canonized. The regular accent in S. Cf. K. John, iii. I. 177, iii. 
4. 52, T. and C. ii. 2. 202, etc. 

Hearsed. Coffined. Cf. M. ofV. iii. I. 93 : " Would she were hearsed 
at my foot." 

49. Inurrfd. The quartos have " interr'd." 

2. Complete. Accented by S. on either syllable, as suits the measure, 
midt says that " c6mplete always precedes a noun accented on the 
first syllable, complete is always in the predicate." Cf. M.forM. i. 3. 3, 
L. L. L. i. i. 137, Rich. III. iv. 4. 189, etc., with T. G. of Y. ii. 4. 73, K. 
John, ii. i. 433, Hen. VIII. iii. 2. 49, etc. 

53. Glimpses. That is, glimmering through the clouds or through the 
openings among the battlements (Hunter). 

54- We. See Gr. 216. 

Fools of nature. Of whom nature makes fools. Cf. R. and J. iii. I. 
141 : " O I am fortune's fool !" See also Lear, iv. 6. 195, Macb. ii. I. 
44, etc. 

55. Disposition. Constitution, nature. See Macb. p. 220. 

56. Reaches. "The plural is here used as in i. i. 173 " (Wr.). 

57. Why. For the use of the word, see Gr. 75. 

59. Impartment. Communication ; used by S. nowhere else. 

OI. Waves. The folio has "wafts," which S. uses in the same sensd 
C C. of E. ii. 2. 1 1 1 : " who wafts us yonder ?" See also M. of V. v. I. 
II, T. of A. i. i. 70, etc. 


ACT I. SCENE V. 1 95 

Removed. Remote. See A. Y. L. p. 177. 

64. Should. See Gr. 328. 

73. Deprive. Take away; as in R. of L. 1 186 and 1752 (Schmidt). 

Your sovereignty of reason. The sovereignty of your reason, the com- 
mand of your reason. Gr. 423. 

75. Toys. Freaks. Cf. R. and J. iv. I. 119: " no inconstant toy," etc. 

Lines 75-78 are omitted in the folio. 

83. The Nemean lion's. We have this mythic beast again in L. L. L. 
iv. I. 90, where Nemean is accented as here. 

Nerve. Sinew; the only meaning that Schmidt recognizes. Cf. Sonn. 
ico. 4, Temp. i. 2. 484, Macb. iii. 4. 102, etc. 

85. Lets. Hinders. Cf. T. N. v. i. 256: "If nothing lets to make us 
happy," etc. So the noun = hindrance, as in f/en. V. v. 2. 65, etc. 

89. Haveafter. Let 's after him ! Cf. havewithyou = I 'llgo with you; 
as in A. Y. L. \. 2. 268, Oth. i. 2. 53, etc. So have at it ( W. T. iv. 4. 302), 
have at you (v. 2. 290 below), have to it ( T. of S. i. I. 143), etc. 

91. It. Referring to issue. 

Nay. " That is, let us not leave it to heaven, but do something our- 
selves" (Wr.). 

SCENE V. 6. Bound. The adjective = ready (Schmidt). The Ghost 
uses it as the participle of bind. 

II. To fast. Cf. Chaucer, Persones Tale:" And moreover the misese 
of helle shall be in defaute of mete and drink." 

19. An end. The ist quarto and most modern eds. have "on end." 
See Gr. 24. 

20. Porpentine. Porcupine; the only name by which S. knows the 
animal. Cf. Ascham, Toxophilus : " nature geve example of shootinge 
first by the porpentine," etc. Topsell, in his Hist, of Beasts, 1607, haa 
" porcuspine." 

21. Eternal blazon. "This promulgation of the mysteries of eternity " 
(M.). Abbott (Gr. p. 16) thinks it is in/ernathere; also in /. C. i. 2. 160 
and Oth. iv. 2. 130. In these passages Schmidt defines it as " used to 
express extreme abhorrence." Cf. the use of eternal in the provincial 
dialects of the east of England, and in Yankee slang ("'tarnal "). 

29 . Haste. For the transitive use, cf. M. of V. ii. 2. 1 2 1 , T. and C. iv. 3. 
5, Cor. v. i . 74, etc. 

32. Shouldst. Wouldst. Gr. 322. 

33. Roots. The folio has " rots," which is preferred by many editors. 
Lethe wharf. Lethe's bank. See Gr. 22. Cf. A. and C. ii. 2. 218 : " the 
adjacent wharfs " (that is, banks) . For the allusion to Lethe, cf. T. N. iv. 
I. 66, 2 Hen. IV. v. 2. 72, Rich. III. iv. 4. 250, and A. and C. ii. 7. 114. 

37. Forged process. A false account of the manner. Wr. thinks that 
process may mean " an official narrative." 

40. O my prophetic soul ! " My very soul abhorred the murderer even 
when I knew not his crime" (M.). Cf. i. 2. 255-258 above. 

42. Adulterate. Used by S. oftener than adulterous. Cf. JR. of L. 1645, 
C. ofE. ii. 2. 142, Rich. III. iv. 4. 79, etc. 

46. Seeming-virtuous. See Gr. 2. 

ig6 NOTES. 

48. That. Such. Gr. 277. Cf. i. 2. 171 above. 

50. Decline upon. Sink down to. Cf. T. and C. iv. 5. 189 : " Not letting 
it decline on the declin'd," etc. Wr. quotes Tennyson, Locksley Hall: 

" Having known me, to decline 
On a range of lower, feelings and a narrower heart than mine." 

52. To. Compared to. See on i. 2. 140 above. 

53. Virtue. For the "absolute" or pleonastic construction, see Gr. 417. 
56. Sate. The ist quarto has "fate," the other quartos "sort." 

58. Soft. " Hold, stop " (Schmidt). See M. N. D. p. 176. 

60. In. The quartos have "of" (cf. M. N. D. ii. i. 253, etc.). 

61. Secure. Careless, unsuspicious (Latin securus). Cf. Rich. II. v. 3. 
13, Hen. V. iv. chor. 17, T. and C. ii. 2. 15, etc. S. accents the word on 
either syllable. Cf. 52 above. Cf. complete in i. 4. 52 above. 

62. Hebenon. The folio reading ; the quartos have " Hebona." Prob- 
ably henbane is meant, but Schmidt and some others think it may be 
<i>ony t the juice of which was supposed to be poisonous. 

63. Ears. It was a belief even among medical men in that day that 
poison might be thus introduced into the system. The eminent surgeon, 
Ambroise Pare, the contemporary of S., was suspected uf having infused 
poison into the ear of Francis II. while dressing it (Caldecott). 

68. Vigour. Power, activity. St. reads "rigour." 
Posset. Coagulate, curdle. See Macb. p. 189. 

69. Eager. Sour (Fr. aigre). See on i. 4. 2 above. 

71. Instant. Instantaneous. Cf. ii. 2. 501 below. It is used adverbially 
in 94 below. 

72. Lazar-like. Like a leper. Cf. Hen. V. \. i. 15, T. and C. ii. 3. 36, v. 
I. 72, eta 

75. Dispatched. "Deprived by death" (Schmidt). The ist quarto 
has "depriued," and the Coll. MS. "despoil'd." 

76. Blossoms. W. reads " blossom ;" perhaps a misprint Cf. W. T. 
v. 2. 135 : " in the blossoms of their fortune." 

77. Unhouserd. Not having received the eucharist (Old English housel 
or husel). Cf. Chaucer, Persones Tale: "And certes ones a yere at the 
lest way it is lawful to be houseled ;" Romaunt of the Rose, 6386 : " Ere 
any wight his housel tooke," etc. Spenser (F. Q. i. 12. 37) has "The 
housling fire " (sacramental or sacrificial fire). 

Disappointed. "Unappointed" (which Theo. substituted), unprepared; 
ased by S. only here. 

UnaneVd. Not having received extreme unction. Nares quotes Sii 
Thomas More : " The extreme vnccion or anelynge." 

80. O horrible, etc. This line is given to Hamlet by Rann, V., H., 
and some others ; and W., St., and D. think that it probably belongs to 
him, as perhaps it does. 

81. Nature. Natural feeling. Cf. Temp. v. i. 76 : " Expell'd remorse 
and nature," etc. 

83. Luxury. Lust ; its only meaning in S. Cf. Hen. V. iii. 5. 6, M. W. 
v. 5. 98, etc. 

88. Fare thee well. On thee~ thou, see Gr. 212. Cf. i. I. 40 above. 

89. Matin. Matin hour, morning ; used by S. only here. Elze is in- 

ACT f. SCENE K 197 

clined to change it to " matins ;" but the noun is used in the singular by 
Milton, L'All. 114: " Ere the first cock his matin rings." 

90. Gins. Not " 'gins," as usually printed. See Macb. p. 153. 
(Ineffectual. Either "shining without heat" (Warb.), or lost in the 

light of the morning (Steevens, Schmidt). For the use of un- and *'-, 
see Gr. 442. 

91. Adieu, etc. The quartos have "Adiew, adiew, adiew;" the folio, 
" Adue, adue, Hamlet: remember me." 

97. This distracted globe. " Here Hamlet puts his hand upon his head" 
(Wr.); but Schmidt thinks that globe " perhaps = world." 

98. Table. Tablet. Cf. T. G. of V. ii. 7. 3 : 

"Who art the table wherein all my thoughts 
Are visibly character 1 d and engravM." 

99. Fond. Foolish. See M. N. D. p. 163, or M. of V. p. 152. 
Records. Walker (quoted by F.) says that the accent of the noun is on 

the last syllable in S. ; but cf. Rich. II. i. I. 29 : " First, heaven be the 
record to my speech ;" A. and C. v. 2. 1 17 : " The record of what injuries 
you did us, etc. In recorder it is on the first syllable in the only passage 
in which S. uses the word in verse (Rich. III. iii. 7. 30). 

lop. Saws. Maxims, sayings. Cf. A. Y. L. ii. 7. 156: "wise saws;" 
Id. iii. 5. 82 : " now I find thy saw of might ;" Lear, ii. 2. 167 : " the com- 
mon saw," etc, 

Pressures. Impressions. S. uses the word only here and in iii. 2. 22 
txslow. He has impressure in the same sense in A. Y. L. iii. 5. 23, T. N. 
ii. 5. 103 (=seal), and T. and C. iv. 5. 131. 

107. Tables. Memorandum-book. Cf. 2 Hen. IV. ii. 4. 289 : " his mas- 
ter's old tables, his note-book," etc. Cf. table-book in ii. 2. 136 below and 
W. T. iv. 4. 610. 

no. Word. Watchword. Cf. Rich. III. v. 3. 349 : " Our ancient word 
of courage, fair Saint George," etc. 

115. Hillo, etc. " A falconer's cry to recall his hawk " (M.). Hence 
the come, bird, come. 

121. Once. Ever. Cf. Macb. iv. 3. 167, Rich. II. ii. 3. 91, etc. . 
125. Come. For the omitted to, see Gr. 349. 

127. Circumstance. Ceremony (Schmidt), or circumlocution (Wr.). 
Cf. M. of V.\.\. 154, 2 Hen. VI. f. I. 105, etc. 

129. You. " To go," or something of the sort, is understood. 
132. Go pray. A very common ellipsis with go. Cf. ii. I. 101 below, 
etc. Gr. 349. 

136. Saint Patrick. " The patron saint of all blunders and confusions" 

Horatio. The folio has " my lord," which Corson takes to be a retort 
to the same words in Horatio's speech. 

141. Soldiers. A trisyllable ; as in J. C. iv. I. 28 : " But he's a tried 
and valiant soldier;" and Lear, iv. 5. 3: "Your sister is the better 
soldier." Gr. 479. 

147. Upon my sword. The sword was often used in oaths because the 
nilt was in the form of a cross (and, as Hallhvell shows, sometimes had 
a cross inscribed upon it) ; and this swearing by the sword was, more* 

i 9 8 


over, an old Scandinavian custom. Cf. W. T. Ji. 3. 168, Ki. 2. 125, A/A // 
i. 3. 179, Hen. V. ii. I. 105, etc. 

Already. Referring to in faith above (H.). 

150. Truepenny. " Honest fellow " (Johnson, Schmidt). Forhy gives 
it in his Vocabulary of East Anglia as = " hearty old fellow; stanch and 
trusty ; true to his purpose or pledge." 

161. In the quartos the ghost says " Sweare by his sword." 

163. Pioner. Pioneer. Cf. Hen. V. iii. 2. 92 and Oth. iii. 3. 146. In 
R. ofL. 1380 it rhymes with " appear." Gr. 492. 

165. As a stranger, etc. " Receive it without doubt or question " (Wr.). 
Mason makes it = " seem not to know it;" but this is not so mucn in 
keeping with what follows. 

167. Your. The folio has "our," which is preferred by Walker, K. f 
W., and D. Your is probably used colloquially as in iii. 2. 3, 108, iv. 3. 
21 fol., etc. Gr. 221. 

172. Antic. "Disguised" (Wr.) ; "fantastic, foolish" (Schmidt). C 
R. and ' J. i. 5. 58: "cover'd with an antic face;" Id. ii. 4. 29: "antic 
fantasticoes," etc. See Macb. p. 130. 

174. Encumbered. "Folded thus in sign of wisdom" (M.). 

This head-shake. The quartos have " this head shake," the folio 
" thus, head shake." Theo. inserted the hyphen. 

175. Of. See Gr. 178. 

176. 177. An if. The folio has "and if." Gr. 101, 103. For there be t 
cf. iii. 2. 26, and see Gr. 300. 

178. Giving-ottt. Indication, intimation. Cf. M.for M. i. 4. 54, Oth. iv. 
i. 131, etc. 

To note. Caldecott points out the grammatical irregularity in never 
shall note. Cf. A. Y. L. v. 4. 2 1 : 

" Keep your word, Phebe, that you '11 marry me, 

Or else, refusing me, to wed this shepherd." 
See Gr. 416. 

1 80. Most. Greatest. Gr. 17. 

186. Friending. Friendliness; used by S. only here. Friend is found 
as a verb in M.for M. iv. 2. 1 16, Hen. V. iv. 5. 17, Hen. VIII. i. 2. 140, etc. 

187. Lack. Be wanting ; as in T. A. iv. 2. 44. Cf. i. 4. 3 above. 

189. O cursed spite! Cf. C. of E. ii. 2. 191 : " O spite of spites !" M. 
V. D. i. 1. 138 : "O spite !" Id. iii. 2. 145 : "O spite 1 O hell J" 3 Hen. VI 
i. I. 18 : " O unbid spite 1" etc. 


SCENE I. 3. Shall. Will. Gr. 315. 

4. Inquire. The folio has " inquiry," which some editors prefer. Cf 
Per. iii. prol. 22. 

5. Of. About, concerning (Gr. 174). Cf. Rick. II. iii. 2. 186: "In 
quire of him," etc. 



7. Danskers. Danes ; used by S. only here. Cf. Webster, White 
l)*vil: "Like a Dansk drummer." Danske, for Denmark, occurs often 
in Warner's Albion's England. On me, see Gr. 22O. 

8. Keep. Live, dwell. Cf. M. forM. iii. I. 10 : "this habitation where 
thou keep'st," etc. 

10. Encompassment and drift. "Winding and circuitous course" 
. (Caldecott). 

1 1 1. More nearer. For the double comparative, cf. iii. 2. 283, iii. 4. 155, 
and v. 2. 121 below. Gr. 11. 

The meaning is, " By these natural and circuitous inquiries you will 
get nearer to the point than you possibly could by a direct question " (M.). 

12. It. For the indefinite use of it, see Gr. 226. 

13. Take you, tic. Assume the appearance of having, etc. 

22. Slips. Offences. Cf. T. A. ii. 3. 86 : " these slips have made him 
noted long ;" Oth. iv. i. 9 : "a venial slip," etc. 

28. Season. See on i. 2. 192. 

29. Another scandal. " A deeper kind of scandal ; much as oXXwc 
means particularly, and aXXof ucirqt;, in the Odyssey, an out-of-the-way 
(or foreign) traveller" (M.). 

31. Breathe. Utter, speak; as in 44 below. Quaintly artfully, in- 
geniously. Cf. T. G. of V. iii. i. 117: "a ladder quaintly made with 
cords," etc. 

32. Taints. Cf. Macb. iv. 3. 124 : "The taints and blames I laid upon 
myself," etc. 

^.Unreclaimed. Untamed (Schmidt). So reclaim^ tame, in R. andj. 
iv. 2. 47, etc. 

The passage means " A wildness in untamed blood to which all young 
men are liable" (D.). 

36. Ay. Metrically a dissyllable. Gr. 482. 

38. Fetch of warrant. A warranted or justifiable artifice. The quar- 
tos have "fetch of wit" cunning device. Cf. Lear, ii. 4. 90: "Mere 

40. As ''twere, etc. "Just as you might speak of an article slightly 
soiled " (M.). 

42. Converse. Conversation. Cf. Z. Z. Z. v. 2. 745 and Oth. iii. i. 40. 
S. uses the noun only three times, and with the accent as here. 

For him =he, see A. Y. L. p. 136 or Gr. 208. 

43. Predominate. Aforesaid. Cf. T. and C. iv. 5. 250: "to prenom- 
in nice conjecture." For the form of the participle here, see Gr. 

342, and cf. deject in iii. i. 155 below. 
45- Zw this consequence. "In i 

i thus following up your remark" (Schmidt). 
47. Addition. Title. See on i. 4. 20 above. 

50. By the mass. Omitted in the folios, because it is an oath (Coll.). 

51. Leave. Leave off. Cf. V. and A. 715 : "Whete did I leave?" 
T. ofS. iii. i. 26 : " Where left we last ?" etc. 

58. Overtook. For the form, cf Macb. iv. i. 145 : " never is o'ertook." 
For rouse, see on i. 2. 127 above. 

64. Of wisdom and of reach. Schmidt takes g/"to be "used to denote 
a quality," as in "thieves of mercy," iv. 6. 18 below. The expression 


would then be = wise and shrewd. Abbott (Gr. 168) makes 0/=by means 
of. Wr. compares L. L. L. iv. 2. 30 : " we of taste and feeling." 

65. Windlasses. Windings, roundabout ways ; used nowhere else by 
S. Cf. Golding, Ccesar: "bidding them fetche a windlasse a great waye 

Assays of bias. "Indirect ways" (Schmidt) ; a figure taken from the 
game of bowls, in which the player sends the ball in a curved line instead 
of a straight one. 

66. Indirections. Cf. K. John, iii. I. 276 : " Yet indirection thereby 
grows direct." 

71. In yourself. Perhaps =in your own person, for yourself, as John- 
son and Capell explain it. Caldecott says, " The temptations you feel, 
suspect in him." Wr. thinks it may mean " Conform your own conduct 
to his inclinations." 

73. Ply his music. It is doubtful whether this is to be taken figura. 
tively (" Let him go on, to what tune he pleases," as Clarke explains it) 
or literally (^attend to his music-lessons), as Schmidt supposes. 

76. God. Changed in the folio to " Heaven," probably on account of 
the act of parliament in the time of James I. forbidding the use of the 

name of God on the stage. 

77. Closet. Chamber. Cf. iii. 2. 307 below. 

78. Doublet. See A. Y. L. p. 158. For unbraced = unfastened, cf. jf. C. 
i. 3. 48 and ii. I. 262. 

Ungarter'd. Cf. the description of a lover in A. Y. L. iii. 2. 398 : 


as " rolled down." The 1st folio has " downe giued," changed in the 2d 
to " downe-gyved." 

82. Purport. Accented on the last syllable ; used by S. nowhere else, 
either as noun or as verb. 

On so . . . as, see Gr. 275 ; and for the repetition of he, Gr. 242. 

84. Horrors. Abbott (Gr. 478) makes the word a trisyllable ; but, as 
F. suggests, "why not let Ophelia's strong emotion shudderingly fill the 
gap ?" 

90. Perusal. Study. Cf. iv. 7. 135 : " peruse (that is, carefully exam- 
ine) the foils." See also Rich. II. p. 194, note on Perns' 1 d. 

91. As. As if. Cf. i. 2. 217 above. Gr. 107. On the measure, see 
Gr. 507. 

92. Shaking of. See Gr. 178. Tschischwitz thinks that "is made " is 

95. As. The quarto reading ; the folio has " That." 

Bulk. Explained by some as Abreast. Sr. quotes Baret, Alvearte . 

"The Bulke or breast of a man ;" and Malone cites R. of L. 467 : "her 

leart . . . Beating her bulk." 

99. Help. The folio has "helpe;" the later quartos "helps" or "helpes." 1 

100. Bended. S. uses bended and bent interchangeably, both as past 
tense and as participle. 

F. here quotes Miles, Review of Hamht: "We are not permitted to 
Hamlet in this ecstasy of iove, but what a picture ! How he mus* 

ACT II. SCENE //. 201 

have loved her, that love should bring him to such a pass ! his knees 
knocking each other! knees that had firmly followed a beckoning 
ghost ! There is more than the love of forty thousand brothers in that 
hard grasp of the wrist, in that long gaze at arm's length, in the force 
that might) but will not, draw her nearer ! And never a word from this 
king of words ! His first great silence, the second is death !" 

102. Ecstasy. Madness. Cf. iii. 1. 160, iii. 4. 74, 136, 137, below. See 
Macb. p. 2H. 

103. Fordoes. Undoes, destroys. Ct v. I. 210 below. See M. N. D. 
p. 1 88, note on Fordone. 

112. Quoted. Noted, marked ; formerly pronounced and often written 
" coted," which is the quarto reading here. Cf. R. and J. i. 4. 31, T. and 
C. iv. 5. 233, etc 

113. Wrack. Wreck, ruin. The word was spelt and pronounced 
wrack in the time of S. It rhymes with alack in Per. iv. prol. 12, and 
with back in V. aitd A. 558, R. of L. 841, 965, Sonn. 126. 5, and Macb. v. 

Beshrew. A mild form of imprecation (Schmidt). See M. N. D. 
p. 152. 

114. Proper. Appropriate. C J. C. L 2. 41 : "Conceptions only 
proper to myself," etc. 

115. Cast. Schmidt puts this passage under cast= compute, calculate 
(a common meaning in S.) and explains it as = "to be mistaken." M. 
takes it to mean, "to forecast more than we ought for our own interests." 
Wr. makes au/=contrive, design, plan. Johnson says: "The vice of 
age is too much suspicion. Men long accustomed to the wiles of life 
cast commonly beyond themselves, let their cunning go farther than reason 
can attend it." 

118. Which, being kept close, etc. "The king may be angry at my tell- 
ing of Hamlet's love ; but more grief would come from hiding it " (M.). 

SCENE II. 2. Moreover that. Over and above that On the othei 
hand, more above in 126 below = moreover (M.). 

5. So I call it. The quartos omit /. 

6. Sith. The quarto reading since, which is derived from it (see 
Wb.). The folio has " Since not." 

8. Put him . . .from, etc. Cf. iii. I. 174 below : " puts him thus Frorr 
fashion of himself." See also R. and J. iii. 5. 109, T. of A. iii. 4. 104, 
Lear, ii. 4. 293, etc. 

10. Dream of. The folio has " deeme of," which some editors prefer. 

11. Of. From. We still say " of late " (Gr. 167). Cf. Acts, viii. n. 

12. Sith. The folio has "since," as in 6 above. 

Neighboured to. Associated or intimate with. Cf. Lear, \. I. 121. 
Hen. V. i. I. 62, etc. 

Humour. Disposition. The quartos have " hauior," and some mod 
rrn eds. give " havio'\r." 

13- That. Redundant, as Delius points out. 

Vouchsafe your rest. " Please to reside " (Caldecott). 

14. Companies. See on loves, i. i. 173 above. 


17. Whether. Monosyllabic, as often (Gr. 466). This line is not in 

the folio. 

18. Opened. Disclosed. Cf. IV. T. iv. 4. 764, Hen. V. i. I. 78, etc. 

22. Gentry. Courtesy ; as in v. 2. 109 below (Schmidt). It is=gentle 
birth in R. of L. 569, Cor. iii. I. 144, etc. 

23. Expend your time. Cf. Oth. i. 3. 391 : "If I would time expend 
~vith such a snipe." 

24. Supply and profit. " Aid and furtherance " (Caldecott). 
27. Of. Over. See Gr. 174. 

29. But. Omitted in the folio. 

30. Bent. Endeavour, straining ; a metaphor from the bending of a 
bow (Johnson, Schmidt). Cf. iii. 2. 359 below ; also Much Ado, ii. 3. 232 
and T. N. ii. 4. 38. 

38. Heavens. The plural is often thus used by S. Cf. Temp. \. 2. 175 : 
" Heavens thank you for 't !" Id. ii. I. 324 : " Heavens keep him from 
these beasts !" (see also iii. I. 75 and iii. 3. 20) ; M. N. D. iii. 2. 447 : 
" Heavens shield Lysander," etc. 

42. Still. Ever. See on i. I. 122 above. 

43. Assure you. Be assured. Cf. Lear, ii. i. 106 : "Nor I, assuro 
thee, Regan ;" Oth. iii. 3. 20 : " assure thee, If I do vow a friendship," 
etc. The quartos have " I assure you." 

45. And. The folio has "one," which K. and Coll. retain. 

52. Fruit. The dessert. The folio has " newes." 

54. My sweet queen. The folio reading ; the 2d and 3d quartos have 
" my deere Gertrard" which, as W. remarks, " smacks less of the honey- 

56. Doubt. Suspect. See on i. 2. 256 above, and cf. iii. t 166 below : 
" I do doubt the hatch," etc. 

No other but. See on i. i. 102 above. 

The main. The main point or cause ; as in 2 Hen. VI. i. I. 208 : "look 
unto the main" (Schmidt). 

60. Desires. Good wishes. 

61. First. That is, first audience or opening of our business (Calde- 

64. Truly. Modifying "was, not found (Wr.). For similar transposi- 
tions, see Gr. 420. 

67. Borne in hand. Deceived, deluded. See Macb. p. 208. 
Sends. For ellipsis of subject, see Gr. 399, and cf. iii. I. 8 below. 
71. Assay. Proof, trial. Cf. iii. 3. 69 below. 
73. Three. The quartos have " threescore." 

79. Such regards, etc. Such conditions as are safe and allowable. 

80. Likes. Pleases. Cf. Hen. V. iii. prol. 32 : " The offer likes not ;" 
Id. iv. 3. 77 : " Which likes me better," etc. Gr. 297. 

81. Our more considered time. " When we have more time for consid- 
ering" (Caldecott). See Gr. 374. 

83. Well-took. For the form of the participle, see Gr. 343. S. alse 
uses taken (i. 2. 14 above) and ttfen (i. 3. 106 above). 

84. Feast. " The king's intemperance is never suffered to be forgot 
ten" (Johnson). 

ACT 77. SCENE 77. 

20 3 

86. Expostulate. Discuss. Hunter quotes Capt. John Smith's book 
on Virginia : " How these isles came by the name of the Bermudas . . . 
I will not expostulate." 

90. Wit. Wisdom ; as often in S. See Mer. p. 137. 

95. More matter, etc. More matter with less mannerism. See A.Y.L. 
p. 155, note on Matter. 

96. Art. " The Queen uses art in reference to Polonius's stilted style; 
he uses it as opposed to truth and nature " (Delius). 

98. Figure. " A figure in rhetoric," as Touchstone says [A. Y. Z. v. i. 
). Cf. L. L. L. \. 2. 58. 

ico. Remains. For the ellipsis of it, see Gr. 404. 

105. Perpend. Ponder, consider ; " a word used only by Pistol, Polo- 
nius, and the clowns " (Schmidt). Cf. M. W. 1.1.1 19, A. Y. L. iii. 2. 69, 

109. Beautified. Theo. substituted " beatified " on the ground that S. 
would not call beautified "a vile phrase " when he had used it in T.G.ofV. 
iv. i. 55 : "seeing you are beautified With goodly shape ;" but it is not 
there used adjectively. 

113. In. Into. Gr. 159. Wr. quotes T. G. of V. iii. i. 250-252. 

116-119. Doubt. In the first three lines doubt = have a misgiving, 
have a half-belief; in the fourth line = disbelieve (Clarke). 

121. Reckon. Count, number (Schmidt) ; or perhaps = express in num- 
bers or verse, as Delius explains it. 

124, Whilst this machine is to him. Whilst this body is his ; "the af- 
fected language of euphuism " (Wr.). S. uses machine nowhere else. 

126. More above. Moreover. See on 2 above. 

127. By. See Gr. 145. 

133. As I perceived it. " There is much humour in the old man's in- 
veterate foible for omniscience. He absurdly imagines that he had dis- 
cerned for himself all the steps of Hamlet's love and madness ; while 
of the former he had been unaware till warned by some friends, and the 
latter did not exist at all " (M.). 

136. If I had play'd, etc. " If I had just minuted the matter down in 
my own mind " (M.) ; or, as Warb. and Wr. explain it, " if I had been 
the agent of their correspondence," or their confidant. See on tables, i. 
5. 107 above. 

137. Or given, etc. Or had connived at it. For winking the quartos 
have "working." 

139. Round. Directly, without ceremony. See Hen. V. p. 175, and cf. 
iii. I. 183 and iii. 4, 5 below. As Caldecott remarks, it has "the reverse 
of its literal meaning, that is, -without circuity." For the adverbial use, 
see Gr. 60. 

140. Bespeak. Speak to. Cf. Rich. II. v. 2. 20, etc. 

141. Out of thy star. "Out of thy sphere " (ad folio) ; "above thee in 
fortune" (Schmidt). Sr. quotes T. N. ii. 5. 156: " In my stars I am above 

142. Precepts. The folio reading ; the quartos have " prescripts " (cf. 
4. and C. iii. 8. 5). 

145. Took the fruits, etc. " Profited by my advice " (Schmidt). " She 



took the fruits of advice when she obeyed advice; the advice was then 
made /ri#/" (Johnson). 

148. Watch. "A sleepless state" (Caldecott). Cf. Cymb. m. 4. 43 : 
" To lie in watch there and to think on him." For the measure, see Gr. 

149. Lightness. Light headedness. Schmidt compares C. ofE. v. i. 
72 and Oth. iv. i. 280. 

151. /4//o*. We all (Gr.240). The object of for is implied .in wherein. 

159. The centre. That is, of the earth. Cf. M. N. D. iii. 2. 54: 

" I '11 believe as soon 

The whole earth may be bor'd, and that the moon 
May through the centre creep," etc. 

In W. T. ii. i . 102 and T. and C. i. 3. 85 centre = the earth, the centre 

of the Ptolemaic universe. 

160. Four. Hanmer substituted "for," as does the Coll. MS.; but, 
as Malone notes, " four hours together," " two hours together," etc., were 
common phrases. Cf. Lear,\. 2. 170, W- T. v. 2. 148, etc. So in Web- 
ster, Duchess of Malfi : "She will muse four hours together." 

162. Loose. He had forbidden her to have any intercourse with Hamlet. 

163. Arras. Tapestry hangings; so called from Arras, where they 
were largely made. 

1 68. Wretch. Sometimes used as a term of endearment, mingled 
with pity. Cf. K. and J. \. 3. 44 : "The pretty wretch left crying ;" 
Oth. iii. 3. 90 : " Excellent wretch ! " etc. 

170. Board. Accost, address ; as often. Cf. T. N. i. 3. 60, M. W. 
ii. i. 92, L. L. L. ii. I. 218, etc. 

Presently = immediately ; its usual meaning in S. Cf. 578 below ; 
also iii. 2. 43, 350, v. 2. 381, etc. 

172. God-a-mercy. God have mercy. Cf. iv. 5. 179 below. 

182. A good kissing carrion. The reading of all the early eds., as of 
Pope, Theo., K., Coll., F., and others. Good kissing, as Caldecott and 
Corson have explained, is = good for kissing, or to be kissed, by the sun. 
See J. C. p. 126, note on A labouring day. Warb. substituted "God " 
ior good, and has been followed by many editors. He compares M. for 
M. ii. 2. 163-168 and Cymb. iii. 4. 164. Malone adds I Hen. IV. ii. 4. 
113 and King Edward III.; 1596 : 

" The freshest summer's day doth soonest taint 
The loathed carrion, that it seems to kiss." 

184. Conception, etc. " Understanding is a blessing; but if you leave 
your daughter unrestrained, she will understand what you will not like " 
(M.). There is probably a play on conception, as in Lear, i. I. 12. 

187. How say you by that ? Cf. M. of V. i. 2. 58 : " How say you by 
the French lord?" and see note in our ed. p. 132. Gr. 145. 

190. I suffered, etc. " It may have been so ; but one rather suspects 
that Polonius's love-reminiscences are like those of Touchstone in A. Y. 
L. ii. 4 (M.). 

193. Matter. Subject-matter. Cf. 95 above. " Hamlet purposely misun- 
derstands the word to mean cause of dispute,' asin7 n ../V. iii. 4. i72"(\Vr.). 

194. Who. Whom. Cf. Macb. iii. 4. 42, Oth. i. 2. 52, etc. Gr. 274. 


196. Rogue. The folio has "slave." Warb. sees here a reference to 
Juvenal, Sat. x. 188. 

202. For you yourself, etc. "The natural reason would have been 
' For some time I shall be as old as you are now ' (and therefore I take 
such remarks as proleptically personal) ; but Hamlet turns it to the op- 
posite " (M.). For should '= would, see Gr. 322. 

204. There is method in V. Cf. M. for M.v. 1 . 60 : 

" If she be mad as I believe no other 
Her madness hath the oddest frame of sense, 
Such a dependency of thing on thing, 
As e'er I heard in "madness." 

208. Pregnant. Ready, apt, clever. Cf. iii. 2. 56 below. So preg- 
nancy = cleverness in 2 Hen. IV. i. 2. 192. 

215. Withal. The emphatic form of with (Gr. 196). 
226. Indifferent. Middling, average. Cf. T. G. of V. iii. 2. 44, etc. 
236-265. Let me . . . attended. All this is omitted in the quartos. 
242. Confines. Places of confinement. See on i. I. 155 above. 
246. Thinking makes it so. M. quotes Lovelace: 

" Stone walls do not a prison make, 

Nor iron bars a cage; 
Minds innocent and quiet take 
These for a hermitage." 

259. Then are our beggars, etc. " If ambition is the shadow of pomp, 
and pomp the shadow of a man, then the only true substantial men are 
beggars, who are stript of all pomp and all ambition " (M. ). 

Outstretch 'd= strained, exaggerated ; " strutting stage heroes " (Delius). 

261. Fay. " Faith" (Schmidt). Cf. T. of S. ind. 2. 83, etc. 

265. Beaten. Familiar, unceremonious. Yormake, see on i. 2. 164 above. 

269. Dear a halfpenny. " Dear of " and " dear at" 1 have been pro- 
posed, but no change is called for. . Cf. A. Y. L. ii. 3. 74: "too late a 
week." Wr. quotes Chaucer, C. T, 8875 : " dere y-nough a jane " (a 
small coin of Genoa) ; and Id. 12723: "deere y-nough a leeke." 

276. Modesties. See on lo-ces, \. I. 173. 

280. Consonancy, etc. Cf. 1 1 above. 

282. ./ better proposer. A more eloquent speaker. Cf. propose = 
speak, in Murh Ado, iii. I. 3, Oth. i. i. 25, etc. 

283. Even. Plain, honest. Cf. Hen. V. iv. 8. 114. 

286. Of you. Upon you (Caldecott). Cf. Lear, i. 5. 22, and see Gr. 

'74, 175- 

289. Prwent your discovery. Anticipate your disclosure. Gr. 439. 
Cf./. C. v. i. 105: "to prevent The time of life," etc. 

294. A sterile promontory. " Thrust out into the dread ocean of the 
unknown, and as barren as the waves themselves" (M.). 

295. Brave. Beautiful, grand. Cf. Sonn. 12. 2: " And see the brave 
day sunk in hideous night," etc. For majestical, see on i. I. 143* 

296. Fretted. Embossed, adorned. Cf. Cymb. ii. 4. 88 : 

" The, roof o' the chamber 
With golden cherubins is fretted;" 
Milton, P. L. i. 717 : " The roof was fretted gold," etc. 

job NOTES. 

298. A congregation of vapours. " Veiling the true sunlight Cf. Sonn. 

Man. The early eds. have "a man," which is followed by the mod- 
ern editors except D. and F. As Walker suggests, the a is probably 
an accidental interpolation. 

299. Faculty. The folio reading ; the quartos have " faculties. 

300. Express. " Expressive " (Schmidt) ; or, perhaps, " exact, fitted to 
Its purpose " ( Wr.). Cf. Heb. \. 3. 

33- Quintessence. The fifth or highest essence of the alchemists. S. 
uses the word only here and in A. Y. L. iii. 2. 147. 

310. Lenten. Meagre, poor. Cf. T. N. i. 5. 9 : "A good lenten an- 

311. Coted. Passed by, outstripped, " o'er - raught " (iii. I. 17 below). 
Steevens quotes The Return from Parnassus, 1606 : " we presently coted 
and outstrip! them ;" Golding, Ovid: " With that Hippomenes coted 
[Latin, praeterit] her ;" Warner, Albiorfs England: " Gods and goddess- 
es for wantonness out-coted," etc. See also Greene, Friar Bacon: " Cote 
him, and court her to control the clown." It was a term in hunting. 
Turbervile says : "A Cote is when a Greyhound goeth endwayes by his 
fellow and giveth the Hare a turn," etc. It is not simply to come up 
with (as Wr. explains it), but to go beyond. Thus, in this case, Rosen- 
crantz and Guildenstern, having " coted " the players, reach the palace 
first and tell Hamlet that they are coming. 

316. Humorous. Capricious. See A. Y. L. p. 146. 

317. The clown . . . sere. Omitted in the quartos. 

Tickle o' the sere. This expression, long a stumbling-block to the 
critics, appears to have been correctly explained by Mr. Nicholson in 
Notes and Queries, July 22, 1871 : "The sere, or, as it is now spelt, sear 
(or scear) of a gun-lock is the bar or balance-lever interposed between 
the trigger on the one side, and the tumbler and other mechanism on the 
other, and is so called from its acting the part of a serre, or talon, in grip- 
ping the mechanism and preventing its action. . . . Now if the lock be so 
made on purpose, or be worn, or be faulty in construction, this sear, or 
grip, may be so tickle or ticklish in its adjustment that a slight touch or 
even jar may displace it, and then of course the gun goes off. Hence 
'light' or 'tickle of the sear' (equivalent to, like a hair-trigger), applied 
metaphorically, means that which can be started into action at a mere 
touch, or on the slightest provocation, or on what ought to be no provo- 
cation at all." Lungs tickle o 1 the sere, then, are lungs easily moved to 
laughter. For tickle- ticklish, cf. M.for M. i. 2. 177 : "thy head stands 
so tickle on thy shoulders that a milk-maid, if she be in love, may sigh it 
off;" and 2 Hen. VI. i. i. 216 : 

" the state of Normandy 
Stands on a tickle point." 

On the passage, cf. Temp. ii. t. 174: "who are of such sensible [that is, 
sensitive] and nimble lungs that they always use to laugh at nothing." 

319. The lady, etc. The lady shall mar the measure rather than not 
express herself freely (Henderson) ; or, if through delicacy she omit any- 
thing, the lameness of the metre will show it (Seymour). 

ACT If. SCENE //. 207 

322. Their residence. Their remaining in the city. 

324. Inhibition. Prohibition. ColL thinks this probably refers to the 
limiting of public theatrical performances to two theatres, the Globe and 
the Fortune, in 1600 and 1601. The players, by a late innovation, were 
inhibited, or forbidden to act in or near the city, and therefore travelled, or 
strolled, into the country. Wr. is disposed to think that the innovation 
was the license given Jan. 30, 1603-4, to tne Children of the Queen's 
Revels to play at the Black friars Theatre and other 'convenient places. 
The popularity of the children may well have driven the older actors 
into the country, and so have operated as an inhibition, though no formal 
inhibition was issued. For other explanations of the passage, see F. vol. 
i. pp. 162-164. 

331. Aery. A brood of nestlings (literally, an eagle's or hawk's nest). 
Cf. K. John, v. 2. 149, Rich. III. i. 3. 264, 270. 

Eyases. Unfledged hawks, nestlings. 

332. Top of question. At the top of their voices. Cf.question = speech, 
talk; as in Macb. iii. 4. 118, A. Y. L. iii. 4. 39, v. 4. 167, etc. See also 
iii. i. 13 belcw. 

M. paraphrases the whole passage thus : " What brings down the pro- 
fessional actors is the competition of a nest of young hawks (the boys of 
the Chapel Royal, etc.) who carry on the whole dialogue without modu- 
lation at the top of their voices, get absurdly applauded for it, and make 
such a noise on the common stage, that true dramatists, whose wit is as 
strong and keen as a rapier, are afraid to encounter these chits, who 
fight, as it were, with a goose-quill." 

Tyranically. Vehemently, extravagantly; probably alluding to what 
Bottom calls "a tyrant's vein," or "a part to make all split." See 
M. N. D. p. 133. 

338. Escoled. Paid; used by S. nowhere else. D. quotes Cotgrave, 
Fr. Diet.: " Escotter. Euery one to pay his shot," etc. 

Witt they pursue, etc. " Will they follow the profession of players no 
longer than they can keep the voices of boys?" (Johnson). For quality = 
profession, cf. 418 below; also Hen. V. iii. 6. 146: " What is thy name? 
I know thy quality?" 

342. Succession. Futurity (Schmidt). Cf. C. of E. iii. I. 105 : " For 
slander lives upon succession" (that is, feeds on futurity, makes all that 
is to come its prey). 

344. To-do. Equivalent to ado (Schmidt). 

345. Tarre. Set on (to fight); used literally of dogs. Cf. K. John 
iv. i. 117: 

"* And like a dog that b compcll'd to fight, 
Snatch at his master that doth tarre him on; " 

and T. and C. L 3. 392 : 

" pride alone 
Must tarre the mastiffs on, as 't were their bone. " 

346. Argument. The plot of the play. Cf. I Hen. IV. ii. 4. 310: 
" the argument shall be thy running away, " etc. 

Unless the poet, etc. Schmidt calls this an " obscure passage," and so 
k is. Jt probably does not mean, as Delius makes it, " unless the dia- 

80 8 NOTES. 

logue (the question) is well seasoned with warfare (cuffs)." M. saysi 
' See iii. 2 l35-4i]> where the same contest between actor and dramatist 
is spoken of." 

352. Carry it away. Carry off the palm, gain the day. 

353. Hercules. Perhaps, as Steevens suggests, an allusion to the Globe 
Theatre, the sign of which was Hercules carrying the globe. 

355. It is not very strange, etc. " I do not wonder that the new play- 
ers have so suddenly risen to reputation ; my uncle supplies another 
example of the facility with which honour is conferred on new claimants" 

356. Mows. Grimaces. The folio reading; the quartos have "mouths.* 
CfT Temp. iv. I. 47 : " with mop and mow ;" Cymb. i. 6. 41 : " Contemn 
with mows." We have the word as a verb in Temp. ii. 2. 9 and Lear, iv. 

358. In little. In miniature. Cf. A. Y. L. iii. 2. 148 : " Heaven would 
in little show ;" and L. C. 90 : " in little drawn." 

'Sblood. An abbreviation of " God's blood," a mode of swearing by 
the eucharist Cf. iii. 2. 345 below. In the folio it is generally omitted 
(as here) or replaced by other words (as "I' faith" in I Hen, IV. ii. 4. 488). 

362. Appurtenance. " Proper accompaniment " { Wr. ) ; used by S. 
only here. 

363. Comply with you, etc. " Use ceremony with you in this fashion " 
(Wr.). Cf. v. 2. 179 below. 

Extent. " Behaviour, deportment " (Schmidt). Cf. T. N. iv. I. 57 : 
"this uncivil and unjust extent." 

369. North-north-west. For a genuine German gloss, take that of 
Francke (apud F.) : " Perhaps the meaning is : Great powerful tempests 
in the moral world, apparitions from the mysterious Hereafter, can make 
me mad, can crush my reason ; but such people as you are, who come 
around me with sweet phrases and mock friendship, I have yet wit 
enough to elude." "A Daniel come to judgment, yea, a Daniel !" 

370. Handsaw. The word in this proverb is probably a corruption of 
hernshaw, a heron ; but the old " saw " is always found in this form, and, 
as Schmidt says, " S. undoubtedly thought of a real saw." A writer in 
Notes and Queries, with evident "fellow-feeling," suggests "anser, the ge- 
neric name for our domestic water-fowl" which in the vulgar, as Touch- 
stone would say, is goose. F. thinks he has heard " handschuh, the Ger- 
man for glove" proposed as an emendation, but let us hope that he is 
mistaken. W., on the other hand, suspects that hawk is " the tool called 
a hawk." For more of this admirable fooling of the commentators, see F. 

371. Well be with you. Cf. A. W. i. I. 190: "God send him well !" 
See also 2 Hen. IV. iv. 4. 19. Wr. quotes Psa. cxxviii. 2 [Prayer-book 
version] : " Well is thee ;" and Chaucer, C. T. 16362 : " He loved hir so 
that well him was therwith." 

375. Happily. Haply. See on i. I. 134 above. Gr. 42. 

378. You are right, etc. This is said merely that Polonius may not 
suspect what they have been talking about. 

382. Buz, buz ! Blackstone says that buz was an interjection used at 
Oxford when one began a story already well known. See Macb. p. 243, 


!i ^ %"$ Ct ^ , Probabl y a lin e from an old ballad (Johnson). 
388. Indnndablc. Delius thinks this refers to dramas in which the 
unity of place was observed, poem unlimited to those that disregarded 
uch restrictions. Schmidt (better, we think) makes ?t = Lt tTbe dfs 
a P artlcu / l ar . a PP^^tion (that is, not to be called tragedy, 
, and unlimited = undefined. 

acled " the "*"" 


quotes may 

" liru ea<J that man y y ears a gs> 

When Jepha Judge of Jsrael, 

K one . fair Daughter and no more, 

whom he loved so passing well. 
And as by lot God wot, 
It came to passe most like it was, 
Great warrs there thould be 

and who should be the chiefe, but he, but he." 

gests, the a is probably an interpolation. 
407. Row. Properly = line, but perhaps here=stanza. 

whtrHume^ef' H^^^ r , eadin S5 the has "Pons Chanson, 
wnicn Hunter defended as = " chanson du Pont-Neuf" As K rpmarL- 

" S 

hat hfa S CanSO " S -e maadd 

The Pnnf M f ' P French ex P ression dates back to the time of S. 
1578. m WaS " Ot 6nished Until l62 ^ thou gh begun in 

T^-T'- The [ ol '' reading; the quartos give abridge- 
In either case, the meaning seems to be that the nlave^ 
b cornmg shorten P 

my pas 
r - 39 

. , e meanng seems to e that the nlave 

by cornmg shorten his talk. Schmidt elplains abrfj^ent % P Jh 
wh ch is my and makes me be brief." Wr. saVs that techni 
cally frf means a dramatic performance," and relers to M. N*D 

what abridgment have you for this evening ?" But there it 

eans s.rn 

- ave you or ts evening ?" But there it 

probably means s.rnpy pastime ; here it may be explained by 509 below. 

VI. glanced Fringed with a beard. The folio has "valiant;" which 
Rowe, K and St. retain. We find the noun valance in T. of S. ii. i. 356 

412. My young lady. In the time of S. female parts were played bv 

IL or AT- g me A ^ A ; v f p - 20I> note on V*** a "- 

414^ Lhopine. A kind of high shoe. Coryat. in his Crudities 1611 
describes it as "a thing made of wood and covered with leather of sundry 
co ours, some with white, some redde, some yellow." He adds- -It is 
cabled a chapiney, which they wear under their shoes. . . There are many 

2io NOTES. 

of these chapineys of a great height, even half a yard high." F. says: 
" At a Jewish wedding in Jerusalem at which I was present, in 1856, the 
'young bride, aged twelve, wore chopines at least ten inches high." 

415. Cracked within the ring. "There was a ring on the coin within 
which the sovereign's head was placed; if the crack extended from the 
edge beyond this ring, the coin was rendered unfit for currency" 

416. Like French falconers. According to some critics this is meant 
to be contemptuous; but Toilet quotes Sir Thomas Browne, who says 
that " the French seem to have been the first and noblest falconers in 
the western part of Europe." 

418. Straight. Straightway; as in iii. 4. I below, etc. 

Quality. See on 338 above. 

421. Me. " Ethical dative." See Gr. 220. 

423. Caviare. A Russian condiment made from the roe of the stur- 
geon; at that time a new and fashionable delicacy, not obtained nor 
relished by the vulgar, and therefore used by S. to signify anything above 
their comprehension (Nares). Steevens cites many references to it in 
contemporaneous writers. 

For the general^, people in general, the public, cf. J. C. ii. 1 . 1 2 : 
"But for the general; " and see note in our ed. p. 142. 

425. Cried in the top of mine. "Were higher than mine " (Johnson 
and Schmidt). In hunting, a dog is said to over-top " when he gives 
more tongue than the rest" (Henley), and to this Hamlet probably re- 
fers here. The phrase is then = proclaimed with a tone of authority that 
my voice could not give. 

427. No sallets, etc. "Nothing that gave a relish to the lines as salads 
do to meat" (Schmidt). Cf. A. W. iv. 5. 18: " She was the sweet mar- 
joram of the salad" ("sallet" in the folio). See also 2 Hen. VI. iv. 10. 
9 fol. where there is a play upon 5<?//^=salad and sallet=a. kind of hel- 
met. Pope substituted " salts " and later " salt " here. The Coll. MS. 
also has " salt, " which Sr. approves. 

429. Indict. Accuse; as in Oth. iii. 4. 154, the only other instance of 
the word in S. 

Affectation. The folio reading; the quartos have " affection," which 
S. uses in the same sense in L. I.. L. v. I. 4 (where the later folios have 
" affectation "). So affectioned= affected in T. N. ii. 3. 160. 

43'- Handsome denotes genuine, natural beauty; fine, artificial, la- 
boured beauty (Delius). 

432. Thereabout. Possibly a noun, as Wr. makes it; but thereabout 
of it seems to be merely = there. We might now say colloquially: " I 
liked that speech there especially where," etc. 

436. The rugged Pyrrhus, etc. Whether this speech was meant to be 
admired or to be laughed at has been much disputed. See F. vol. i. 
pp. 180-185. Pope thought it "purely ironical;" Warb., Ritson, Cal- 
decott, Coleridge, and ethers have taken the opposite ground. What 
Hamlet has said just before shows that the latter are right. Coleridge 
says: "The fancy that a burlesque was intended sinks below criticism; 
the lines, as epic narrative, are superb. " 


'-^"'- 4 - - 

new Turned' oath^^xru Cf ' /? V ' "'' 6 ' 8o: " wl ch they trick up with 
lirthTcolout-l '"7/4" 5* i?*. ddfaifi of U arms 

448* 'Sashed. Cohere'"' * ^^ * ^ "^ by S- nowhere else - 

.500: "and car- 
452. Fore. See Hen. V. p. 155. 

455. Striking too short, etc. Cf. Vircil ^rc ii C.AA fnl 
45 8. ZV/ W * Followed by ^ in f:^^. 64^ 

Should drive upon thy new-tra'lisfor^ed^'imljs.'' 
459- But According to Delius, here = merely. 
464- Declining. Cf. T. and C. iv. 5. 189: 

= white, but Schmidt makes it = "weak," as in T 

tha 4 t o 7 n whSts wint'^b": Sd^ST" ^^' '*"" = 

469. Against Cf. i i. ,58 above, and iii. '4. 50 below. Gr 142 

470. Rack. Massrf cloud, especially in motion. Cf. Sonn. 33. 6: 

"Anon permit the basest clouds to ride 

With ugly rack on his celestial face," etc. 
See also Temp. p. 137. 

IS St ^fH^^.^^.^jectivebyS. Gr. 22. 

y marked out by the 




479. Fortune. See A. Y. L. p. 141. 

480. Synod. For the use of the word in S. see A. Y. L. p. 173. 

486. 7*. The word sometimes meant a facetious bahad (Schmidt). 
Cf. jig-maker, iii. 2. 108 below. 

488. Mobled. The reading of the 2d folio; the 1st has "inobled," 
evidently a misprint. The word means veiled or muffled, of which it may 
be a corruption. Farmer quotes Shirley, Gent, of Venice: " The moon 
does mobble up herself;" and Holt White adds from Ogilby's Fables: 
" Mobbled nine days in my considering cap." Mabled (which Malone 
substitutes) is another form of the word. Nares cites Sandys, Travels: 
"Their heads and faces are mabled in fine linen, that no more is seen of 
them than their eyes." 

490. That 's good. " Polonius praises the epithet to make up for his 
blunder in objecting to the length " (M.) ; or, perhaps, because it is a 
"quaint and fantastical word" (Warb.). 

492. Bisson rheum. " Blinding tears " (Schmidt). WefindWWl = 
purblind, in Cor. ii. i. 70, and some modern eds. give it in Cor. iii. I. 131. 
For rheum = tears, cf. Much Ado, v. 2. 85, K. John, iii. I. 22, iv. I. 33, iv. 3. 
108, etc. 

494. Verteemed. " Exhausted by child-bearing " (Wr.). 

500. Mincing. Cutting in pieces. Cf. T. of A. iv. 3. 1 22 : " And mince 
it [the babe] sans remorse." 

501. Instant. See on i. 5. 71 above. 

503. Milch. Milk-giving; a metaphor for tearful. For the literal use 
of the word, see M. W. iv. 4. 33, T. of S. ii. I. 359, etc. Steevens quotes 
Drayton, Polyolbion, xiii. : " Exhaling the milch dew." 

504. Passion. Sorrow (Schmidt), or compassion (Sr.). Cf. 536 and 
545 below. See also L. L. L. v. 2. 1 18, M. N. D. v. I. 293, 321, etc. For 
passion in the Coll. MS. gives " passionate." 

505. Whether. The early eds. have "where," and some modern ones 
print " whe'r " or " whSr." See J. C. p. 128 or Gr. 466. For in 's, see 
Gr. 461. 

508. Bestowed. Lodged, taken care of. Cf. iii. 4. 1 74 and iv. 3. 1 2 be- 
low. It is used refle*xively ( = hide) in iii. I. 33 and 44 below. 

509. Abstract. The folio has " abstracts." 

510. You -were better. See A. Y. L. p. 180 (note on Bui f were better) 
or Gr. 230, 352. 

514. Bodykins. A diminutive of body. "The reference was originally 
to the sacramental bread" (Wr.). Cf. M. W. ii. 3. 46; and see on 358 

515. Scape. See on i. 3. 38 above. 

525. Some dozen or sixteen lines. Many attempts have been made to 
find these added lines in the play (iii. 2 below), but we are disposed to 
agree with Dr. Ingleby in the view that Hamlet writes no speech at all. 
The poet simply represents him as doing so in order to adapt the old play 
to his purpose. As F. remarks, " it would tax the credulity of an audi- 
ence too severely to represent the possibility of Hamlet's finding an old 
play exactly fitted to Claudius's crime, not only in the plot, but in all the 
accessories, even to a single speech which should tent the criminal to tbc 


very quick . . . The discussion, therefore, that has arisen over these 
'dozen or sixteen lines ' is a tribute to Shakespeare's consummate art." 

533- Alone. "The eagerness shown by Hamlet to be left in peace by 
himself appears to be amain evidence of his merely acting a part and 
assuming madness ; he longs to get rid of the presence of persons before 
whom he has resolved to wear a show of insanity. Alone, he is collected, 
coherent, full of introspection. That he is neither dispassionate nor cool 
appears to be the result of his unhappy source of thought, not the result 
of derangement; he is morally afflicted, not mentally affected " (Clarke). 

534. Peasant slave. Mr. Furnivall has shown (Notes and Queries for 
Apr. 12 and May 3, 1873) that S. might possibly have seen in the flesh 
some of the bondmen o* peasant slaves of England. 

538. Her working. Wr. says : " Soul when personified is feminine in 
S." Cf., However, Rich. II. v. 5. 6 : 

" My brain I 11 prove the female to my soul. 

My soul the father." 

Milton also personifies the soul as feminine. See II Pens. 92, Comus, 4 CA 
fol., P. L. v. 486, etc. 

Wattii'd. The quartos have " wand," the folio " warm'd," which Rowe, 
Pope, Theo., and some others retain. S. does not elsewhere use wan as 
a verb. 

539. Aspect.^ Always accented on the last syllable by S. Gr. 40. 

540. Function. Action; the whole energies of soul and body" (Cal- 

541. Conceit. Conception (that is, of the character). See A. Y. L. p. 
162 and cf.p. 194. 

545. Cue. Still used as a stage term. For its literal use, cf. M. W. iii. 
3. 39, M. N. D. iii. I. 78, 102, etc.; and for the figurative, as here, Hen. V, 
iii. 6. 130, OtJi. i. 2. 83, etc. 

548. Free. Free from guilt, innocent. Cf. iii. 2. 224 below, and see 
A. Y. L. p. 165. 

549. Amaze. Confuse, confound. See A. Y. L. p. 143. 

552. Muddy-mettled. "Heavy, irresolute "(Schmidt). For the literal 
meaning of rascal sw A. Y. L. p. 179. 

Peak. Literally = grow lean, pine, as in Afacb. i. 3. 23 ; figuratively =: 
"sneak, play a contemptible part " (Schmidt), as here and in M. W. iii. 
5- 7 1 - 

553- John-a-Dreams. That is, John of Dreams, or John the Dreamer 
=a dreamy, idle fellow. Cf.fack-a-lent (a puppet thrown atduringLent) 
in M. W.\\\. 3-27,v. 5. i^Jack-a-lanthorn (the ignis fatuus), and similar 
forms. Coll. quotes fomin, Nest of Ninnies, 1608 : "His name is John, 
indeede, saies the cinnick, but neither John a nods nor John a dreames, 
yet either as you take it." 

Unpregnant of. Not quickened by, not inspired with. Cf.M.forM. 
iv. 4. 23 : " unpregnant And dull to all proceedings." 

555. Property. Wr. thinks this may be = "ovvn person" or perhaps 
'kingly right," and doubts whether it can have its ordinary modern 
sense. Schmidt, however, gives it the latter meaning here ; and F. says, 
" I suppose jt refers to his crown, his wife, everything, in short, which he 



might be said to be possessed of, except his life." He compares M. IV. 
iii. 4. 10, to which may be added J. C. iv. i. 40. 

556. Defeat. Ruin, destruction ; as in v. 2. 58 below. See also Hen. V. 
i. 2. 107 : " Making defeat on the full power of France." Steevens quotes 
Chapman, Revenge for Honour: 

" That he might meantime make a sure defeat 
On our good aged father's life." 

559. The lie, etc. Cf. Rich. II. i. 1. 124: 

" as low as to thy heart 
Through the false passage of thy throat, thou liest." 

560. Me. For me. See Gr. 220. 

562. 'Swounds. A contraction of "God's wounds ; w used again in v. 
1. 264 below. Here the folio substitutes " Why," there " Come." Zounds 
is a corruption of the same oath, and is either omitted or changed in the 
folio. See on ii. I. 76 and on 358 above. 

563. Pigeon-liver 'd. " It was supposed that pigeons and doves owed 
their gentleness of disposition to the absence of gall " (W.). Cf. Dray- 
ton, Eclogue ix. : 

" A Milk-white Doue upon her hand shee brought. 
So tame 't would goe returning at her call, 
About whose Necke was in a Choller wJtought 
* Only like me my Mistress hath no gall.' " 

564. Tomake,ztc. To make me feel the bitterness of oppression (D.). 

565. Region. See on 473 above. 

567. Kindless. Unnatural (Johnson). So kindty=. natural; as in A. 
Y. Z.ii. 3. 53, Much Ado, iv. i. 75, etc. 

570. A dear father murlher'd. The reading of the 4th and 5th quartos. 
The earlier quartos have " a deere murthered," and the folio " the Deere 
murthered," which K. and W. prefer. 

573. A-cursing. See on i. 3. 119 above. Gr. 24. 

574. Scullion. The 1st quarto has '{ scalion," the later quartos have 
"stallyon"or ** stallion." Theo. substituted " cullion " (cf. Lear, ii. 2. 
3, etc.). 

576. About. "To your work I "(Johnson). Steevens quotes Heywood, 
Iron Age: 

" My brain about again ! for thou hast found 
New projects now to work on," 

557-580. Guilty creatures, etc. Todd quotes A Warning for Fait 
Women, 1599: 

" He tell you, sir, one more to quite your tale. 
A woman that had made away her husband, 
And sitting to behold a tragedy 
At Linne a towne in Norffolke, 
Acted by players trauelling that way, 
Wherein a woman that had murtherd hers 
Was euer haunted with her husbands ghost: 
The passion written by a feeling pen, 
And acted by a good tragedian, 
She was so mooued with the sight thereof, 

As she cryed out, the play was made by her, 
snly confesst her husbands murder." 

, And open! 

A CT IIL SCENE I. 2 1 5 

Cf. Massinger, Roman Actor, ii. I : 

" I once observed, 

In a tragedy of ours, in which a murder 
Was acted to the life, a guilty hearer, 
Forc'd by the terror of a wounded conscience, 
To make discovery of that which torture 
Could not wring from him." 

578. Presently. Immediately. Cf. 170 above. 

580. For murther, etc. Cf. Macb. iii. 4. 122-126 and Rich, II. i. I. 104. 
M. quotes Wordsworth : 

" Beliefs coiled serpent-like about 
The adage on all tongues, ' Murder will out.' " 

584. Tent. Probe; as in Cymb. iii. 4. 118: "tent to bottom." We 
have the noun in T. and C. ii. 2. 16: 

" the tent that searches 
To the bottom of the worst ; " 

and again, with a play on the word, in Id. v. 1. 1 1. 
Blench. Flinch, start. Cf. T. and C.\. i. 28: 

" Patience herself, what goddess e'er she be, 
Doth lesser blench at sufferance than I do." 

Steevens quotes Fletcher, Night- Walker: " Blench at no danger, though 
it be a gallows." 

586. The devil hath power, etc. Cf. 2 Cor. xi. 14. 

Sir Thomas Browne (quoted by M.) says: "I believe that these ap- 
paritions and ghosts of departed persons are not the wandering souls of 
men, but the unquiet walks of devils, prompting and insinuating to us ... 
that the blessed spirits are not at rest in their graves, but wander solici- 
tous of the affairs of the world." 

590. Abuses. Deceives. Cf. Much Ado, v. 2. 100 : " Hero hath been 
falsely accused, the prince and Claudio mightily abused," etc. 

591. Relative. "To the purpose, conclusive" (Schmidt). S. uses the 
word nowhere else. 

" Shall we," says Dr. Bucknill, " think the less nobly of him because 
his hand is not ready to shed kindred blood; because, gifted with godlike 
discourse of reason, he does look before and after; because he does not 
take the law in his own hands upon his oppressor, until he has obtained 
conclusive evidence of his guilt; that he seeks to make sure he is the 
natural justiciar of his murdered father, and not an assassin instigated by 
hatred and selfish revenge?" 


SCENE I. I. Drift of circumstance. " Roundabout method" (Wr.). 
Cf. ii. i. 10: "By this encompassment and drift of question; " also i. 5. 
127 : " without more circumstance at all." Drift = scheme in T.G. of V. 
ii. 6. 43, iii. i. 18, iv. 2. 83, etc. The quartos have " conference " for cir- 

216 MUTES. 

3. Grating. Vexing. Cf. A. and C. i. I. 1 8 : "Grates me." So with 
on in 2 Hen. IV. iv. i. 90 : " suborn'd to grate on you," etc. 

7. Forward. Disposed, inclined. 

8. Keeps. For the ellipsis of the subject, see Gr. 399. C ii. 2. 67 
above and iv. i. 10 below. 

On crafty madness, cf. iii. 4. 186 : "mad in craft. 

12. With much forcing, etc. With apparent unwillingness (M.). 

13. Niggard of question, etc. Warb. transposed Niggard and Mas 
Malone (so also Schmidt) makes question talk, and explains the passage 


thus: "Slow to begin conversation, but free enough in his answers 'to 
our demands." Wr. says : " Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were com- 
pletely baffled, and Hamlet had the talk almost to himself. Perhaps 
they did not intend to give a correct account of the interview." 

Of our demands. The Coll. MS. has " to " for of. See Gr. 173. 

14. Assay him to. " Try his disposition towards " (Caldecott). 

17. O'er-raught. "Over-reached, that is, overtook" (Johnson). Cf. 
C. of E. i. 2. 96 : "o'er-raught of all my money." We find raught both 
as the past tense and participle of reach. See Hen. V. p. 180. 

20. Order. S. regularly .uses the singular in this sense. Cf. v. 2. 365 

22. Beseech 1 d. The only instance of the past tense in S. ; and the only 
one of the participle is in L. C. 207, where he also has " beseech'd." In 
Hen. V. iii. 2. 115 "beseeched" = besieged. 

24. Content. Gratify, please ; as often in S. Cf. T.G.ofV. iii. i. 93 : 
" A woman sometimes scorns what best contents her," etc. 

26. ^Edge. Incitement, setting-on. It is a slight modification of edge 
=desire, appetite, as in Sonn. 56. 2, M.for M. i. 4. 60, T. of S. i. 2. 73, etc. 

29. Closely. Secretly ; as in 1C. John, iv. I. 133, etc. 

31. Affront. Meet directly, encounter. Cf. W. T. v. I. 75: "Affront 
his eye." See also T. and C. iii. 2. 174 and Cymb. iv. 3. 29. J. H. quotes 
Cook, Green's Tit Quoque, 1614: "This I must caution you of, in your 
affront or salute, never to move your hat." 

32. Lawful espials. " Spies justifiably inquisitive " (Caldecott). We 
find espials in the same sense in I Hen. VI. i. 4. 8 and iv. 3. 6. Sr. quotes 
Baret, Alvearie : " An espial! in warres, a scoutwatch." 

33. Bestow ourselves. See on ii. 2. 508 above. 

39. Beauties. F. adopts Walker's suggestion of " beauty ;" also " vir- 
tue " in next line. 

40. Wildness. Distraction, madness ; as in Cymb. iii. 4. 9 (Schmidt). 
43. Gracious. Addressed to the king. Cf. " High and mighty," iv. 7 

43 below. 
47. Too much prov'd. Found by too frequent experience (Johnson). 

51. aeautied. Not elsewhere used by S. as a verb. 

52. To. Compared to. See on i. 2. 140 above. 

53. Painted. Falsely coloured, unreal. Cf. K. John, iii. I. icx : " paint- 
ace ;" T. A. ii. 3. 126 : " painted hope," etc 


56. To be, etc. "In ii. 2. Hamlet has spoken of suicide as being agai 
the canon of the Everlasting.' Here he considers it as viewed by phil 
ophy ... Doubtless it might be more entirely desirable to turn the fl 

ACT 111. SCENE t. 


of all sorrows by self-slaughter ; and this might be the course which a 
man of quick decision would take. But reflection, if allowed, must needs 
make us think that if death is a sleep, it still may have dreams ; while 
conscience warns us what we have deserved that these dreams should 
be. Thus, instead of condensing into strong purpose, thought melts into 
mere dreaming meditation ; the will is puzzled, the moment of action 
passes, and we end by inertly bearing our present evils rather than dar- 
ing to fly to others of whose nature we are ignorant; giving up our de- 
liverance as we should, from the same weakness, give up any other enter- 
prise of pith and moment ' " (M.). 

59. Take arms against a sea, etc. For a sea of Pope suggested " a siege 
of," Theo. " th' assay of," Warb. " assail of," etc. ; but no change is called 
for. There are worse cases of " mixed metaphor " in S. than this, which, 
as Wr. remarks, is " rather two metaphors blended into one." The ex- 
pression is = "take arms against a host of troubles which break in upon 
us like a sea," Cf. 156 below : " That suck'd the honey of his music 
vows," which, if a " mixed metaphor," is a very beautiful one better 
than many of the "faultily faultless " figures of inferior poets. Keight- 
ley, who favours Pope's conjecture, says that this is "almost a solitary 
instance of the figurative use of sea by S." On the contrary, it is a com- 
mon metaphor with him. See R. of L. I loo, T. G. of V. iii. i. 224, I Hen. 
VI. iv. 7. 14, 3 Hen. VI. ii. 5. 106, Hen. VIII. ii. 4. 200, iii. 2. 360, T. and C. 
iii. 2. 84. T. of A. i. I. 47, iv. 2. 22, Per. v. I. 194, etc. 

61. No more. Nothing more. 

65. Rub. A metaphor taken from the game of bowls. See Rich. II. 
p. 197 or Hen. V. p. 157. 

67. Coil. Turmoil. Cf. Temp. \. 2. 207, C. of E. iii. I. 48, M. N. D. iii. 
2. 339, etc. S. never uses the word in the familiar modern sense. 

68. Give us pause. That is, for reflection. Cf. iii. 3. 42 and iv. 3. 9 be- 
low. Respect = consideration, motive ; as in Sonn. 49. 4, Much Ado, ii. 3. 
176, A. W. ii. 5. 71, etc. See also iii. 2. 166 below. 

70. Of time. Of the times, of the world. Warb. wished to read "of 
th' time ;" but cf. K. John, v. 2. 12 : "such a sore of time ;" I Hen. IV. 
iv. I. 25 : " the state of time," etc. S. generally uses the article, as in i. 5. 
189 above. 

72. Disprirfd. Misprized, undervalued ; the folio reading. The 2d 
and 3d quartos have " despiz'd," which most modern eds. adopt. As F. 
remarks, " a love that is disprized falls more frequently to the lot of man, 
and is perhaps more hopeless in its misery, than a love that is despised." 
Disprize occurs, again in T. and C. iv. 5. 74. 

75. Quietus. The law term for the final settlement of an account. Cf. 
Sonn. 126. 12: "And her quietus is to render thee." Steevens quotes 
Webster, Duchess of Malfi, i. I : "I sign your quietus exf." 

76. Bare. Mere, as Schmidt explains it, not " unsheathed," as Malone 
says ; though S. may have had the latter meaning also in mind. 

A bodkin was a small dagger. Cf. L. L. L. v. 2. 615 and IV. T. iii. 3. 87 
Steevens quotes B. and F., Custom of the Country, ii. 3 : 

"Out with your bodkin, 
Your pocket-dagger, your, stiletto." 

See also Chaucer, C. T. 3958: "with knyf or boydekyn ;" and Id. 16193 

" stiked him with boydekyns anoon." 

Fardels. Burdens ; literally, packs, bundles. Cf. W. T. iv. 4. 728, 739, 
781, 783, etc. The folio reads " these Fardles," which is preferred by K.. 
W., H., and others. 

77. Grunt. Groan. Steevens quotes many contemporaneous exam- 
pies; as from Stanyhurst's Virgil, 1582: "sighing it grunts" (congemuit)-. 
Turbervile's Ovid: "greefe forst me grunt ;" and again : " Of dying men 
the grunts," etc. The quarto of 1676 has "groan," which is adopted by 
Pope, Capell, and others. Cf. J. C. iv. i. 22 : " To groan and sweat under 
the business." Armin (Nest of Ninnies) has "gronte and sweat under 
this massie burden." 

79. Bourn. Limit, boundary. Cf. Temp. ii. I. 152 : " Bourn, bound of 
land ;" A. and C. i. I. 16 : "I '11 set a bourn," etc. 

80. No traveller returns. This has been foolishly criticised, because 
the Ghost was such a returned traveller ; and as foolishly defended by 
Theo. (on the ground that the Ghost came only from the intermediate 
state of Purgatory) and others. A child ought to see, and probably 
would see having no critical spectacles to dim its vision that the 
meaning is, does not come back to live here, as he returns from a visit 
to a foreign land; or, as Coleridge puts it, "no traveller returns to this 
world as to his home or abiding-place." 

83. Thus conscience, etc. Blakeway compares Rich. III. i. 4. 138 fol. 

84. Native hue. Natural colour. Wr. quotes L.L.L. iv. 3. 263 : "Foi 
native blood is counted painting now." 

85. Thought. Anxiety. See J. C. p. 146, and cf. iv. 5. 168 below. 

86. Pith. The folio reading; the quartos have "pitch," which the 
Camb. editors prefer. In either case, as Wr. notes, there is a change of 
metaphor in currents. See on 59 above. 

88. Soft you now. " Hold, stop " (Schmidt). Cf. Oth. v. 2. 338 : " Soft 
you ; a word before you go." See also M. N. D. p. 176. 

89. Orisons. Prayers.' Cf. Hen. V. ii. 2. 53, 3 Hen. VI. i. 4. no, R. and 
J. iv. 3. 3, etc. 

Johnson remarks : " This is a touch of nature. Hamlet, at the sight 
of Ophelia, does not immediately recollect that he is to personate mad- 
ness, but makes her an address grave and solemn, such as the foregoing 
meditation excited in his thoughts." 

97. I know. So in the folio ; the quartos have "you know." Ophelia 
means, they may have been trifles to you and you forgot that you gave 
them, but /did not, for they were most precious to me. 

103. Honest. Virtuous. See A. Y. L. p. 141. So honesty = virtue in 
107 below. 

107. Should admit, etc. Your honesty should be so chary of your 
beauty as not to suffer it to entertain discourse, or to be parleyed with 

109. Commerce. Intercourse. Cf. T. N. iii. 4. 191, T. and C. iii. 3. 205, 

1 14. Sometime. See on i. 2. 8 above. 
1 1 6. Indeed, etc. See p. 27 above f 

ACT III. SCENE /. jig 

Ii8. Relish of it. Have a flavour of it, retain a trace of it. 

121. Get thee. A common reflexive use of get in S., but never with the 
full form of the pronouns, thyself, etc. (Schmidt). Cf. Hen. V. iv. i. 287 : 
"gets him to rest ;" J. C. ii. 4. 37 : "I '11 get me to a place more void," 

122. Indifferent. " Fairly, ordinarily " ( Wr.). Cf. v. 2. Q7 below ; also 
T. ofS. \. 2. 181, T. N. \. 3. 143, i- 5- 265, etc. Gr. I. 

125. At my beck. "Always ready to come about me" (Steevens). The 
Coll. MS. has "back" for beck. 

129. Go thy ways. See on i. 3. 135 above. 

134. O, help him, etc. This speech and that in 141 below were firsv 
marked aside by F. 

136. Chaste as ice. Cf. A. Y. L. iii. 4. 18 : " the very ice of chastity." 

139. Monsters. Delius compares Oth. iv. I. 63. 

142. Your paintings. The your refers to women generally, as the 
plural yourselves shows. The folio has "your pratlings," and "pace" 
for face. 

144. Jig. Walk as if dancing a jig. In L. L. L. iii. I. n it means to 
sing a jig or in the manner of a jig. See on ii. 2. 486 above. For the 
contemptuous use of amble, cf. I Hen. IV. iii. 2. 60, Rich. III. i. I. 17, and 
R. and J. i. 4. 1 1. 

Nickname. Misname, miscall. Cf. L.L. L. v. 2. 349: "You nickname 
virtue ; vice you should have spoke." 

145. Make your wantonness, etc. You mistake wantonly, and pretend 
that you do it through ignorance (Johnson) ; or, perhaps, affect an inno- 
cent ignorance as a mask for wantonness (W.). 

151. Scholar's, soldier's. The early eds. have "soldier's, scholar's," 
except the 1st quarto, in which the passage reads-: 

"The Courtier, Scholler, Souldier, all in him, 
All dasht and splintered thence, O woe is me," etc. 

The correction is Hanmer's, and is generally adopted ; but the early text 
may be what S. wrote. Cf. R. of L. 615, 616 : 

" For princes are the glass, the school, the book, 
Where subjects' eyes do learn, do read, do look." 

See also A. and C. iv. 15. 25. 

152. Fair. That is, because Hamlet adorns it as the rose. For the 
prolepsis, cf. Macb. i. 3. 84: "the insane root ;" and see also Id. i. 6. 3 and 
iii. 4. 76. 

153. The glass of fashion. Cf. 2 Hen. IV. ii. 3. 21 : 

Wherein the noble 

"he was indeed the glass 
youth did dress themselves;" 

and B. J., Cynthia's Rei'els, dedic. : " in thee the whole kingdom dresseth 
itself, and is ambitious to use thee as her glass." 

The mould of form. " The model by whom all endeavoured to form 
themselves " (Johnson). 

155. Deject. See on i. 2. 20. Gr. 342. 

156. Music vows. See on 59 above. F. prints "music-vows." Gr. 22. 
The quartos have "musickt." 

220 NOTES. 

158. Jangled out of tune. Most modern eds. print "jangled, out of 
tune," hut the comma is not in the folio. "The two ideas attached to 
bells are : i. jangled out of tune ; 2. harsh, which expresses to what extent 
jangled out of tune" (Corson). 

159. Feature. Figure, form. Cf. Sonn. 113. 12, K.John, iv. 2. 264, 
I Hen. VI. v. 5. 68, etc. See also iii. 2. 21 below. 

/own = " in its bloom " (Capell). Cf. iii. 3. 81 below. 

160. Ecstacy. Madness: as in ii. i. 102 above. 

162. Affections. Feelings, inclinations. 

163. Nor . . . not. See on i. 2. 158. 

165. On brood. Brooding. Gr. 24, 180. 

1 66. Doubt. Suspect. See on i. 2. 256 above. For disclose, see on i. 
I. 57. The word was regularly used of the hatching of birds. Cf. v. I. 
277 below. Malone quotes Massinger, Maid of Honour, i. 2: 

" One aerie with proportion ne'er discloses 
The eagle and the wren." 

167. For to. Cf. v. i. 92 below, and see Gr. 152. 

169. Shall. For shall= will, see Gr. 315 (cf. 176 below); and for the 
ellipsis of the verb of motion, see Gr. 405. Cf. ii. 2. 485 above. 

173. Something-settled. See Gr. 68, and cf. 2. 

174. Puts. M. says that brains is singular; but S. elsewhere makes 
it plural. Cf. A. W. iv. 3. 216: "his brains are forfeit," etc. The real 
subject is " the beating of his brains on this " (Gr. 337). 

175. Fashion of himself. His usual bearing or behaviour. For on't, 
see on i. I. 55 above. 

183. Round. See on ii. 2. 139 above. 

184. So please you. If it so please you. See A. V. L. p. 138 or Mer. 
pp. 134, 136. Gr. 133. 

In the ear "within hearing " (Schmidt). 

185. Find. " Detect, unmask " (Schmidt). Cf. A. W. ii. 3. 216, ii. 4. 
32, v. 2. 46, I Hen. IV. i. 3. 3, etc. 

SCENE II. 3. Your. See on i. 5. 167 above, or Gr. 221 ; and for had 
as lief, A. Y. L. p. 139. 

8. Hear. The folio has " see." Robustious occurs again in Hen. V. iii. 

7- '59- 

Peri-wig-pated. In the time of S. wigs were worn only by actors; they 
did not come into general use until the time of Charles II (Steevens). 
Cf. '/'. G. ofV. iv. 4. 196 and C. of E. ii. 2. 76. In Every Woman in her 
Humour, 1609, it is said that " none wear hoods but monks and ladies, 
. . . none periwigs but players and pictures." 

10. Groundlings. The rabble in the pit, whicli in the theatres of that 
day had neither floor nor benches. Steevens quotes Ben Jonson, Bar- 
tholomew Fair: "the understanding gentlemen of the ground;" also 
Lady Alimony: "Be your stage-curtains artificially drawn, and so cov- 
ertly shrowded that the squint-eyed groundling may not peep in." Ac- 
cording to Nares, these gentry paid only a penny for admission. 

11. Inexplicable. " Unintelligible " (Schmidt). Johnson explains it 
as " without words to explain them." 

ACT III. SCENE 12. 221 

12. Termagant. An imaginary god of the Saracens, often introduced 
into the old mystery- pi ays, and represented as a most violent character 
(Nares). Cf. Spenser, F. Q. vi. 7. 47 : " And oftentimes by Turmagant 
and Mahound swore ;" Chaucer, C. T. 15221 : "He swar, 'Child, by 
Termagaunt,' " etc. S. uses the word only here and in i Hen. IV. v. 4. 
114, where it is an adjective. 

Herod was also a common character in the old mysteries, and always 
a violent one. Steevens quotes Chaucer, C. T. 3384 : " He pleyeth 
Herod on a scaffold hye." Douce gives a long extract from a pageant 
performed at Canterbury in 1534, in which this stage-direction occurs: 
" Here Erode ragis in thys pagond, and in the strete also." 

1 8. From the purpose. That is, away from, or contrary to it Gr. 158. 

22. His. Its. Gr.228. 

Pressure. Imprint, character. Cf. i. 5. loo above. 

23. Come tardy off. The reading of the early eds. The quarto of 1676 
has "of" for off, and is followed by Theo., Warb., F., and others. The 
emendation is plausible (cf. came short of, iv. 7. 89 below) ; but no change 
seems really required. Cf. T. G. of V. ii. I. 115 : "it came hardly off," 
etc. ; and for come having come, R. of L. 1784 : " Weak words, so thick 
come in his poor heart's aid.'" See Gr. 165. 

24. Censure. Judgment. See on i. 3. 69 above. Of the which one 
of which one class of persons (Caldecott) ; or, possibly, as Delius and 
Wr. explain it, "of the judicious man singly." Hanmer substituted "of 
one of which." 

26. There be. For this use of*?, see Gr. 300. 

27. Profanely. "The profanity consists in alluding to Christians" 

29. Nor man. Nor even man (Wr.). The 1st quarto has " Nor 
Turke," the folio "or Norman." Farmer conjectured "nor Mussul- 
man." W. ard H. read "or Turk." The Coll. MS. has "nor man." 

31. Had made men. The reading of the early eds. Theo. suggested 
"made them," which F. adopts. Farmer (followed by H.) conjectured 
"the men." These emendations are plausible, but S. may have written 
had made men ; that is, had been making men, had tried their hand at 
making men (instead of sticking to their regular work on inferior creat* 
ures). This seems in keeping with "imitated humanity." 

33. Indifferently. Tolerably well. Cf. indifferent, iii. I. 122 above. 

36. Your clowns, etc. The clowns were given to this extemporizing. 
Stowe (quoted by Steevens) informs us that among the twelve players 
who were sworn the queen's servants in 1583 "were two rare men, viz. 
Thomas Wilson, for a quick delicate refined extemporall witte ; and 
Richard Tarleton, for a wondrous plentiful!, pleasant extemporall witt," 
etc. Cfl Tarleton'' s Newes out of Purgatory: "that merrye Roscius of 
plaiers that famosed all comedies so with his pleasant and extemporali 
invention ;" and, even earlier, The Contention Betwyxte Churchyard and 
Cornell, 1560: 

" But Vices in stage plaies, 

When theyr matter is gon, 
They laugh out the reste 
To the lookers on," etc. 

2a2 NOTES. 

fa the 1st quarto this passage reads as follows t 

"Ham. And doe you heare? let not your Clowne speak* 
More then is set downe, there be of them I can tell JOB 
That will laugh themselues, to set on some 
Ouantitie of barren spectators to laugh with them, 
Albeit there is some necessary point in the Play 
Then to be obserued; O t'is vile, and shewes 
A pittiful ambition in the foole that vseth it. 
And then you haue some agen, that keepes one sut8 
Of leasts, as a man is knowne by one sute of 
Apparell, and Gentlemen quotes his ieasts downe 
In their tables, before they come to the play, as thus: 
Cannot you stay till I eate my porrig^.? and, you owe me 
A quarters wages: and, my coate wants a culhson :* _ 
And, your beere is sowre: and, blabbering with his lips. 
And thus keeping in his cinkapase t of leasts, 
When, God knows, the warme Clowne cannot make a iest 
Vnlesse by chance, as the blinde man catcheth a hare: 
Maisters tell him of it. 

players We will my Lord. 

Warn. Well, goe make you ready. exeunt players!* 

Hunter and Halliwell are inclined to think that this should be retained! 
but, as W. remarks, " it was probably an extemporaneous addition to th 
text by the actor." 

37. There be of them. Cf. Gr. 399 fol. 

38. Barren. Barren of wit, dull. Cf. M. N. D. iii. 2. 13 : " that barren 
sort;" T.N. i. 5. 90: " a barren rascal," etc. 

42. Piece of work. In M. N. D. i. 2. 14, Bottom calls the play "a very 
good piece of work." Cf. T. of S. i. I. 258. 

43. Presently. See on ii. 2. 170 above. 

50. Coped withal. Met with, encountered. Cf. A. Y. L. ii. 1. 67 : "I 
love to ccpe him in these sullen fits ;" W. T. iv. 4. 435 : " The royal fool 
thou copest with," etc. 

53. Revenue. Accented by S. either on the first or on the second 
syllable, as suits the measure. Cf. M. N. D. i. I. 7 : " Long withering 
out a young man's revenue ;" and 158 in the same scene : " Of great 
revenue, and she hath no child." Gr. 490. 

55. Candied. Sugared, flattering (D.). Elsewhere it means congealed. 
See Temp. ii. I. 279 and T. of A. iv. 3. 226. 

Absurd. The only instance of this accent in S. Gr. 490. 

56. Crook. The subject of this verb is tongue, unless with Tschischwitz 
we consider it a 3d person imperative. It is probably an instance of 
"construction according to sense," the real subject being the person im- 
plied in tongue. Cf. Gr. 415. 

Pregnant. Quick, ready (Johnson and Schmidt) ; or " because untold 
thrift is born from a cunning use of the knee " (F.). 
On hinges of the knee, cf. T. of A. iv. 3. 211 : " hinge thy knee." 

* A corruption of cognizance, or badge of arms (Nares). Cf. The Owles Almanack, 
1618: "A blew coat without a cullizan." P. Hentzner, in his Travels, 1598, says that 
in England servants " wear their masters' arms in silver, fastened to their left arms." 

t That is, cinque-pare, a kind of dance. Cf. Much A do, ii. 1.77:" falls into the cinque- 
pace faster and taster," etc, 

ACT III. SCENE 11. 323 

57. Fawning. The folio has "faining." 

58. Dear. See on i. 2. 182. 

59. Of men distinguish. Cf. 2 Hen. VI. ii. i. 130 : "distinguish of col 
jurs." The 2d and 3d quartos have 

"distinguish her election, 
S' hath [=she hath] seal'd," etc., 

and some editors have preferred this reading. 

64. Blood and ^judgment. "Passions and reason" (Caldecott). Cf, 
Much Ado, ii. 3. 70 : " wisdom and blood combating," etc. 

For commingled the quartos have " comedled," which means the same. 
For meddle mingle, cf. Temp. i. 2. 22, and see note in our ed. p. 112* 
. On the passage cf. J. C. v. 5. 73 : 

" His life was gentle, and the elements 
So mix'd in him that Nature might stand up 
And say to all the world 'This was a man!"' 

and see note in our ed. p. 185. 

69. Something too much, etc. "The genuine manliness of this little 
sentence, where Hamlet checks himself when conscious that he has been 
carried away by fervour of affectionate friendship into stronger protesta- 
tion than mayhap becomes the truth and simplicity of sentiment between 
man and man, is precisely one of Shakespeare's exquisite touches of in- 
nate propriety in questions of feeling. Let any one who doubts for a 
moment whether Shakespeare intended that Hamlet should merely feign 
madness, read carefully over the present speech, marking its sobriety of 
expression even amid all its ardour, its singleness and purity of sentiment 
amid its most forcible utterance, and then decide whether it could be 
possible that he should mean Hamlet's wits to be touched. That his 
heart is shaken to its core, that he is even afflicted with melancholia and 
hypochondria, we admit ; but that his intellects are in the very slightest 
degree disordered, we cannot for one instant believe" (Clarke). 

73. Afoot. Being performed. Cf. M. for M. iv. 5. 3 : " The matter 
being afoot," etc. 

74. With the very comment of thy soul. " With all thy powers of ob- 
servation " (Wr.). The folio has " my soul," which K. and Corson defend. 

Occulted. Hidden ; used by S. nowhere else. 

One speech. The one prepared by Hamlet (ii. 2. 525). For the 
metaphor in unkennel, cf. M. W. iii. 3. 174. 

77. Damned ghost. A " goblin damned " (i. 4. 40), and therefore not to 
be believed. Cf. ii. 2. 585 fol. Douce quotes Spenser, F. Q. i. 2. 32 : 

" What voice of damned Ghost from Limbo lake, 
Or gtiiletull spright wandring i;i empty aire, 
Both which fraile men doe ofientimes mistake," etc. 

79. Stithy. Smithy, forge.. The 1st folio has " Stythe," the later folios 
"styth." Stith was properly the anvil ; as in C. T. 2028 : " That forgeth 
scharpe swerdes on his stith." The two words seem, however, to have 
been sometimes confounded. S. has stithy again in T. and C. iv. 5. 255, 
where it is a verb. 

Wote = attention ; as in A. IV. iii. 5. 104 : " Worthy the note," eta 



82 / censure oj his seeming. In forming an opinion of his appear- 
ance. See on i. 3. 69 above, and cf. W. T. iv. 4. 667, Cymb. v. 5. 65, etc. 

83 // he steal, etc. Caldecott understands this to refer directly to 
possible manifestation of guilt on the part of the King ; but of course all 
that Horatio means is, I '11 watch him so closely that if he were trying to 
steal something I would pledge myself to detect him or else to pay for 
the stolen property. 

On the -whilst, cf. K. John, iv. 2. 194 : " The whilst his iron did on the 
anvil cool," etc. 

84. On ///<?#= the thing stolen, cf. Exod. xxn. 4 (Wr.). 

85. Idle. Delius, St., Wr., and Schmidt make this refer to his feigned 
madness. Cf. iii. 4, II below and Lear, i. 3. 16. But though idle is often 
used in this sense, we are inclined here to agree with M., who explains 
the passage " I must appear to have nothing to do with the matter." 

87. Fares. In his reply Hamlet plays upon the word ; as Sly does in 
T.ofS. ind. 2. 102: "Marry, I fare well; for here is cheer enough." 
Cf. P. P. 186 : 

"'Farewell,' quoth she, 'and come again to-morrow.' 
Fare well I could not, for I supp'd with sorrow." 

88. Of the chameleon's dish. For another allusion to the popular be- 
lief that the chameleon fed on air, see T. G. of V. ii. I. 1 78 ; and for refer- 
ences to its supposed changes of colour, Id. ii. 4. 26 and 3 Hen. VI. iii. 2. 
191. For of, see Gr. 177. 

90. / have nothing, etc. I have nothing to do with it. Cf. Cor. ii. 3. 
8l : "I have no further with you." 

93. The university. "The practice of acting Latin plays in the uni- 
versities of Oxford and Cambridge is very ancient, and continued to 
near the middle of the last century. They were performed occasionally 
for the entertainment of princes and other great personages ; and regu- 
larly at Christmas, at. which time a Lord of Misrule was appointed at 
Oxford to regulate the exhibitions, and a similar officer with the title of 
Imperator at Cambridge" (Malone). English plays were also sometimes 
performed; this very one of Hamlet among the number. See the title- 
page of ist quarto on p. 9 above. 

96. Enact. Act, play. Cf. Temp. iv. I. 121 : 

. " Spirits, which by mine art 
I have from their confines call'd to enact 
My present fancies," etc. 

97. Cersar. A Latin play on the subject of Caesar's death was per- 
formed at Oxford in 1582 (Malone). 

On the erroneous notion that Caesar was killed " i' the Capitol," see 
J. C. p. 155. Cf. A. and C. ii. 6. 18. 

99. A brute part. Steevens quotes Sir John Harrington, Metamorphosis 
ofAjax, 1596 : "O brave-minded Brutus ! but this I must truly say, they 
were two brutish parts both of him and you ; one to kill his sons for 
treason, the other to kill his father in treason." 

101. Stay upon. Await. Cf. "stay upon your leisure" (A. W. iii. 5. 
48, Macb. i. 3. 148), " stays upon your will " (A. and C. i. 2. 1 19), etc. 

Patience = permission ; as in " by your patience " ( Temp. iii. 3. 3, A. Y, 


L. v. 4. 1 86, Hen. V. iii. 6. 31, etc.), " with your patience " (i Hen. VI. ii. 3. 
78), etc. 

108. Jig-maker. See on ii. 2. 486 above. 

1 10. Within 's. Within this (Delius) . Cf. /?. andj. v. 2. 25 : " Within 
this three hours," etc. 

113. For Pit have a suit of sables. Warb. (followed by W. and H.) 
changed for to " 'fore." Capell and others take iables to mean the fur of 
the sable, which was used only in rich and splendid apparel. Malone 
says that by a statute of Henry VIII. no one under the rank of an earl 
could wear sables. Wr. sees here "an intended contrast combined with 
a play upon words," and Schmidt takes the same view of the passage. 
Cf. iv. 7. 79 below, where " sables " are mentioned, not as badges of mourn- 
ing, but as " importing health and graveness" the dignified apparel of 
age as opposed to "the light and careless livery" of youth. 

117. Not thinking on. That is, being forgotten (K.). 

118. The hobby-horse. A figure in the rural May-games and morris- 
dances, probably referred to in ballads of the time as " forgot," either 
because it came to be omitted from the games or because of the attempts 
of the Puritans to put down these sports. Cf. L. L. L. iii. i. 30. Steevens 
quotes B. and F., Women Pleased, iv. i : " Shall the hobby-horse be forgot 
then?" also Ben Jonson, Entertainment at Althorpe : " But see the hobby- 
horse is forgot," etc. 

The dumb-show. This stage-direction is as Steevens gives it, and agrees 
substantially with that in the folio. Why the " dumb-show " should have 
been introduced is a question that has been much discussed but not satis- 
factorily settled. See Furness, vol. i. pp. 241-243. 

I2O. Miching mallecho. " Probably = secret and insidious mischief" 
(Schmidt). Florio, in his Ital. Diet., 1598, defines acciapinare as "To 
miche, to shrug or sneake in some corner." Micher truant, occurs in 
i Hen. IV. ii. 4. 450. Minsheu gives "To Miche, or secretly to hide 
himselfe out of the way, as Truants doe from schoole." Mallecho is the 
Spanish malhecho (literally, ill-done). D. quotes Connelly's Spanish Diet. : 
" Malhecho . . . An evil action, an indecent and indecorous behaviour; 
malefaction." Cf. Shirley, Gent, of Venice : " Be humble, Thou man of 
mallecho, or thou diest." 

122. Belike. " As it seems, I suppose " (Schmidt). Cf. M. N. D. i. I. 
130, Hen. V. iii. 7. 55, etc. It is followed by that in T. G. of V. ii. 4. 90. 

Argument=v\o\.; as in ii. 2. 346 above. 

135. Posy. Motto. See Mer. p. 164. Hamlet refers to the brevity of 
the prologue, as Ophelia evidently understands. 

138. Cart. Chariot; but obsolete in that sense in the time of S. Wr. 
quotes Chaucer, C. T. 2043 : " The statue of Mars upon a carte stood." 

139. Wash. The sea. In K. John, v. 6. 41 and v. 7. 63, it means the 
" flats," or land overflowed by the tide. 

140. Sheen. Shine, light. Used by S. only here and in M. N. D. ii. I. 
29, where also it is a rhyming word. 

143. Commutual. "An intensified form of mutual" (Wr.). 
146. Woe is me. The old form was "woe is to me"=is mine. See 
Gr. 230. 

aa6 NOTES. 

147. Cheer. Cheerfulness. For its original meaning, see Mer. p. 152 
or M. N. D. p. 163. 

148. Distrust you. "Am solicitous about you" (Schmidt). 

150. For women's, etc. The quartos have an extra line here : 

" For women feare too much, euen as they love, 

And womens," etc. 

Some editors believe that a line, rhyming with love, has been lost ; others, 
that the extra line was superseded by 150, but accidentally retained at first 
in printing. The latter is the more probable explanation. 

Holds quantity - are proportioned to each other. Cf. M. N. D. i. I. 
232 : " Things base and vile, holding no quantity," etc. For holds, see 
Gr. 336. 

151. In neither, etc. " They either contain nothing, or what they con- 
tain is in extremes " (Gr. 3880). 

153. Sized. Used by S. only here ; but we find great-sized (large-sized, 
small-sized, etc. are still in colloquial use) in T. and C. iii. 3. 147 and v. 10. 
26. Theo. quotes A. and C. iv. 15. 4. 

154. Littlest. Walker quotes B. and F., Queen of Corinth, iv. I : " The 
poorest littlest page." He also gives examples of gooder and goodest, 
badder and baddcst, from writers of the time. Chaucer has badder in C. T. 

157. Operant. Active ; used by S. only here and in T. of A. iv. 3. 25 : 
" most operant poison." For leave, see on i. 2. 155 ; and for the infinitive 
in to do, Gr. 355. 

164. Wormwood. For the figure, cf. R. of L. 893 and L. L. L. v. 2. 857. 

165. Instances. Inducements, motives. Cf. A. W. iv. i. 44 : " What's 
the instance ?" Rich. III. 3. 2. 25 : " wanting instance," etc. 

166. Respects. Considerations. Cf. iii. I. 68 above. 

167. Kill. . . dead. Elze compares T. A. iii. I. 92 : " he kill'd me dead." 
He might have added M. N. D. iii. 2. 269 : " kill her dead ?" 

171-196. Mr. and Mrs. Cowden Clarke believe that these are the 
" dozen or sixteen lines " of ii. 2. 525, because the diction is different 
from the rest of the dialogue and is signally like Hamlet's own argu- 
mentative mood. Sievers, who was the first to try to point out the sup- 
posed insertion, had fixed upon 234-239. See on ii. 2. 525 above. 

171. Purpose, etc. "Purposes last only so long as they are remem- 
bered " (M.). 

172. Validity. Value, efficacy. Cf. A. W. v. 3. 192, T. N. \. \. 12, etc. 
174. Fall. For the "confusion of construction," see Gr. 415. Cf. de- 
stroy in 180 just below. 

176. Most necessary, etc. "The performance of a resolution in which 
only the resolver is interested is a debt only to himself, which he may 
therefore remit at pleasure " (Johnson). 

180. Enactures. Action (Schmidt); or, perhaps, resolutions (Johnson). 

181. Where joy, etc. "The very temper that is most cast down with 
grief is also most capable of joy, and passes from one to the other with 
slenderest cause " (M.). 

184. Our loves. The love which others feel for us. 
186. Whether. See on ii. 2. 17 above, or Gr. 466. 


187. Favourites flies. The quartos have " favourite," a reading which, 
as Abbott says (Gr. 333), "completely misses the intention to describe 
the crowd of favourites scattering in flight from the fallen patron." Cf. 
V.andA. 1128: 

" She lifts the coffer-lids that close his eyes 
Where, lo! two lamps burnt out in darkness lies." 

There, as here, the form seems to be due to the rhyme. See also Sonn. 

41. 3- 

190. Not needs. Cf. Temp. v. I. 38: "Whereof the ewe not bites," 
etc. Gr. 305. 

192. Seasons. Matures, ripens (Schmidt). Cf. i. 3. 81 above. 

194. Contrary. The accent on the penult, as in " Mary, Mary, quite 
contrary," etc. Cf. K.John, iv. 2. 198, and T. of A.\\. 3. 144. Schmidt 
adds W. T. v. 1.45 : " My lord should to the heavens be contrary ;" but 
there it seems to have the other accent, as in R. and J. iii. 2. 04 : " What 
storm is this that blows so contrary ? " etc. 

198. Die. The 3d person imperative, or "subjunctive used impera- 
tively " (Gr. 364). See other examples in the speech that follows, and in 
210, 211, etc. 

202. An anchor's cheer. An anchorite's fare. Steevens quotes the old 
Romance of Robert the Devil, printed by Wynkyn de Worde : " We have 
robbed and killed nonnes, holy aunkers, preestes; " and again : " the foxe 
will be an aunker, for he begynneth to preche ; " and The Vision of Piers 
Plowman: "As ancres an<l heremites," etc. 

203. Opposite. Contrary thing ; as in A. and C. i. 2. 130. Oftener in 
S. it is=opponent, adversary ; as in v. 2. 62 below. Cf. Lear, v. 3. 42: 

" you have the captives 
That were the opposites of this day's strife;" 

and Id. v. 3. 153: "An unknown opposite." 

Blanks. Blanches, make pale ; the only instance of the verb in S. 

208. Deeply sworn. Cf. Rich. III. iii. I. 158 : "Thou art sworn as 
deeply to effect," etc. Wr. quotes K. John, iii. i. 231 : "deep-sworn 

215. Argument. See on 122 above. 

The king could hardly be in doubt as to the plot of the play after 
seeing the " dumb-show " Halliwell asks: "Is it allowable to direct 
that the king and queen should be whispering confidentially to each other 
during the dumb-show, and so escape a sight of it?" If the dumb-show 
is to be introduced on the stage, that would not be a bad way out of the 
difficulty (see on 1 18 above). If S. is responsible for the dumb-show, we 
may consider it a piece of carelessness like making Philostrate in M. /V. 
D. speak of shedding " merry tears" at the rehearsal of the clowns' play 
when he certainly could not have been present at the rehearsal to say 
nothing of the fact that the play as rehearsed in iii. I. is entirely different 
from the play as acted in v. I. (see M. N. D. p. 122). 

220. Tropically. By a trope, or " a figure in rhetoric " (A. Y. L.\.\. 
45); used by S. nowhere else. 

221. Image. Representation ; as in Macb. ii. 3. 83, Lear, v. 3. 264, etc. 

228 NOTES. 

Cf. 21 above. For Vienna the ist quarto has " Guiana," perhaps due to 
the short-hand writer's mishearing the name (Coll.). 

222. Duke's. Elsewhere he is a king. Walker shows that king, duke, 
and count were often confounded in sense. In the months of Dbll, Ar- 
mado, and Dogberry, duke may have been intended as a blunder, but 
hardly so in the case of the princess in L. I.. L. ii. I. 38. Cf. Viola's use 
of count in T. A 7 , v. \. 263 with Id. i. 2. 25. 

Baptista. Properly a man's name, as in T. of S. Hunter says that he 
has known it to be a female name in England; and it is sometimes SG 
used even in Italy. 

224. Free. See on ii. 2. 548 above. 

225. Let the galfd jade. Apparently a proverb. Steevens quotes* 
Edwards, Damon and Pythias, 1582: "I know the gall'd horse will 
soonest wince;" and Wr. adds from Lyly's Euphues : "For well I 
know none will winch except she bee gawlded." On jade, see Hen. V. 
p. 170. 

227. Chorus. Explaining the action of the play, as in W. T., R. and J., 
and Hen. V. (Delius). 

228. / could interpret, etc. Alluding to the interpreter who used to sit 
on the stage at puppet-shows and explain them to the audience. Cf. T. 
G.of V. ii. i. 101 and T. of A. i. I. 34. Steevens quotes Greene, Groats- 
worth of Wit : " It was I that ... for seven years' space was absolute 
interpreter of the puppets." In the present passage some of the critics 
see an indirect meaning; but, as Schmidt remarks, it is more probable 
that the allusion is simply " to a puppet-show in which Ophelia and her 
lover were to play a part." 

232. The croaking raven, etc. Mr. Simpson (in the London Academy, 
Dec. 19, 1874) says : " Hamlet rolls into one two lines of an old familiar 
play, The True Tragedie of Richard the Third: 

" The screeking raven sits croking for revenge, 
Whole herds of beasts comes bellowing for revenge." 

235. Confederate. Conspiring, favouring, assisting. 

236. Midnight weeds. Steevens compares Macb. iv. i. 25: "Root or 
hemlock digg'd i' the dark." 

237. Hecate. For the pronunciation, see Macb. p. 187. 

239. On wholesome life usurp. Wr. compares Per. iii. 2. 82 . " Death 
may usurp on nature many hours." Add T. A. iii. i. 269. 

250. Strucken. The folio reading; the quartos have "strooken'' or 
"stroken." See/. C. p. 145 or Gr. 344. 

The stanza is probably a quotation from some ballad (D.). 

254. Feathers. Much worn on the stage in the time of S. (Malone). 

255. Turn Turk. Proverbially = to undergo a complete change for 
the worse (Schmidt). Cf. Much Ado, iii. 4. 57. Steevens quotes Cook, 
Green's Tu Quoque : " This it is to turn Turk, from an absolute and most 
compleat gentleman, to a most absurd, ridiculous, and fond lover." 

Provincial. Some make this refer to Provence, others to Provins near 
Paris. Roth were famous for their roses. The reference is to rosettes 
of ribbun worn on shoes. Fairholt quotes Friar Bacon's r>'othety, 


"When roses in the gardens grew, 
And not in ribbons on a shoe; 
Now ribbon-roses take such place, 
That garden-roses want their grace." 

Tschischwitz (who is much given to these fantastic tricks of emendation 
God save the mark !) is sure that S. wrote " provisional roses !" 

256. Razed. Slashed; that is, with cuts or openings in them (Steevens). 
Stuiibes, in his Anatomie of Abuses, 1585, has a chapter on corked shoes, 
which, he says, are " some of black veluet, some of white, some of red, 
some of greene, razed, carued, cut, and stitched all ouer with Silke." 
Theo. conjectured " rais'd," that is, with high heels. Schmidt wavers 
between these two explanations. 

Cry. Company; literally, a pack of hounds. Cf. Cor. iii. 3. 120: "You 
common cry of curs! " (see also iv. 6. 148); Oth. ii. 3. 370: "not like a 
hound that hunts, but one that fills up the cry," etc. 

258. Share. "The actors in our author's time had not annual salaries 
as at present. The whole receipts of each theatre were divided into 
shares, of which the proprietors of the theatre, or house-keepers, as they 
were called, had some; and each actor had one or more shares, or part 
of a share, according to his merit " (Malone). 

259. A whole one, I. Malone's conjecture of "ay" for / has been 
adopted by Sr., W., and H. The meaning, as it stands, is " A whole one, 
say I " (Caldecott). Ay is always printed " I " in the old eds. 

263. Pajock. Peacock; which is substituted by Pope, Warb., Coll., 
Sr., H., and others. The quartos have " paiock," the 1st folio " Paiocke," 
the 2d " Pajocke," etc. D. says : " I have often heard the lower classes 
in the north of Scotland call the peacock the 'pea-jock;' and their al- 
most invariable name for the turkey-cock is ' bubbly-jock.' " Among the 
changes suggested, where none is needed, are "paddock," "hedjocke" 
( = hedgehog), "patchock" ( = a clown), "Polack," etc. 

264. Rhymed. " The natural rhyme, of course, is easily discerned, and 
expresses his contempt for his uncle, who has shown, as he intimates, 
consummate weakness in allowing himself to be so easily unmasked" 

266. Pound. Cf. Rich. //. ii. 2.91 : "a thousand pound; "and see note 
in our ed. p. 182. 

270. Recorders. A kind of flageolet. See M. N. D. p. 183. 

273. Perdy. A corruption of par Dieu. Cf. Hen. V. ii. i. 52, etc. 

280. Marvellous. For the adverbial use, cf. ii. 1.3 above. 

Distempered. Discomposed, disturbed. CLTemp.'w. I. 145: "touch'd 
with anger so distemper'd," etc. The word was also used of bodily dis- 
order (as in 2 Hen. IV. iii. I. 41), and so Hamlet pretends to understand 
it (Wr.). 

283. Should. Would. Seeonii. 2. 202 above; and for more richer on 
ii. i. II. 

284. Put him to his purgation. "A play upon the legal and medical 
senses of the word " (Wr.). Cf. A. Y. Z. v. 4. 45, Hen. VIII. v. 3. 152, etc. 

286. Into some frame. That is, " frame of sense" {M. for M. v. 1. 61). 
Cf. Z. Z. Z. iii. I. 193 : " out of frame " (that is, disordered). 



288. Pronounce. Speak out, say on. Cf. T^cmp. iii. 3. 76, Macb. iii. 
4. 7, etc. 

295. Pardon. Leave to go. See on i. 2. 56, above. 
298. Wholesome. Reasonable (Schmidt) ; or sane, sensible (Wr.). C 
Cor. ii. 3. 66 : 

" Speak to 'em, I pray you, 
In wholesome manner." 

303. Admiration. Wonder; as in i. 2. 192 above. 
307. Closet. Chamber; as in ii. i. 77, iii. 3. 27, etc. Cf. Matt. vi. 6. 
310. Trade. Business. Cf. T. N iii. I. 83 : " if your trade be to her," 

312. Pickers and stealers. Hands; which the church catechism ad- 
monishes us to keep from " picking and stealing" (Whalley). 

313. Your cause of distemper. The cause of your distemper. Cf. i. 4. 
73 : " your sovereignty of reason ; " and see Gr. 423 for other examples. 

317. The -voice, etc. Cf. i. 2. 109 (Malone). 

319. While the grass grows, Malone quotes the whole proverb from 
Whetstone's Promos and Cassandra, 1578: " Whylst grass doth growe ; 
oft sterves the seely steede ; " and again in the Paradise of Daintie Devises, 
1578 : " While grass doth grovve, the silly horse he starves." 

321. To withdraw with you. "A much-vexed passage, probably = to 
speak a word in private with you" (Schmidt). M. Mason proposed "So, 
withdraw you " or " So withdraw, will you ? " St. takes it to be addressed 
to the players, and would read " So, (taking a recorder} withdraw with 
you." Tschischwitz conjectures " Go, withdraw with you." 

322. Go about. Undertake, attempt. See M. N. D. p. 177 or Hen. V. 
p. 174. 

To recover the wind of me. A hunting term, meaning to get to wind- 
ward of the game, so that it may not scent the toil or its pursuers (Sr.). 
Cf Gentleman's Recreation : " Observe how the wind is, that you may set 
the net so as the hare and wind may come together ; if the wind be side- 
ways it may do well enough, but never if it blow over the net into the 
hare's face, for he will scent both it and you at a distance; " also Church- 
yard, Worthiness of Wales : 

"Their cunning can with craft so cloke a troeth 
That hardly we shall have them in the winde, 
To smell them forth or yet their fineness node." 

324. If my duty, etc. If my sense of duty makes me too bold, it is my 
love for you that causes it. Bold and unmannerly have essentially the 
same meaning. Tyrwhitt wanted to read " not unmannerly." 

333. Ventages. Vents, holes. 

345. 'Sblood. See on ii. 2. 358 above. These oaths were extremely 
common in that day, and indeed much earlier. Chaucer ( C. T. 13886) 
makes the Pardoner say : 

" Her othes been so greet and so dampnable, 
That it is grisly for to hiere hem swere. 
Our blisful Lordes body thay to-tere ; 
Hem thoughte Jewes rent him nought y-nough." 
347. Fret. Douce no*es the play upon the word : " though you can 


vex me, you cannuc impose upon me; though you can stop the instru- 
ment, you cannot play on it. " Frets are stops, or " small lengths of wire 
m. which the fingers press the strings in playing the guitar " (Busby's 
Diet, of Musical '1 trms) . Cf. North, Plutarch (Pericles') : " Rhetoric and 
eloquence (as Plato saith) is an art which quickeneth men's spirits at 
her pleasure; and her chiefest skill is to know how to move passions 
and affections thoroughly, which are as stops and sounds of the soul, 
that would be played upon with a fine-fingered hand of a cunning mas- 
ter. " 

358. By and by. Presently, soon ; as often in S. See Hen. V. p. 155. 

359. 70 the top of my bent. To the utmost, as much as I could wish. 
For bent, see on ii. 2. 30 above. 

363. Ti's now, etc. Cf. Macb. ii. I. 49 fol. 

366. Bitter business. The folio reading; the quartos have "such busi- 
ness as the bitter day." 

369. Nero. For another allusion to his murder of his mother, see K. 
John, v. 2. 152. 

371. Speak daggers. Cf. iii. 4. 93 : "Those words like daggers enter in 
mine ears;" and Much. Ado, ii. I. 255 : " She speaks poniards, and every 
word stabs." See also Prov. xii. 18 (Wr.). 

Use none. Hunter says: "To be sure not; and strange it is that the 
Poet should have thought it necessary to put such a remark into the 
mouth of Hamlet, " etc. It is not necessary to suppose that Hamlet had 
seriously thought of killing his mother. He may be recalling the injunc- 
tion of the Ghost: Revenge my murder, but only on your uncle, not on 
your mother. And yet he must speak daggers to her, though he is to use 
none against her. 

373. Ho-a ... soever. For the tmesis, cf. 5. 5. 170 above; alsoJ/. W. 
iv. 2, 25, etc. How is sometimes=however; as in Muck Ado, iii. I. 60: 

" I never yet saw man, 

How wise, how noble, young, how rarely featur*d, 
But she would spell him backward, " etc. 

Shent. "Put to the blush, shamed, reproached" (Schmidt). Cf. M. 
W.'\.^. 38: "We shall all be shent;" Cor.v. 2. 104: "Do you hear 
how we are shent?" etc. It is the participle of shend, which is found 
( = destroy) in Fairfax's Tasso, vi. 4: " But we must yield whom hunger 
soon will shend." Cf. Spenser, F. Q. ii. 8. 12: 

"Thou dotard vile, 
That with thy brutenesse shendst thy comely ags," etc, 

374. Give them seals. Confirm them by action. Cf. Cor. ii. 3. 115 : "1 
will not seal your knowledge with showing them;" 2 Hen. IV. iv. 5. 104: 
" Thou hast seal'd up my expectation," etc. 

SCENE III. 3. Your commission. " Rosencrantz and Guildenstern 
are therefore privy to the traitorous scheme for killing Hamlet in Eng- 
land" (M.). 

4. Shall along. For the omission of the verb, see Gr. 30 and cf. 405. 

6. So near us. The quarto reading; the folio has "so dangerous," 
which does not suit the context so welL 



7. Lunacies. The folio reading; that of the quartos is"browes," 
which Theo. took to be a misprint of " lunes" = lunacies. 

9. Many many. Cf. K. John, i. I. 183 : " many a many foot." Wr. 
compares Hen. V. iv. 2. 33 : "A very little little let us do." The Coll. 
MS. reads " very many." 

1 1. The single and peculiar life. That is, the private individual (Wr. ). 

13. Noyance. Injury; not to be printed "'noyance," as it often is. 
Cf. Spenser, F. Q. iii. 12. 2: 

" A direfull stench of smoke and sulphure mixt 
Ensewd, whose noyaunce fild the fearefnl sted 
From the fourth howre of night untill the sixt." 

14. Depends and rests. For the singular form, see Gr. 335. 

15. Cease. Decease. The only other instance of cease as a noun 
noted by Schmidt is in Lear, v. 3. 264, where he thinks it may be a verb. 

16. Gulf. Whirlpool; as often. Cf. R. of L. 557, Hen. V. ii. 4. 10, 
iv. 3. 82, etc. 

17. Massy. S. uses the word five times (cf. Temp. iii. 3. 67, Much 
Ado,ii\. 3. 147, T. and C. prol. 17, ii. 3. 18), massive not at all. See 
quotation in note on iii. I. 77 above. 

21. Annexment. A word not found elsewhere (Wr.). Annexion 
occurs in L. C. 208. 

24. Arm you. Prepare yourselves. Cf. M. N. D. i. I. 117: 

" For you, fair Hermia, look you arm yourself 
To fit your fancies to your father's will." 

25. Fear. Object of fear; as in M. N. D. v. i. 21 : 

" Or in the night, imagining some fear, 
How easy is a bush suppos'd a bear! " 

26. We will haste us. See Gr. 212. 

Elze gives this speech to Rosencrantz alone, on the ground that he is 
regularly the spokesman, while Guildenstern seems to be a subordinate 
attendant; but the king and queen treat them both alike as "gentle- 
men" (see ii. 2. 1-26, 33, 34, etc.), and so does Hamlet (ii. 2. 224, etc.). 
Elze cites iv. 3. 16, which is sufficiently explained by the context. 

29. Tax him home. Reprove him soundly. See on i. 4. 18 above. 
Cf. iii. 4. i below; also M. for M. iv. 3. 148: "Accuse him home and 
home," etc. 

30. As you said. " Polonius's own suggestion, which, courtier-like, 
he ascribes to the king" (M.). 

32. Them. That is, mothers. 

33- Of vantage. By some opportunity of secret observation (Warb.). 
Cf. Gr. 165. 

37. Eldest. Used now only in the sense of eldest-born. Cf. Temp. 
v. I. 186: "your eld'st acquaintance cannot be three hours." 

39. Will. Hanmer substituted "'twill" and Warb. " th' ill;" but 
inclination and wzV/are not identical. As Bosvvell says, "I may -will 'to 
do a thing because my understanding points it out to me as right, though 
I am not inclined to it." 

42. In pause. In doubt or consideration. Cf. iii. i. 68 above. 


47. Confront. To face, or rather outface. 

49. To be forestalled, etc. " What is the very meaning of prayer, ex- 
cept that we pray first not to be led into temptation, and then to be de- 
livered from evil?" (M.). On forestall = prevent, cf. v. 2. 207 below. 

55. Ambition. The realization of my ambition; the cause for the effect, 
like offence in the next line (Delius). Cf. theft in Hi. 2.84. 

57. Currents. Courses (Schmidt). D. and F. adopt Walker's con- 
jecture of " 'currents" = " occurrents " (see v. 2. 345 below); but the 
mixing or blending of metaphors is no worse than in the use of the very 
same word in iii. i. 87 abuve; and though, as F. pleads, it is easily 
avoided here by the apostrophe, we prefer to stick to the old text. 

59. Prize. The Coll. MS. has "purse;" but the meaning obviously 
is that the guilty gain itself (or a part of it) is used to bribe the officers 
of the law; as has often happened in these latter days. 

61. Lies. Used in the legal sense (Wr.). 

62. His. Its. See Gr. 228; and for the ellipsis of the auxiliary with 
compeird, Gr. 403 (cf. 95). 

64. Rests. Remains. See A. Y. L. p. 146. 

65. Can. Can do. Cf. Temp. iv. I. 27: "Our worser genius can," 
etc. Gr. 307. 

68. Limed. Caught (as with bird-lime). Cf. ft. of L. 88: " Birds never 
lim'd no secret bushes fear." See also 3 Hen. VI. v. 6. 13, 17, Macb. iv. 
2. 34, etc. 

69. Engaged. Entangled. It is curious that neither Wore, nor Wb. 
recognizes this meaning, though both give " disentangle " as one of the 
meanings of disengage. Cf. Milton, Comus, 193: "They had engag'd 
their wandering steps too far;" and P. R. iii. 347 (where Satan is trying 
to ensnare Christ) : 

" That them mayst know I seek not to engage 

Thy virtue," etc. 

In architecture, engaged columns are probably so called because they are 
caught or entangled, as it were, in the wall. 

Make assay. According to Brae (quoted by F.), assay here = charge, 
onset, and make assay = "throng to the rescue.'' Cf. Hen. V. \. 2. 151 : 
"Galling the gleaned land with hot assays;" and ii. 2. 71 above: "the 
assay of arms." This meaning is not recognized by Wore, or Wb., but 
Schmidt gives it for the two passages just quoted. Here he makes assay 
= trial; but the other meaning would be at once more forcible and more 
poetical. J. H. thinks that make assay is addressed to himself, not to 
the angels. 

73. Pat. now. The quartos have " but now." For pat, cf. M. N. D. 
iii. I. 2, v. i. 188, and Lear, i. 2. 146. 

This speech has been considered inhuman and unworthy of Hamlet. 
According to Coleridge, it is rather his way of excusing himself for putting 
off the act of vengeance. It seems better, however, with M., to regard 
this notion of killing soul and body at once as the natural impulse of his 
mind. It does not strike us as unnatural that the sight of the king at 
prayer should suggest the idea that killing him then and there would be 
sending him straight to heaven, and that for the moment Hamlet should 



shrink from doing this. His first thought is not so much of sending him 
to hell as of not sending him to heaven; but he dwells upon it in his 
usual meditative fashion until it leads him logically to that " damn'd and 
black " conclusion. 

Caldecott says : " Shakespeare had a full justification in the practice 
of the age in which he lived . . . With our ruder Northern ancestors, re- 
.venge, in general, was handed down in families as a duty, and the more 
refined and exquisite, the more honourable it was." He also refers to iv. 
7. 127 below, where the king says "Revenge should have no bounds;" 
and adds that " even the philosophizing and moralizing Squire of Kent, 
in his beloved retirement from the turmoils of the world, exclaims on 
killing Cade (2 Hen. VI. iv. 10. 83) : 

' Die, damned wretch, the curse of her that bear thee; 

And as I thrust thy body in with my sword, 

So wish I, I might thrust thy soul to hell.'" 

Wordsworth {Shakespeare's Knowledge of (he Bible) excuses Hamlet in 
much the same way. See also p. 30 above. 

75. That would be scanned. That should be carefully considered. Gr. 

3 2 9- 

77. Sole. The folio has " foule." Warb. conjectured " fal'n " (= dis- 
inherited), and Capell "fool." Cf. A. W. i. I. 44: " His sole child," etc. 

79. Hire and salary. The quartos have " base and silly." 

80. Grossly. The word refers to father, not to took. Full of bread, as 
Malone notes, is suggested by Ezekiel, xvi. 49 : " pride, fulness of bread," 

81. Broad blown. Cf. i. 5. 76 : " in the blossoms of my sin." Flush = 
in its prime, in full vigour (Schmidt). Cf. A. and C. i. 4. 52: "flush 
youth." The folio has " fresh." 

82. And how, etc. Warb. says that the Ghost had told him how his 
audit stood; but Ritson replies that, the Ghost being in purgatory, it 
was doubtful how long he might have to stay there. 

83. In our circumstance and course of thought. From our human point 
of view and according to our line of thought; or "according to human 
relations and thoughts" (Delius). For circumstance = condition, state 
of things, cf. T. G. of V. \. \. 37: "So, by your circumstance, I fear 

you '11 prove." See also i. 3. 102 above. 
84. 'Tishec 

; heavy with him. It goes hard with him, or he " hath a heavy 
reckoning to make" (Hen. V. iv. I. 141). 

85. To take. For the " indefinite " use of the infinitive, see Gr. 356. 
On purging, cf. i. 5. 13 above; and on seasoned, iii. 2. 192. 

88. Hent. Hold, seizure (Johnson and Schmidt). No other example 
of the noun has been found, but the verb ( = take) occurs in W. T. iv. 3. 
133 and M. for M. iv. 6. 14. Cf. Chaucer, C. T. 700 : " till Jhesu Crist 
him hente," etc. A more horrid hent = " a more fell grasp on the villain " 
(M.), or " a more terrible occasion to be grasped " (VVr.). 

95. Stays. Is waiting for me. Cf. T. G. of V. i. 2. 131 : " Dinner is 
ready, and your father stays," etc. 

96. This physic. That is, this temporary forbearance of mine is like a 
medicine that merely delays the fatal end of the disease. 



SCENE IV. I. Straight. See on ii. 2. 418 above ; and for home, on in 
2. Broad. Free, unrestrained. Cf. Macb. iii. 4. 23 and iii. 6. 21. 

4. Silence. The reading of the early eds. Sr., Coll., D., H., and Wr. 
adopc Hanmer's emendation, " Sconce me even here," which is plausible, 
but not really called for. / '// silence me e'en here\ '11 say no more. 

5. Round. See on ii. 2. 139 above. ( 
7. Fear me not. See on i. 3. 51 above. 

12. Wicked. The folio has "idle," probably repeated by accident from 
the preceding line. 

14. Rood. Cross, crucifix. Cf. 2 Hen. IV. iii. 2. 3, Ruh. III. iii. 2. 77, 
iv. 4. 165, etc. We have it in the name of Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh. 
See also I Hen. IV. \. I. 52. 

19. Set you zip a glass. Cf. iii. 2. 20 above : " hold, as 't were, the 
mirror up to nature." 

29. Kill a king? According to the Hystorie of Hamblet (see p. 13 
above) the queen was not privy to the murder of her husband. Cf. the 
1st quarto : 

'But as I haue a soule, I sweare by heauen. 
I neuer knew of this most horride murder." 

34. Wringing of. Cf. i-5- 175: "pronouncing of," etc. Gr. 178. 

38. Proof. Q,\.W. 7. iv. 4. 872 : "I am proof against that title," etc. 
Bu\ the word in this sense was also a noun, as in Rich. II. 1.3. 73 : "Add 
proof unto mine armour," etc. Cf. ii. 2. 476 above: "forg'd lor proof 
eterne/' Schmidt makes it an adjective here, but its association with 
'ntiwark suggests that it may be a noun. Cf. V. and A. 626 ; 

"His brawny sides, with hairy bristles arm'd, 
Are better proof than thy spear's point can enter." 

This seems better than to say that bulwark is " used for an adjective," as 
Wr. does. 

Sense. " Feeling," as Caldecott explains it, rather than " reason," as 
Schmidt makes it. 

39. Wag thy tongue. Wr. quotes Hen. VIII. 5. I. 33 : " Durst wag his 
:ongue in censure." He might have added Id. v. 3. 127: "And think 
with wagging o' your tongue to win me.'' In the same speech (131), we 
aave "wag his finger at thee." 

41. That. For such . . . that, see Gr. 279. Just below we have such Cf. Sonn. 73- 5- 9- 

43. The rose. "The ornament, the grace, of an innocent love (.DOS- 
well). Cf. iii. I. 152 above. 

44. Sets a blister there. Wr. explains this, "brands as a harlot," and 
refers to C. of E. ii. 2. 138. Cf. iv. 5. 101 below. 

46. Contraction. The ma:.:age contract (Warb. and Schmidt). S. use* 
the word nowhere else. 

48. Rhapsody. Wr. well illustrates the meaning of the word here by 
quoting Florio, Montaigne: "This conce.rneth not those mingle-mangles 
01 many kindes of stuffe, or as the Grec ; ans call them Rapsodies." 

49. This solidity, etc. The earth iK.). 

236 NOTES. 

5<X Tristful. Sorrowful (Fr. triste\ Cf. I Hen. IV. ii. 4. 434: "Mj 
tristful queen " (" trustful " in the early eds.). 

As against the doom. As if doomsday were coming. For against, see 
on i. i. 158. 

51. Thought-sick. Cf. iii. I. 85 : " Sicklied o'er with the pale cast or 
thought." Tschischwitz (" O dear discretion ! how his words are suit- 
ed !") omits the hyphen, and explains the passage, " Is thought to be 
sick !" 

52. Index. Prologue. The index was forme/ly placed at the begin- 
ning of a book (Edwards). Cf. Rich. III. ii. 2. 149, iv. 4. 85, T. and C. L 
3. 343, and Oth. ii. I. 263. 

53. Look here, etc. The original practice of the stage seems to have 
been to have the two pictures hanging in the queen's closet. They are 
so represented in a print prefixed to Rowe's Hamlet, published in 1709. 
Afterwards it became the fashion for Hamlet to take two miniatures from 
his pocket ; but as Hamlet would not be likely to carry his uncle's pict- 
ure in that way, a Bath actor suggested snatching it from his mother's 
neck. Another arrangement was to have the new king's portrait hanging 
on the wall, while Hamlet took his father's from his bosom. Fitzgerald, 
in his Life of Gar rick, suggested that the pictures be seen with the mind's 
eye only ; and this is followed by Irving and Salvini. Fechter tears the 
miniature from the queen's neck and throws it away. Edwin Booth 
makes use of two miniatures, taking one from his own neck and the other 
from the queen's (F.). 

54. Counterfeit. Cf. the use of the noun in Sorn. 16. 8: "your painted 
counterfeit ;" and see also M. of V. iii. 2. 116 and T. of A. v. i. 83. 

Presentment. Representation. In the only other instance of the word 
in S. (71 of A. i. 1. 27) it means presentation. Wr. quotes Milton, Comus, 

"Of power to cheat the eye with blear illusion, 
And give it false presentments." 

55. This brow. The 4th and 5th quarto and the folios have " his." 
50. Hyperion's. See on i. 2. 140 above. 

The front of Jove. That is, the forehead ; as in Rich. III. i. I. 9 : " his 
wrinkled front," etc. See cut on p. 166. 

58. Station. Attitude in standing (Theo.). Cf. Macb. v. 8. 42 and 
A. and C. iii. 3. 22. 

59. New-lighted. Cf. I Hen. IV. \. 1. 63 : " new-lighted from his horse. * 
S. is fond of compounds with new; as "new-added" (J. C. iv. 3. 109), 
* new-apparelled " (C. of E. iv. 3. 14), " new-built " (T. of S. v. 2. 118, 
Cymb. i. 5. 59), "new-crowned" (M. of V. iii. 2. 50, K. John, iv. 2. 35), 
' new-fallen " ( V. and A. 354, A. Y. L. v. 4. 182, I Hen. IV. v. 1. 44), and 
so on. 

Heaven-kissing. Cf. R. of L. 1370: "cloud-kissing Ilion." 

66. Leave. See on i. 2. 155 above. 

67. Batten. Fatten. Cf. Cor. iv. 5. 35 : " batten on cold bits ;" Milton, 
Lycidas, 29 : " battening our flocks," etc. 

69. Hey-day. " Frolicsome wildness " (Schmidt). Steevens quotes 
Ford, T is Pity, etc. : "The hey-day of your luxury." S. does not use 


it elsewhere as a noun. We have it as an exclamation in Temp. ii. 2 
190 (" highday " in the old eds.), Rich. II 7. iv. 4. 460, T. and C. v. I 
73, and T. of A. i. 2. 137 (in these last three passages "hoyday" in 
most of the early eds.). Highday in M. of V. ii. 9. 98 is another word= 

71-76. Sense . . . difference. This passage is omitted in the folio. 
Sense sensibility, sensation ; and motion = impulse, desire (as in M.for 
M.\.^. 59 : " The wanton stings and motions of the sense," etc.) . " You 
must have perception, else how could you still have desire?" (M.). 

73. Apoplex'd, Affected as with apoplexy. 
Would not err. That is, err so (Wr.). 

74. Ecstasy. Insanity ; as in ii. I. 102 and iii. I. 160 above. 

75. Quantity. Measure, degree. " Sense was never so dominated by 
the delusions of insanity but that it retained some power of choice "(H.) . 
Quantity is sometimes used contemptuously ( = an insignificant portion), 
ts in C. of E. iv. 3. 112, K. John, v. 4. 23, and 2 Hen. IV. v. I. 70. 

76. To serve, etc. " To help your decision where the difference is so 
complete" (M.). 

77. Hoodman-blind. Blind-man's-buff. Cf. A. IV. iv. 3. 136 : "Hood- 
man comes ! " Sr. quotes Baret, Alvearie : " The Hoodwinke play, or 
hoodmanblinde, in some places called the blindmanbuf." 

Sans. See A. Y. L. p. 163 or Temp. p. 114. 

Cf. Temp. v. i. 239 : " j 
moping hither " (that is, bewildered) ; and Hen. V. iii, 7. 143 : to mope 

!i. So mope. Be so stupid. Cf. Temp. v. I. 239 : "And were brought 

with his fat-brained followers.' 

83. Mutine. The same as mutiny (= rebel), which S. elsewhere uses. 
We find mating as a noun (= a rebel) in v. 2. 6 below, and also in K. 
John, ii. I. 378. Mutineer occurs once ( Temp. iii. 2. 40), and so does 
mutiner {Cor. i. i. 254). 

86. Compulsive. Cf. compulsative, \. I. 103 above. Compulsive occurs 
again in Oth. iii. 3. 454. On gives tfie charge, cf. R. of L. 434. 

88. Panders will. Panders to appetite. 

90. Grained. Dyed in grain. Marsh (Led. on Eng. Lang.") shows that 
grain originally meant the dye kermes, obtained from the coccus insect; ( 
but as this sense grew less familiar, and the word came to be used chiefly 
as expressive of fastness of colour, an idea which was associated with 
dyeing in the wool, or other raw material, dyed in grain got this latter 
meaning. Wr. quotes Cotgrave, Fr. Diet. : " Graine : . . . graine where- 
with cloth is dyed in graine ; scarlet dye, scarlet in graine." 

91. Leave their tinct. Part with or give up their dye. On leave, cf. 
M. of V. v. I. 172, 196, Cor. ii. 3. 180, etc.; and on tinct, cf. Cymb. ii. 2. 
23. The latter word = tincture in A. W. v. 3. 102 and A. and C. i. 5. 37. 

94. In. Into. See Gr. 159. 

97. Precedent. Former ; used also in T. of A. i. I. 133 and A. and C. 
iv. 14. 83, and with the same accent as here. The noun is always ac- 
cented on the first syllable. See v. 2. 237 below ; also M. of V. iv. I. 
320, etc. 

A vice of kings. A clown of a kin? ; alluding to the Vice in the old 
moralities or moral-plays. Cf. T. N. iv. 2. 134: 

Like to the old Vice, 

Who, with dagger of lath, 
In his rage and his wrath, 

Cries, ah, hat to the devil," etc. 

The Vice was equipped with a wooden sword or dagger, with which he 
used to beat the devil and sometimes tried to pare his nails. Cf. 2 Hen. 
IV. iii. 2. 343 and Hen. V. iv. 4. 76. 
98. Cutpurse. " Purses were usually worn outside attached to the gir 

101. A king of shreds and patches. Referring to the motley dress 
worn by the professional fool (see A. Y. L. p. 162) and generally by the 

102. The stage-direction in the 1st quarto is "Enter the Ghost in his 
night gawne ;" that is, in his dressing-gown. See Macb. p. 194. The 
Coll. MS. has "Enter Ghost unarmed." 

Save me, etc. M. remarks here ; "Just when Hamlet's rage is on the 
verge of becoming impotent and verbose, it is restored to overpowering 
grandeur by the ghost's reappearance, . . . who with divine compassion 
interferes to save his erring wife from distraction. Cf. the splendid pas- 
sage in Tennyson's Guinevere, where Arthur says to his false queen : 

I did not come to curse thee, Guinevere, 
I whose vast pity almost makes me die 
To see thee laving there thy golden head . . . 
Lo, I forgive thee, as Eternal God 
Forgives ; do thou for thine own soul the rest . 
no man dream but that I love t 

Ferchance, and so thoi- purify thy soul, > 
And so thou lean on our fair father Christ, 
Hereafter, in that world where all are pure, 
We too may meet before high God, and thou 
Wilt spring to me, and claim me thine, and know 
I ant thine husband.'" 

105. Lapsed in time and passion. The meaning seems to be, having let 
time slip by while indulging in mere passion. Johnson says : " having 
suffered time to slip and passion to cool ;" and Schmidt : " who, sur- 
prised by you in a time and passion fit for the execution of your com 
mand, lets them go by." 

106. Important. Momentous ; or, perhaps, urgent (as in C. of E. v. I. 
138, Much Ado, ii. i. 74, etc.). 

112. Conceit. Imagination. Cf. W. T. iii. 2. 145 : "with mere conceit 
and fear ;" Rick. II. ii. 2. 33 : " 'T is nothing but conceit," etc. 

1 16. Incorporal. Immaterial. Cf. corporal in J. C. iv. 1. 33, Macb. \. 3 
8l, etc. S. uses neither corporeal nor incorporeal. 

119. Bedded. Lying flat (Schmidt). Wr. explains it as "matted." 

Hair. The quartos and 1st and 2d folios have " haire," and are fol- 
lowed by most of the modern eds. The Camb. and W. give " hairs." 
S. uses the plural very often in this way. Cf. M. of V. iii. 2. 120, J. C, 
li. I. 144, A. and C. ii/7. 123, etc. 

Excrements. Excrescences, outgrowths (as if from excrescere, like it* 
-rement from increscere). Cf. C. of E. ii. 2. 79, Z. . . v. I. 


iii. 2. 87, and IV. T. iv. 4. 734. See Mer. p. 149. S. uses the word only 
once in its modern sense ( 7. of A. iv. 3. 445). 

120. Start . . . stand. The reading of the early quartos and the folio. 
For an end, see on i. 5. 19 above. 

121. Distemper. Cf. ii. 2. 55 and iii. 2. 280 above. 

125. Capable. Capable of feeling, susceptible. Cf. A. Y.L. iii. 5. 23: 
"the capable impressure." See also iii. 2. 10 above, and cf. incapable^ 
insensible, in iv. 7. 177 below. 

127. Effects. Action (Schmidt). Cf. V.andA. 6o$,Lear,i. I. i88,etc. 
Convert my stern effects change my stern action, or the execution of my 
stern purpose. 

1 28. Will want true colour. Will lose its proper character. Caldecott 
compares " leave their tinct " in 91 above. 

133. In his habit, etc. In his dress as when alive. See on 102 above. 
136. Ecstasy. See on 74 above. The meaning here is evident from 
Hamlet's reply. 

141. Re-word. Repeat in the same words. Cf. L. C. I, where it is 
applied to the echo. 

142. for love. For the omission of the, see Gr. 89. 

148. What is to come. Seymour would read " what else will come," as 
what is to come cannot be avoided ' ; but this is to change rhetoric to logic, 
poetry to prose. Of course Hamlet means what is to come if the future 
is to be like the past, but it was not necessary to state it in that precise 

150. Forgive, etc. Possibly St. is right in taking this to be addressed 
to his own virtue, and marking it " aside." Clarke says : " Surely the 
context shows that Hamlet asks his mother to pardon the candour of his 
virtuous reproof, emphasizing it by line 151." 

151. Pursy. "Swelled with pampering" (Schmidt). Cf. T. of A. 
v. 4. 12: "pursy insolence." 

153. Curbandwoo. " Bend and truckle " (Steevens) ; "bow and beg" 
( Wr.). Curb is the Fr. courier, and is printed " courb 'Mn the folio. Per- 
haps it is as well to retain that spelling, as Theo., Warb., F., and some 
others do. Cf. Piers Plowman : 

" Thanne I courbed on my knees, 

And cried hire of grace." 
Schmidt makes curb here = "keep back, refrain." 

154. "Note the use of the more affectionate thou" (F.). See Gr. 231. 

155. Worser. Often used by S. See R. of L. 249, 294, 453, M. N. D. 
ii. i. 208, Rich. III. i. 3. 102, etc. 

M. remarks here : "The manly compassion of a pure heart to the weak 
and fallen could not express itself with more happy persuasiveness than 
in this reply, which takes the unhappy queen's mere wail of sorrow and 
transmutes it to a soul-strengthening resolve." 

159-163. That monster ... pul on. This is omitted in the folio. Many 
attempts have been made to emend it, but without really amending it. As 
it stands, the meaning seems to be : That monster, custom, who destroys 
all sensibility (or sensitiveness), the evil genius of our habits (that is, bad 
ones), is yet an angel in this respect, that it tends to give to our good ac- 


tions also the ease and readiness of habit. M. paraphrases the latter 
part of the passage thus: "Just as a new dress or uniform becomes fa- 
miliar to us by habit, so custom enables us readily to execute the outward 
and practical part of the good and fair actions which we inwardly desire 
to do." No doubt, as Wr. remarks, the double meaning of habits sug- 
gested the frock or livery. 

165-168. The next more ... potency. Omitted in the folio. 

167. And either master the, etc. The ad and 3d quartos have " And 
either the ; " the 4th, " And Maister the ; " the 5th, "And master the.' 
The gap in the earlier text has been filled by " curb," " quell," " mate," 
" lay," " house," " aid," " mask," " shame," etc. Master may have been 
a mere conjecture of the editor of the 4th quarto, but it has at least that 
much of authority in its favour, and completes the sense as well as any 
other word. It has been objected that it mars the metre ; but if we read 
it " master th' devil," it is like a hundred other lines in S. This reading 
is adopted by Walker, D. (2d ed.), and F. " Curb" is preferred by Sr., 
W., and H. Furnivall suggests " tame." 

169. To be blest. By God ; that is, when you are repentant. 

i -jo. For. As for. Cf. i. 5. 139 above. Gr. 149. 

172. To punish me, etc. "To punish me by making me the instru- 
ment of this man's death, and to punish this man by my hand" (Ma- 

1 73. Their. For other examples of the plural use of heaven, see Rich. 
II. p. 157. Cf. heavens, ii. 2. 38 above. 

174. Bestow him. Dispose of him, put him out of the way. Cf. M. W. 
iv. 2. 48 : " Which way should he go? how should I bestow him? Shall 
I put him into the basket again? " See also on ii. 2. 508 above. 

Answer. Account for. Cf. T. N. iii. 3. 28 : " were I ta'en here it would 
scarce be answer'd ; " W. T. i. 2. 83 : " The offences we have made you 
do we '11 answer," etc. 

1 80. Bloat. Bloated. See on i. 2. 20 above, or Gr. 342. 

181. Mouse. For its use as a term of endearment, cf. L. L. L. v. 2. 19 
and T. N. i. 5. 69*. Steevens quotes Warner, Albion's England : " God 
bless thee, mouse, the bridegroom said ; " and Burton, Anat. of Melan- 
choly : " pleasant names may be invented, bird, mouse, lamb, pus, pigeon s 

182. Reechy. Dirty. Cf. Much Ado, iii. 3. 143: " the reechy painting; " 
and Cor. ii. I. 225 : " her reechy neck." The word is only another form 
of reeky, soiled with smoke or reek (cf. M. W. iii. 3. 86). 

183. Paddling. Cf. W. T. i. 2. 115 and Oth. ii. I. 259. 

184. Ravel out. Unravel, disentangle. Cf. Rich. II. iv. I. 228: 
" Must I ravel out My weav'd-up folly? " Ravel = tangle in T. G. of V. 
iii. 2. 52 and Macb. ii. 2. 37. 

185. Essentially am not. Am not essentially or really. Cf. Gr.420, 421. 

187. For -who, etc. Spoken ironically. 

1 88. Paddock. Toad. See Macb. p. 152. 

Gib. A male cat. Nares says : " An expression exactly analogous to 
that of &, the one being formerly called Gib, or Gilbert, as com- 
monly as the other Jack. Tom-cat is now the usual term, and for a simi- 


lar reason. Coles has 'Git, a contraction for Gilbert} and a Gib-cat, ca- 
tus,felis mas.'" The female cat was called Graymalkin or Grimalkin , 
Malkin being originally a diminutive of Mall (Moll) or Mary. We fine 
gib-cat in I Hen. IV. i. 2. 83. 

189. Concerning!. Concerns; as in AT . for M. i. i. 57. 

I 9 J - I 93- T ne reference is to some old story that has not come dowr 
to us ; perhaps, as Warner suggests, also alluded to by Sir John Suck- 
ling in one of his letters : " It is the story of the jackanapes and tht 
partridges ; thou starest after a beauty till it be lost to thee, and ther 
let'st out another, and starest after that till it is gone too." 

193. Conclusions. Experiments. Cf. A', of L. 1160: 

" That mother tries a merciless conclusion 
Who, having two sweet babes, when death takes one. 
Will slay the other and be nurse to none." 
See also A. and C. v. 2. 358, Cymb. i. 5. 18, etc. 

195. Be thou assured, etc. "The queen keeps her word, and is re- 
warded by the atoning punishment which befalls her in this world 
Rue is herb of grace to her, as poor Ophelia says" (M.). 

198. / must to Lngland. We are not told how Hamlet came to know 
this. Miles says that on his way to his mother he must have overhearc, 
the interview between the king and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. S 
does not always take the trouble to make these little matters clear in thr 

199. for forgot, see Gr. 343 ; and for There's in next line, Gr. 335. 
200-208. Omitted in the folio. 

201. Fang'd. Johnson and Schmidt understand this to mean with 
their fangs, Seymour and Caldecott without them. It may be noted 
that S. expresses the latter idea by fangless in 2 Hen. IV. iv. I. 218. 

204. Enginer. The folio has the word also in T. and C. ii. 3. 8 and 
Oth. ii. i. 65; engineer not at all. Cf. pioner in i. 5. 163 above, nnitiner 
(see on 83 above), etc. See Gr. 443 ; and for the accent, 492. 

205. Hoist. Schmidt makes this the participle of hoise, which occurs 
in 2 Hen. VI. i. i. 169 : " We '11 quickly hoise Duke Humphrey from his 
seat ; " and in Rich. III. iv. 4. 529 : " Hoised sail." S. also uses the verb 
hoist; as in Sonn. 117. 7 : "I have hoisted sail ; " A. and C. iii. 10. 15 . 
'' Hoists sails," etc. Cf. Gr. 342. 

Petar. The same as petard. Wr. quotes Cotgrave Fr. Diet. : " Pe- 
tart : A Petard, or Petarre ; an Engine (made like a Bell, or Morter) 
wherewith strong gates are burst open." 

For V shall go hard, cf. 'M. of V. iii. I. 75, 2 Hen. IV. iii. 2. 354, etc. 

207. At. See Gr. 143. 

209. Packing. Schmidt makes this = going off in a hurry. Cf. sena 
packing in i Hen. IV. ii. 4. 328, Rich. III. iii. 2. 63, etc. Wr. explains it 
as " contriving, plotting " (with a play on the other sense) ; as in T. of S. 
v. I. 121, etc. 

210. Guts. Steevens gives examples to show that anciently this worri 
was not so offensive to delicacy as at present. It is used by Lyly, " who 
made the first attempt to polish our language ; " also by Stonyhurst in 
his translation of Virgil, and by Chapman in his Iliad. Halliwell says : 

24a NOTES. 

" I have seen a letter, written about a century ago, in which a lady of 
rank, addressing a gentleman, speaks of her guts with the same noncha- 
lance with which we should now write stomach." St. remarks that here 
" it really signifies no more than lack-brain or shallow-pate.' 1 '' 

On the adjective use of neighbour, cf. L. L. L. v. 2. 94, A. Y. L. iv. 3. 79, 

St. considers that this line was introduced merely to afford the player 
an excuse for removing the body. In the time of S. an actor was obliged 
not only to play two or more parts in the same drama, but to perform such 
servile offices as are now done by attendants of the stage. This explains 
Falstaff's clumsy and unseemly exploit of carrying off Harry Percy's body 
on his back. See also R. and J. iii. I. 201, Rich. II. v. 5. 1 18, 1 19, I Hen. 
IV. v. 4. 160, Rich. III. i. 4. 287, 288, Lear, iv. 6, 280-282, J. C. iii. 2. 261, 

214. To draw. See Gr. 356, and cf. iii. 2. 321 above. 


SCENE I. I. Profound. The king uses profound equivocally, as it 
may mean deep literally and deep in significance, and upon the latter 
meaning translate bears (Corson). 

7. Mad. " The queen both follows her son's injunction in keeping up 
the belief in his madness, and, with maternal ingenuity, makes it the ex- 
cuse for his rash deed " (Clarke). 

10. Whips. For the omission of the subject, cf. iii. i. 8 above. The 
folio reads : " He whips his Rapier out, and cries," etc. 

11. Brainish. "Brainsick" (Schmidt) ; used by S. nowhere else. 
16. Answer 'd. Explained, accounted for. Cf. iii. 4. 174 above. 

18. Kept short. " Kept, as it were, tethered, under control " (Wr.). 
Out of haunt. " Out of company " (Steevens). Cf. A. Y. L. ii. I. 15 
and A. and C. iv. 14. 54, 
22. Divulging. Being divulged, becoming known. 

24. Apart. Aside. Cf. Oth. ii. 3. 391 : " to draw the Moor apart," etc. 
See also iv. 5. 183 below. 

25. Ore. Apparently used by S. only of gold. Cf. A. W. iii. 6. 40: 
' this counterfeit lump of ore." In R. of L. 56, some eds. read " ore," 

but "oer is better. In the English-French appendix to Cotgrave's 
Diet, ore is confined to gold (Wr.). 

26. Mineral. Mine (Steevens and Schmidt). Cf. Hall, Satires, vi. 148 : 
fired brimstone in a mineral!." St. says it is " rather a metallic vein in 

a mine. Elsewhere in S. it means a poisonous mineral. See Oth i 2. 
74, ii. i. 306, and Cymb. v. 5. 50. 

27. Weeps. "Either this is an entire invention of the queen, or Ham- 
lets mockeries had been succeeded by sorrow" (M.) 

36. Speak fair. Speak gently or kindly. Cf. C. of E. iii. 2. ii, Rich. 

* C i & a i/^' -P eak him fair '" " s P eak >" fair," etc. : a 
iv. 2. 16, M. N. D. n. i. 199, etc. 

ACT IV. SCENE //. 243 

40. Untimely. Often used adverbially ; as in Macb. v. 8. 16, R. and J. 
iii. i. 1 23, v. 3. 258, etc. 

.S0, haply, slander. The text of both quartos and folios is defective here. 
Theo. inserted " For, haply, slander," and Capell changed "For" to " So." 
The emendation has been generally adopted. The remainder of the pas- 
sage, Whose whisper . . . woundless air, is found in the quartos, but not in 
the folios. 

41. O'er the world's diameter. M. explains this, " Slander can pass in 
direct line from hence to the antipodes without going round by the semi- 
circumference of the earth ;" but we doubt whether S. thought of it in 
that mathematical way. O'er the world's diameter probably meant -to 
him " to the ends of the earth." 

42. Blank. " The white mark at which shot or arrows were aimed '' 
(Steevens). Cf. W. T. ii. 3. 5, Lear, i. i. 161, etc. 

44. Woundless air. Ct i. I. 145 above: "as the air invulnerable." 

SCENE II. 3. The early quartos and some modern eds. have " But 
soft, what noise ?" 

7. Compounded if , etc. Cf.Sonn. 71. 10: " When I perhaps compound- 
ed am with clay." See also 2 Hen. IV. iv. 5. 1 16. 

12. Demanded of. Questioned by. Cf. Temp. i. 2. 139 : " Well de- 
manded ;" Oth. v. 2. 301 : " Will you, I pray, demand that demi-devil, 
Why," etc. For of, see Gr. 170. 

13. Replication. Reply. Cf. L. L. L. iv. 2. 15, J. C. \. I. 51, and Z. C. 

15. Countenance. Patronage, favour. Cf. 2 Hen. IV. iv. 2. 13 : 

"The man that sits within a monarch's heart, 
And ripens in tlie sunshine of his favour. 
Would he abuse the countenance of the king," etc. 

Authorities. Attiibutes or offices of authority. Cf. M.forM. iv. 4. 6^ 
Lear, \. 3. 17, etc. 

17. As an ape doth nuts. The reading of the 1st quarto ; adopted by 
Sr., St., and H. The other quartos have "like an apple;" the folio, 
"like an Ape, "which is followed by most of the modern eds. F. has 
"like an ape doth apples," a construction found only in Per. i. I. 163 
where the folios have "as ") and ii. 4. 36. 
19. Squeezing you, etc. Steevens quotes Marston, Sat. vii. : 

" He 's but a spunge, and shortly needs must ieese 
His wrong-got juice, when greatnes' fist shall squeese 
His liquor out." 

Caldecott adds from Apology for Herodotus, 1608 : "When princes (a; 
the toy takes them in the head) have used courtiers as sponges to drinke 
what juice they can from the poore people, they take pleasure afterwards 
to wring them out into their owne cisternes." 

22. A knavish speech, etc. A proverb since the time of S., but not 
known to have been such earlier (Steevens). 

26. The body, etc. If this is not meant to be nonsense, the commenta 
tors have made nothing else of it. 

29. Of nothing. Steevens gives several examples of the phrase " a 

244 NOTES. 

thing of nothing;" and Whalley adds Ps. cxliv. 4 (Prayer-book version) : 
" Man is like a thing of nought." Cf. M. N. D. iv. 2. 14 : "A thing of 
naught," and see note in our ed. p. 178. 

Hide fox, etc. " There is a play among children thus called " ( Han- 
mer). M. says: " Hamlet sheathes his sword, and, as if he were playing 
hide-and-seek, cries, ' now the fox is hid: let all go after him.'" For 
fox= sword, see Hen. V. p. 179. 

SCENE III. 4. Of. See on.iv. 2. 12 above. 

6. Scourge. Punishment; as in Rich. III. i. 4. 50, etc. 

9. Deliberate pause. " A matter of deliberate arrangement " (M.). Cf. 
iii. 3. 42 above. 

Diseases desperate, etc. Rushton quotes Lyly, Euphues : " But I feare 
me wher so straunge a sicknesse is to be recured of so vnskilfull a Phisi- 
tion, that either thou wilt be to bold to practise, or my body too weake 
to purge. But seeing a desperate disease is to be committed to a des- 
perate Doctor, I wil follow thy counsel, and become thy cure." 

21. Convocation of politic worms. " Holding congress over the great 
politician " (M.) ; perhaps alluding, as Sr. suggests, to the Imperial Diets 
held at Worms. 

Your. See on i. 5. 167, and cf. iii. 2. 108 above. See also v. I. 161 
below : " your water," etc. 

27. Eat. For the form of the participle, see Rich. II. p. 104 or A. Y. 
L. p. 165. Gr. 343. 

31. Progress. A royal journey of state was always so called (Stee- 
vens). Cf. 2 Hen. VI. i. 4. 76: "The king is now in progress towards 
Saint Alban's." 

33. Send thither to see. For you cannot go yourself, as you can to " the 
other place." 

40. Tender. Regard, cherish. Cf. i. 3. 107 above. According to De- 
lius dearly is to be understood : " as dearly tender as we grieve." 

42. With fiery quickness. " In hot haste " (Wr.). 

43. At. Abbott (Gr. 143) explains this as used instead of the obsoles- 
cent a (as in " a-cursing," ii. 2. 573 above) governing a noun, and com- 
pares W. T.V.I. 140 : " at friend," etc. Cf. i. 3. 2 above : " as the winds 
give benefit." 

44. Tend. Attend, wait. Cf. i. 3. 83 above. For is bent the folio has 
" at bent." 

47. A cherub, etc. "The cherubs are angels of love; they there- 
fore of course know of such true affection as the king's for Hamlet " 

53. At foot. At his heels (Gr. 143). Schmidt compares A. and C. \. 
5. 44 and ii. 2. 160. 

56. Leans on. Depends on ; as in 2 Hen. IV. i. 1. 164, T. and C. iii. 3. 
85, etc. There is a play upon the expression in M. for M. ii. i. 49. 

57. Holfst at aught. Dost value at all. Gr. 143. 

58. As. For so (Gr. no). Cf. iv. 7. 157 and v. 2. 324 below. 

_ 60. Free. Willing, ready (Schmidt) ; no longer enforced by the Dan- 
ish sword. Or we may say that free awe pays homage = awe pays free 



homage. Cf the examples of the " transposition of epithets w in Schmidt, 
Appendix, p. 1423. 

61. Coldly set. "Regard with indifference" (Schmidt). C "set me 
light "=esteem me lightly, in Sonn. 88. 1 and "sets it light" in Rich. H. 

63. Conjuring. The folio reading; the quartos have **congruing," 
which Wr. prefers. On the accent of conjure in S. see M. N. D. p. 164. 

64. Present. Instant. Cf. R. of L. 1263, 1307, M.for M. ii. 4. 152, 
!v. 2. 171, 223, etc. See on presently, ii. 2. 170 above. 

65. Hectic. Wr. quotes Cotgrave, />. Diet.: "Hectique: Sicke of an 
Hectick, or continuall Feauer." S. uses the word only here. 

67. Haps. Cf. Much Ado, iii. I. 105 : "loving goes by haps ;" T. A. 
v. 3. 202: "our heavy haps," etc. The Coll. MS. has "hopes," which 
was also a conjecture of Johnson's. 

Begun. "Tschischwitz, having found that gin is used for begin, sug- 
gests, reads, and defends 'my joys will ne'er be gun ' " (F.). 

SCENE IV. 3. Claims. The folio reading; the quartos have "Craues" 
(Craves) which some editors prefer. 

5. If that. For that as a "conjunctional affix," see Gr. 287. 

6. In his eye. In his presence ; especially used of the royal presence 
(Steevens). Cf. A and C. ii. 2. 212 : " tended her i' the eyes," etc. Stee- 
vens quotes The Establishment of the Household of Prince Henry, 1610: 
"all such as doe service in the Prince's eye;" and The Regulations for 
the Queen's Household, 1627: "Such as doe service in the Queen's eye." 
F. refers to iv. 7. 45 below. 

8. Softly. Slowly, gently ; probably addressed to his soldiers. Cf. y. C. 
v. I. 16: "Octavius, lead your battle softly on," etc. The folio has "safe- 

The remainder of this scene (9-66) is omitted in the folio. 

9. Powers. Troops. Both the singular and the plural are used in this 
sense (cf. force and forces). See J. C. p. 168, note on Are levying powers. 

1 1. How purpos d? Having whdt purpose or destination ? Cf. Lear, 
ii. 4. 296 : " So am I purpos'd," etc. 

14. Norway. The King of Norway. See on i. 2. 125 above. 

15. The main. "The chief power (Wr.) ; or the country as a whole 
(Schmidt). Cf. T. and C. ii. 3. 273 : " all our main of power," etc. 

17. To mend the metre Pope read " speak it " and Capell " speak, sir." 
" Speak on 't " and "no more addition " have also been suggested. 

20. Five ducats, five. "A rent of five ducats, only five" (Wr.). 

Farm. Take on lease. S. uses the verb only here and in Rich. II. i. 
4. 45 : "to farm our royal realm." 

22. Ranker. Greater. See A. Y. L. p. 186. 

25, 26. It has been plausibly suggested that these lines belong to the 
Captain, not to Hamlet. Debate the question^ decide the question. 

27. Imposthume. Inward sore or abscess. Cf. V. and A. 743 and T. 
and C. v. I. 24. Caldecott quotes I Hen. IV. iv. 2. 32 : " the cankers of a 
calm world and long peace." For the origin of the word, see Wb. 

34. Market of his time. " That for which he sells his time " (Johnson). 

24 <J NOTES. 

36. Suck large discourse, etc. " Such latitude of comprehension, such 
power of reviewing the past and anticipating the future (Johnson). 
Theo. remarks that looking before and after is " an expression purely 
Homeric," and refers to Iliad, iii. 109 and xviii. 250. 

39. Fust. To grow mouldy or "fusty" (T. and C. \. 3. IOI, n. I. m, 
and Cor. i. 9. 7). S. uses the verb nowhere else. 

41. Of. In consequence of. Gr. 168. , . 

" Hamlet envies every one who has quick and determined resolution, 
tnd whose energy does not, like his own, evaporate in meditation, and 
pass by opportunity after opportunity for action" (M.). 

Event = issue ; as in 50 below. 

44. To do For this use of the active infinitive, see Gr. 359. 

45. Sith. See on ii. 2. 6. Gr. 132. 

46. Gross. Palpable, obvious. Cf. I Hen. IV. n. 4. 250: "gross as a 
mountain, open, palpable." 

47. Charge. Cost, expense. Cf. K. John, \. 1. 49 : " This expedition's 
charge," etc. 

49. Puff'd. Inspired. 

50. Makes mouths, etc. " Utterly scorns the dire uncertainties of the 
war " (M.). For makes mouths, cf. M. N. D. iii. 2. 238 and Lear, iii. 2. 36. 

54. Is not, etc. The not modifies is, as F. notes: "To stir without 
great argument, upon every trifling occasion, is not an attribute of great- 
ness ; ... but it is the attribute of greatness to stir instantly and at a 
trifle when the heart is touched." 

For argument^ matter in dispute, see Hen. V. p. 163. 

58. My reason and my blood. Cf. iii. 2. 64 : " blood and judgment," 
and see note. 

6l. Trick of fame. " Point of honour" (Caldecott). Cf. Cor. iv. 4. 21 : 
" Some trick [that is, trifle] not worth an egg." Delius considers that 
of fame belongs to fantasy also : " an illusion and a whim that promise 
lame." On the passage, cf. A. Y. L. ii. 7. 152 : 

" Seeking the bubble reputation 
Even in the cannon's mouth." 

63. Whereon, etc. That is, not large enough to hold the armies that 
fight for it. 

64. Continent. Receptacle, that which contains. C M. N. D. ii. 1. 92: 

" Have every pelting river made so proud 

That they have overborne their continents;" 

4. and C. iv. 14. 40: " Heart, once be stronger than thy continent," etc. 
Reed quotes Bacon, Adv. of L. : "and if there be no fullness, then is the 
continent greater than the content." 

SCENE V. The stage-direction in the quartos is "Enter Horatio, Ger- 
trard, and a Gentleman ;" in the folio, u Enter Queene and Horatio.'" The 
latter gives to Horatio the speeches of the Gentleman. "Lines 11-13, 
so cautiously obscure, seem better suited to an ordinary courtier than ta 
Horatio "(Wr.). 

2. Distract. See on aeject, iii. I. 155, or Gr. 343. 

\. Will. See Gr. 319. 


c Tkert '* See on iii. 4. 199 above. 

& Spurns. Kicks (Schmidt). Cf. C. of '. ii. 1. 83 : "That like a foot- 
ball you do spurn me thus," etc. 

Enviously = angrily, spitefully (Nares). So envious often =spiteful, and 
envy malice, spite. See Rich. II. p. 172. 

8. Unshaped. Formless, confused. Cf. M. for M. iv. 4. 23: "This 
deed unshapes me quite ;" that is, deranges or confuses me. 

9. To collection. "To endeavour to collect some meaning from it" 

For aim the quartos have "yawne." /f/m=gue88j as in T.G.ofV. 
iii. I. 45, T. ofS. ii. I. 237, 2 Hen. VI. ii. 4. 58, etc. 

1 1-13. " The general sense of this ill-expressed sentence is more easily 
understood than paraphrased. The speaker is afraid of committing hinv 
self to any definite statement. If he had spoken out he would have said, 
' Her words and gestures lead one to infer that some great misfortune has 
happened to her'" (Wr.). 

14-16. The quartos give all three lines to Horatio ; the folio to the 
queen. The arrangement in the text was suggested by Blacks tone, and 
is adopted by Coll., St., the Camb. editors, M., and F. 

On the measure of 14, see Gr. 461. 

///-/<#= "hatching mischief" (Schmidt). 

18. Toy. Trifle. Cf. i Hen. VI. iv. i. 145 : "a toy, a thing of no re- 
gard," etc. 

Amiss. Misfortune, disaster. Also used as a noun in Sonn. 35. 7 and 
151. 3. Steevens quotes The Arraignment of Paris, 1584: "Gracious 
forbearers of this world's amiss ;" and Lyly, Woman in the Moon : " to 
witness my amiss." 

19. Jealousy. Suspicion ; as in ii. I. 1 13 above. The meaning is, 
"Guilt is so full of suspicion that it unskilfully betrays itself in fearing 
to be betrayed " (Wr.). 

21. Sir Joshua Reynolds says : "There is no part of the play in its 
representation on the stage more pathetic than this scene ; which, I sup- 
pose, proceeds from the utter insensibility Ophelia has to her own mis- 
fortunes. A great sensibility, or none at all, seems to produce the same 
effect. In the latter the audience supply what she wants, and with the 
former they sympathize." See also p. 28 above. 

25. Cockle-hat. The cockle-shell in the hat was the badge of a pilgrim. 

26. Shoon. As Delius remarks, this plural was archaic in the time of 
S. He puts it also into the mouth of Cade, 2 Hen. VI. iv. 2. 195. 

37. Larded. Garnished (Caldecott). C v. 2. 2O below. See also 
M. W. iv. 6. 14, T. and C. v. i. 63, etc. 

38. Did go. All the early eds. have " did not go ;" corrected by Pope. 
41. God '/'<?/</ you ! God yield or reward you. See Macb. p. 175, or 

A.Y.L. p. 1 80. 

The owl, etc. According to Douce, there is a story current in Glouces- 
tershire that our Saviour went into a baker's shop to ask for bread. The 
mistress of the shop would have given him all he wanted, but was repri- 
manded by her daughter, who for her lack of charity was transformed 
into an owl 

248 NOTES. 

44. Conceit. Imagination; as in iii. 4. 112 above. 

45. Of. About. Gr. 174. 

49. And I, etc. The first girl seen by a man on the morning of this 
day was considered his Valentine or true-love. The custom continued 
until the last century, and is graphically alluded to by Gay (Halliwell). 

59. This is. Metrically equivalent to one syllable. Gr. 461. 

60. Gertrude, Gertrude. The quartos read " death, and now behold, 
o," etc. Stratmann suggests that S. first wrote " And now behold," and 
then substituted " O Gertrude, Gertrude." 

61. When sorrows come, etc. That is, " misfortunes never come sin- 

Spies. Scouts sent in advance of the main army. 

64. Kemove. See on avouch, \. \. 57; and cf. Lear, ii. 4. 4, A. and C. 
i. 2. 203, etc. 

Muddied ... unwholesome. These refer primarily to the blood, and 
then to the mood of the people (Delius). 

66. Greenly. Foolishly. Cf. Hen. Kv. 2. 149: "look greenly." See 
also i. 3. 101 above. 

67. In hugger-mugger. Secretly and hurriedly. Steevens quotes 
North's Plutarch: "Antonius thinking good . . . that his bodie should 
be honorably buried, and not in hugger-mugger." Malone cites Florio, 
Ital. Diet. : " Dinascoso, secretly, hiddenly, in hugger-mugger." Cf. also 
Spenser, Mother Hubberds Tale, 1 39 : 

" Of all the patrimonie, which a few _ 
Now hold in hugger mugger in their hand." 

68. Divided, etc. Cf. v. 2. 112 below. 

72. Feeds on his wonder. The quartos read " Feeds on this wonder;" 
the folio, " Keepes on his wonder." The reading in the text is John- 
son's. "The mysterious death of Polonius filled his son with doubt and 
amazement" (Wr.). 

Keeps himself in clouds. Is reserved and mysterious in his conduct 

73. Buzzers. Whisperers, tale-bearers (Schmidt); used by S. only 
here. Cf. the verb buzz whisper, in Rich. If. ii. i. 26, 3 Hen. VI. v. 6. 
86, Hen. VIII. ii. i. 148, etc. 

75. Wherein, etc. " Wherein (that is, in which pestilent speeches) ne- 
cessity, or the obligation of an accuser to support his charge, will noth- 
ing stick," etc. (Johnson). 

76. Person. The quarto reading; the folio has " persons." The king 
is speaking of himself only (D.). 

78. A murther ing-piece. A cannon loaded with case-shot. Steevens 
quotes Smith's Sea Grammar, 1627: "A case shot is any kinde of small 
bullets, nailes, old iron, or the like, to put into the case, to shoot out of 
the ordinances [see Hen. V. p. 161] or murderers." M. defines it as "a 
rude mitrailleuse of the day, the pevier or perrier, which discharged stones 
so that they shattered into many fragments." 

80. Switzers. " Swiss guards such as served in France, Spain, and 
Naples the men whose fidelity to Louis XVI. on the terrible ictli of 
August is commemorated by the Lucerne lion" (M.). Reed says: "In 


many of our old plays the guards attendant on kings are called Switzers, 
and that without any regard to the country where the scene lies." Ma- 
lone quotes Nash, Chrisfs Teares over Jerusalem, 1594: "Law, logicke, 
and the Switzers, may be hired to fight for any body. " 

82. Overpeering of his list. Rising above (literally, looking over) its 
boundary. Cf. M. of V. \. i. 12: "Do overpeer the petty traffickers;" 
3 Hen. VI. v. 2. 14: "Whose top-branch overpeer'd Jove's spreading 
tree, " etc. For list, cf. Hen. V. v. 2. 295 : " confined within the weak 
list of a country's fashion;" Oth. iv. i. 76: "Confine yourself but in a 
patient list," etc. 

83. Eats not, etc. Cf. 2 Hen. IV. i. I. 47: "He seem'din running to 
devour the way. " 

84. Head. Armed force (Schmidt) ; as in I Hen. IV. \. 3. 284 : " To 
save our heads by raising of a head;" Id. iv. 4. 25 : "a head Of gallant 
warriors, " etc. 

86. As. As if. Cf. iii. 4. 133 above. 

87. Forgot. For the form, see Gr. 343; and for the construction, Gr. 376. 

88. Of every word. " Of everything that is to serve as a watchword 
and shibboleth to the multitude " (Schmidt). " Ward," " weal," " work," 
etc., have been proposed as emendations, but none is necessary. 

93. Counter. Hounds run counter when they trace the scent back- 
wards. Turbervile, in his Book of 1 hinting, says: " When ahoundhunt- 
eth backwards the same way that the chase is come, then we say he 
hunteth counter. " Cf. C. of E. iv. 2. 39 and 2 Hen. IV. i. 2. 102. 

99. Calmly, etc. Johnson inserts here the stage-direction, " Laying 
hold on kirn. " Cf. 105 below. 

102. Unsmirched. Unstained, unsullied. Cf. besmirch, {.3. 15 above; 
and smirched in lien. V. iii. 3. 17, etc. The early eds. have "brow" or 
" browe. " 

105. Fear. Fear for. See on i. 3. 51 above. M. remarks: "The 
king is truly royal where conscience does not stand in his way. " 

106. There 's such divinity, etc. Boswell quotes from Chettle's Eng- 
landes Mourning Garment the following anecdote of Queen Elizabeth : 
While her majesty was on the river near Greenwich, a shot was fired by 
accident which struck the royal barge, and hurt a waterman near her. 
" The French ambassador being amazed, and all crying Treason, Trea- 
son! yet she, with an undaunted spirit, came to the open place of the 
barge, and bad them never feare, for if the shot were made at her, they 
durst not shoote againe : such majestic had her presence, and such bold- 
nesse her heart, that she despised all feare, and was, as all princes are or 
should be, so full of divine fullnesse, that guiltie mortalitie durst not be- 
holde her but with dazeled eyes. " 

Hedge. Caldecott refers to Job i. 10 and iii. 21. 

117. Both the worlds. This world and the next. Cf. Macb. iii. 2. 16, 
where the expression means heaven and earth. 

119. Throughly. Thoroughly. See Mer. p. 144, note en Through- 

1 20. My will. That is, only my own will (Wr.). The quartos have 
" worlds, " and Pope " world's. " 


124. h V writ, etc. Wr. compares i. 2. 222 above. 

125. S-woopstake. " Are you going to vent your rage on both friend 
and foe ; like a gambler who insists on sweeping the stakes whether the 
point is in his favour or not ?" (M.). 

128. Thus wide. With appropriate gesture. Cf. T. and C. 3i. 3. 167 

129! Pelican. The folio has " Politician." Caldecott quotes Dr. Sher- 
wen : " By the pelican's dropping upon its breast its lower bill to ena- 
ble its young to take from its capacious pouch, lined with a fine flesh- 
coloured skin, this appearance is, on feeding them, given." Rushton 
cites Lyly, Euphues: "the Pelicane, who stricketh bloud out of hir 
owne bodye to do others good." For other allusions to the same fable, 
see Rich. II. ii. I. 126 and Lear, iii. 4. 77. 

130. Repast. The verb is used by S. nowhere else. 

133. Sensibly. The reading of the earlier quartos ; the folio has 
"sensible," which some prefer. Sensibly - feelingly, as in L. L. L. iii. I. 

135. Let her come in. Given by the quartos to Laertes. The folio 
gives, as a stage-direction in the margin, " A noise within. Let her come 
in." As Theo. notes, Laertes could not know that it was his sister who 
caused the noise ; nor would he command the guards to let her in, and 
then ask what the noise meant. 

137. Virtue. Power. Cf. V. and A. 1131: "Their virtue lost" (re- 
ferring to eyes) ; and L. L. L. v. 2. 348 : " The virtue of your eye." 

139. By weight. The folio reading ; " with weight" in the quartos. 

144-146. Omitted in the quartos. M. paraphrases the passage thus : 
" Nature is so spiritualized by love that it sends its most precious func- 
tions one by one after dear ones lost, as instances or samples of itself, 
till none remain." 

149. Rains. The quartos have " rain'd." 

154. Wheel. Malone explains this as the spinning-wheel, at which the 
singer is supposed to be occupied. Cf. T. N. ii. 4. 45. Steevens makes 
the word = burden, or chorus, and quotes " from memory " a passage (but 
he cannot recollect where he saw it) in which it is thus used ; but, as F. 
remarks, "when Steevens does not adduce line, page, and title, his illus- 
trations are to be received with caution." No satisfactory example of 
the wrd in this sense has been found by anybody else. 

The story of the false steward to which Ophelia alludes has not come 
down to our day. 

156. Matter. Sense, meaning. Cf. ii. 2. 95 above. 

157. Rosemary. The symbol of remembrance, particularly used at 
weddings and funerals (Schmidt). Cf. W. T. iv. 3. 74 and R. and J. iv. 
5. 79. Sir Thomas More says of it : "I lett it run alle over my garden 
walls, not onlie because my bees love it, but because tis the herbWred 
to remembrance, and therefore to friendship ; whence a sprig of it hath a 
dumb language that maketh it the chosen emblem at our furoeiral wakes 
and in our buriall grounds." Cf. Herrick, The Rosemarie Branch: 

"Grow for two ends, it matters not at all, 
Be 't for my bridall or my buriall :" 



and Dekker, Wonderful Year : " The rosemary that was washed in sweet 
water to set out the bridal, is now wet in tears to furnish her burial." 

158. For thoughts. Because the name is from the r,pensee, thought 
The flower is the love-in-idleness of M. N. D. ii. I. 168 and 71 of S. i. I. 
156. Spenser calls it by the old name pounce. Cf. F. Q. in. 1. 36 : 

" Sweet Rosemaryes 
And fragrant violets, and Paunces trim ;" 

(d. Hi. II. 37 : " The one a Paunce, the other a Sweet-breare ;" and Shep. 
Kal.Apr.: "The pretie Pawnee, 

And the Chevisaunce." 

Milton (Lycidas, 144) speaks of it as " the pansy freak'd with jet" C 
P. L. ix. 1040 and Comus, 851. 

159. Document. Lesson, precept ; used by S. nowhere else. Cf. Spen- 
ser, F. Q. i. 10. 19 : "And heavenly documents thereout did preach." 

161. Fennel. Malone says : " Ophelia gives her fennel and columbines 
to the king. In A Handfull of Pleasant Deities, 1584, the former is thus 
mentioned: 'Fennel is for flatterers,' etc. See also Florio, Ital. Diet. 
1598 : ' Dare finocchio, to give fennel, ... to flatter, to dissemble.' " The 
plant was supposed to have many virtues, which are well stated by Long- 
fellow in The Goblet of Life: 

"Above the lowly plants it towers, 
The fennel, with Us yellow flowers, 
And in an earlier age than ours 
Was gifted with the wondrous powers, 

Lost vision to restore. 
It gave new strength and fearless mood; 
And gladiators, fierce and rude, 
Mingled it in their daiiy food; 
And he who battled and subdued 
A wreath of fennel wore." 

Cf. 2 Hen. TV. ii. 4. 267 : "and a' plays at quoits well, and eats conger 
and fennel." * 

Columbines. Cf. L. L. L. v. 2. 661 : " That columbine." Steevens 
quotes Chapman, All Fools, 1605 : 

"What 's that?-a columbine? 
No: that thankless flower grows not in rny garden " 

It was the emblem of cuckoldom on account of the horns of its nectani', 
The Caltha Poetarum, 1599, speaks of it as "the blue cornuted colum- 
bine." It was also emblematic of forsaken lovers. Holt White quotes 
Browne, Brit. Past. \. 2 : 

" The columbine in tawny often taken 
Is then ascribed to such as are forsaken." 

162. Rue. This she gives to the queen. It was "the symbol of sorry 
remembrance " (Schmidt). Cf. W. T. iv. 4. 74 and Rick. II. iii. 4. 105. It 
was also called herb of grace, a name appropriate on Sunday, as Ophelia 

* Our younger readers may be interested in the fact that ferule is derived from th 
Latin ferula^ the name of the giant fennel, the stalks of which were usd a 
by the Roman schoolmaster. 

252 NOTES. 

says. Cf. A. W. iv. 5. 18. It was specially in repute as an eye-salve 
Cf. Milton, P. L. xi. 414 : 

"then purged with euphrasy and rue 
The visual nerve, for he had much to see." 

Ellacombe quotes the old lines of the Schola Salerrii: "Nobilis est ruta 
quia lumina reddit acuta," etc. 

163. With a difference. " The difference between the ruth and wretch- 
edness of guilt, and the ruth and sorrows of misfortune " (CaldecottJ. 
Skeat explains the passage thus : " I offer you rue, which has two mean- 
ings : it is sometimes called herb of grace, and in that sense I take some 
for myself; but with a slight difference of spelling it means ruth, and in 
that respect it will do for you." He adds that the explanation is Shake- 
speare's own, and refers to Rich. II. iii. 4. 105. For a different explana- 
tion, see Schmidt, s. v. 

164. Daisy. Cf. iv. 7. 168 below ; also L. L. L. v. 2. 904 and R. of L. 
395. Daisied occurs in Cymb. iv. 2. 398. It was the favourite flower of 
Chaucer. Cf. Legends of Goode Women, 40 : 

"Now have I thanne suche a condition, 
That of al the floures in the mede, 
Thanne love I most these floures white and rede, 
Suche as men callen daysyes in our toune." 

It does not appear to whom Ophelia gives the daisy ; probably either to 
the king or queen (Wr.). Henley quotes Greene, who calls it " the des- 
sembling daisie." 

Violets, Malone quotes a sonnet printed in 1584 : " Violet is for faith- 
fulnesse." Cf. i. 3. 7 above and v. i. 229 below. 

167. The song of Bonny Sweet Robin is found in Anthony Holborne's 
Cittharn Schoole, 1597, in William Ballet's Lute Book, and in many other 
books and manuscripts of the time. In Fletcher's Two Noble Kinsmen, 
iL i, the jailer's daughter, when mad, says : " I can sing The Broom and 
Bonny Robin " (Chappell). 

168. Thought. Anxiety, trouble. Cf. iii. I. 85 above. Passion - " vio- 
lent sorrow " (Schmidt) ; as in T. A. \. i. 106 : " A mother's tears in pas- 
sion for her son," etc. Cf. ii. 2. 504 above. 

169. Favour. Attractiveness. Cf. Oth. iv. 3. 21 : " even his stubborn- 
ness, his checks, his frowns . . . have grace and favour in them." See 
p. 28 above. 

179. God ka 1 mercy. The folio has "Gramercy ;" perhaps to avoid 
the introduction of the name of God. See on ii. i. 76 above. 

1 80. Of all. On all. See Gr. 181. 

182. Commune. Accented on the first syllable by S., except, perhaps. 
in W. T. ii. i. 162 (Schmidt). The folio has " common." 

184. Of whom, etc. That is, "of your wisest friends, whom you will" 
(Wr.). Cf.Gr. 4 26. 

187. Touched. That is, accessary to the deed (Schmidt). 

193. His means of death. The means of his death (Gr. 423). 

Obscure. The usual accent in S., but we have the modern one in 
V. and A. 237 and 2 Hen. VI. iv. i. 50 (Schmidt). The verb is always 
obscure. See Gr. 490 and 492. 


Burial. The quartos and some modern eds. have " funeral.** 

194. Hatchment. An armorial escutcheon used at funerals. 

195. Ostentation. Also used of funeral pomp in Muck Ado, iv. I. 207 : 
"a mourning ostentation." 

197. That. For the omission of so, see Gr. 283, and cf. iv. 7. 146 below. 

SCENE VI. i. What. Equivalent, as often, to who, but only in the 
predicate (Schmidt). Cf. Temp. v. i. 85, M.for M. ii. I. 62, iv. 2. 132, iv 
3. 27, v. i. 472, etc. 

10. Let to know. Caused or made to know (Schmidt). For the to, see 
Gr. 349. 

12. Overlooked. Looked over, perused. Cf. Hen. V. ii. 4. 90 : " Will- 
ing you overlook this pedigree." 

13. Means. Means of access, introduction (Caldecott). 

14. Two days old at sea. Cf. M. for M. iv. 2. 135 : " one that is a pris- 
oner nine years old ;" C. of E. i. I. 45 : "my absence was not six months 
old ;" Id. ii. 2. 150 : " In Ephesus I am but two hours old," etc. 

15. Appointment. Equipment ; as in K. John, ii. i. 296, etc. 

16. Compelled. Enforced, involuntary. Cf. R. of L. 1708 : "this com- 
pelled stain ;" M.for M. ii. 4. 57 : " our compell'd sins," etc. 

1 8. Thieves of mercy. Merciful thieves. Cf. i. 2. 4 above : "brow of 
woe," etc. 

19. But they knew what they did. This has been thought to prove that 
the capture of Hamlet was not accidental, but a prearranged plan of his 
own. Clearly, however, it does not refer to the capture, but to the " mer- 
cy" shown him afterwards, and it is explained by what follows : " I am 
to do a good turn for them." Hamlet saw how he could turn the acci- 
dent to account, and had persuaded the pirates to assist him in the plan. 
What Hamlet says in iii. 4. 202-207 ^ as Deen quoted in proof of this 
supposed counterplot ; but all that he meant there was that he would 
find some way to circumvent his enemies. He had no plan formed, but 
felt that he was a match for them in craft. " Let it work," he says, " for 
it shall go hard but I will manage to countermine them." As Snider 
has said, his own account (in v. 2) of the adventure with the pirates re- 
futes the notion that it was a device of his own. 

21. As than wouldst fly death. That is, wouldst fly death with. For 
similar ellipses with as, see Gr. 384. 

22. Will make. For the omission of the relative, see Gr. 244. 

23. For the bore, etc. " For the calibre of the facts " (M.). 

27. Make. The reading of the 4th quarto, the word being omitted in 
the earlier quartos ; the folio has "give." 

SCENE VII. 3. Sith. See on ii. 2. 6 above. 
4. Which. See Gr. 265. 

7. Crimeful. The quartos have "criminall." Wr. says that S. does 
not use crimeful elsewhere ; but cf. R. of L. 970 : "To make him curse 
this cursed crimeful night." 

8. Safety. Some modern eds. follow the quartos in reading "safety 


1C. Unsine<J>&. Weak. Cf. j*w^/(=strengtrieAidf) in A: y^w, v. f. 
88, and insinewed (^joined in sinews, allied) in 2 Hun. IV. iv. i. 172. 
II. But. The quarto reading ; the folio has " And." 

13. Be it either -which. Whichever it be. See Gr. 273. 

14. Conjunctive. Conjoined, closely united ; as in Oth. i. 3. 374 : " con. 
junctive in our revenge." 

15. Sphere. Alluding to the old Ptolemaic theory that the heavenly 
oodies were set in crystal spheres, by the revolution of which they were 
carried round. Cf. Temp. ii. i. 183, M. N. D. ii. I. 7, 153> "' 2 - 6l K - J ohn > 
v. 7. 74, T. and C. i. 3. 90, etc. See also Milton, Hymn on Nativ. 125 fol. : 
" Ring out, ye crystal spheres," etc. 

17. Count. Account, trial. It is the same as compt. Cf. Oth, v. 2. 
273 : " when we shall meet at compt " (" count " in the 1st quarto) ; that 
is, at the judgment-day. Abbott (Gr. 460) gives it as a contraction of 
account, but we find both compt and count in this sense in prose. See on 
scape, i. 3. 38 above. 

18. General gender. " The common race of the people " (Johnson). S. 
uses the word also in Oth. i. 3. 326 .- " one gender of herbs ;" and in 
The Phoenix and the Turtle, 18 : " thy sable gender." Cf. " the general," 
ii. 2. 423 above. 

20. The spring, etc. Reed says that the allusion is to the dropping- 
well at Knaresborough in Yorkshire, which is described by Camden in 
his Britannia, 1590. Wr. quotes Lyly, E 'up hues : " Would I had sipped 
of that ryuer in Caria, which turneth those that drinke of it to stones." 

21. Convert his gyves, etc. " Were I to put him in fetters, the bonds 
would only give him more general favour " (M.). Schmidt calls this " an 
obscure passage not yet satisfactorily explained or amended," but per- 
haps having the meaning just given. 

22. Loud a wind. The quartos have "loued Arm'd " or " loued armes." 
Steevens quotes Ascham, Toxophilits: " Weake bowes,and lyghte shaftes 
can not stande in a rough wynde." 

24. And not where. For the ellipsis, cf. Gr. 382. 

25. Have. Here used in its original sense = find, as the next line 
shows (Gr. 425). 

27. If praises, etc. " If I may praise what has been, but is now to be 
found no more " (Johnson). 

28. Stood challenger, etc. " Challenged all the age to deny her perfec- 
tion " (F.). M. thinks there is an allusion to the coronation of the Em- 
peror of Austria as King of Hungary, " when on the Mount of Defi- 
ance at Presburg, he unsheathes the ancient sword of state, and shaking 
it towards north, south, east, and west, challenges the four corners of the 
world to dispute his rights." 

30. Sleeps. See on loves, i. 1. 173. 

32. Shook. S. generally has shook for both past tense and participle, 
but sometimes shaked (cf. Temp. ii. I. 319, Hen. V. ii. i. 124, etc.). Shaken 
occurs five times. Gr. 343. For witA=by, see Gr. 193. 

45. Your kingly eyes. See on iv. 4. 6 above. 

46. Sudden,etc. " Sudden, and even more strange than sudden" (Gr.6), 
48. Should. See Gr. 325. 

ACT /y. SCENE VH. 255 

49. Abuse. Deception, delusion. Cf. M.for M. v. I. 205 "a strange 
abuse :" also the use of the verb in ii. 2. 590 above. 

50. Character. Handwriting. Cf. W. T. v. 2. 38 : " the letters of Antig- 
onus found with it which they know to be his character," etc. For the 
accent, see on i. 3. 59 above. 

56. Didest. The folio has "diddest," the quartos "didst." The 1st 
quarto, in the corresponding passage, reads: "That I shall liue to tell 
him, thus he dies." Didest is not found elsewhere in S. 

57. As how, etc. We should expect " How should it not be so ?" but 
S. is elsewhere inexact in repeating and omitting the negative (Deli us). 
See A. Y. L. p. 156, note on No more do yours. Perhaps, as Wr. suggests, 
the first clause refers to Hamlet's return, the second to Laertes's feel- 

58. RuFd. So in the folio, which makes one line of how otherwise . . . 
by me? and omits Ay, my lord. Walker, to fill out the measure, suggests 
"my0</lord." Abbott (Gr. 482) makes Ay a dissyllable, as in ii. I. 36 
above. Cf. T. ofS. iv. 4. 2, Cor. v. 3. 125, and Lear, ii. I. in. 

59. So. Provided that. Gr. 133. 

61. Checking at. The earlier quartos have " the King at," the latei 
ones "liking not." To check at was a term in falconry, applied to a 
hawk when she forsakes her proper game and follows some other (D.). 
Cf. T. N. ii. 5. 124 and iii. I. 71. 

66. Uncharge. " Acquit of blame, not accuse " (Schmidt). So unbles* 
=not bless, neglect to bless, in Soim. 3. 4. 

Practice artifice, plot ; as in 137 and v. 2. 305 below. Cf. M. for M. 
v. I. 123 : "This needs must be a practice," etc. 

67-80. My lord . . . graveness. Omitted in the folio. 

69. Falls. Happens. Cf. M. N. D. v. I. 188: "it will fall pat as I 
told you," etc. 

72. Your sum of parts. All your "qualities" or gifts. Ct v. 2. 1 10 
below : " the continent of what part a gentleman would see." 

73. Pluck. A favourite word with S. For pluck fromdraw from, 
cf. Sonn. 14. i, M. ofV. iv, i. 30, Hen. V. iv. chor. 42, Cor. ii. 3. 200, etc. 

75. Siege. Rank ; literally, seat (M.for M. iv. 2. 101). Cf. Oth. i. 2. 
22 : " From men of royal siege." 

79. Sables. See on iii. 2. 113 above ; and for weeds = robes, dress, see 
M. N. D. p. 149. Cf. Milton, VAIL 120 : " In weeds of peace," etc. 

80. Health. Malone, Wr., and others explain this as -care for health, 
such as characterizes elderly men ; but it seems better, with Schmidt, to 
make it = prosperity. Cf. i. 3. 21 above and v. 2. 21 below ; also L. L. L. 
ii. i. 178, etc. F. thinks that health may refer to careless livery, and grave- 
ness to sables and weeds. Cf. iii. I. 151 above and Macb. i. 3. 60. Warb. 
proposed " wealth." 

83. Can. The folio has " ran," an obvious misprint, but followed by 
Rowe and Caldecott. For this absolute use of can, cf. v. 2. 308 below : 
"I can no more." See Gr. 307. 

84. Into. The quartos and many modern eds. have " unto." 

86. As he had. The early eds., except the quarto of 1676, bare * M 
had he." For <w, see Gr. 109. 

256 NOTES. 

Incorps'd. Made one body, " incorporate " (C. of E. ii. 2. 124, M. .V. A 
iii. 2. 208, etc.). Steevens quotes Sidney, Arcadia : " As if, Centaur-like, 
he had been one peece with the horse." 

87. Topped. Overtopped, surpassed; as in Macb. iv. 3, 57: "to top 
Macbeth," etc. 

88. Forgery. Invention (Schmidt). "I could not contrive so many 
proofs of dexterity as he could perform " (Johnson). 

91. Lamond. The quartos have "Lamord," the folio " Lamound." 
Mr. C. E. Brown (quoted by F.) thinks there may be an allusion to Pi- 
etro Monte (whose name is given in English of the time as "Peter 
Mount"), a famous cavalier and swordsman, the instructor of Louis the 
Seventh's Master of Horse. 

92. Brooch. An ornamental buckle for the hat. See Rich. If. p. 219. 

94. Confession. Implying that Lamond would not willingly acknowl- 
edge the superiority of Laertes (Delius). 

95. Such a masterly report. " Such a report of mastership, an account 
of your consummate skill" (Schmidt). 

96. Defence. That is, the science of defence (Johnson). 

99. Scrimers. Fencers (Fr. escrimeur} ; a word not found elsewhere. 
W. prints " th' escrimeurs." 

101. Sir, etc. "Note how the king first awakens Laertes's vanity by 
praising the reporter, and then gratifies it by the report itself, and finally 
points it by these lines" (Coleridge). 

no. Love is begun, etc. " As love begins at some given point of time, 
so I see by passages of experience that time also abates it" (M.); in 
other words, love is nojt innate, and experience shows that it is not im- 

On proof, cf./. C. ii. I. 21 : " 't is a common proof," etc. See also iii. 
2. 152 above. 

113-122. There lives ... the ulcer. Omitted in the folio. 

115. A like. A uniform, the same. Still = always, constantly; as in 
ii. 2. 42 above. 

116. Plurisy. Plethora. " The dramatic writers of that time frequently 
call a fulness of blood a plurisy, as it came, not from ir\evpd, but from 
plus, pluris " (Warb.). Cf. Massinger, The Picture, iv. 2 : " A plurisy of 
ill blood you must let out;" and Unnatural Combat, iv. I : " Thy plurisy 
of goodness is thy ill," etc. 

117. Too-much. Schmidt compares Lear, v. 3. 206 : " To amplify too- 
much would make much more." On compounds in S. see Gr. 429 fol. 

118. On should and would, see Gr. 323, 329. 

121. Spendthrift sigh. The reading of the quarto of 1676; the earlier 
quartos have " spend thirfts sigh " and " spend-thrifts sigh." It probably 
means a wasting sigh, alluding to the old notion that every sigh caused 
the loss of a drop of blood from the heart. Cf. M. N. D. iii. 2. 97 : " With 
sighs of love that costs the fresh blood dear;" and see note in our ed. 
p. 163. M. explains the passage thus: "he who vainly acknowledges 
that he 'should' have done a thing is like a spendthrift sighing for his 
squandered estate." 

122. To the quick. Cf. ii. 2. 584 above. 


iz6. Sanctuarizc. Be a sanctuary to, or protect from punishment 
(Schmidt). Cf. C. of E. v. i. 94: 

" he took this place for sanctuary, 
And it shall privilege him from your hands." 

For similar allusions, see 3 Hen. VI. iv. 4. 31, Rich. III. ii. 4. 66, iii. I. 28, 
42, iv. I. 94, etc. 

130. Put on those shall, etc. For put on instigate, cf. v. 2. 371 below: 
"deaths put on by cunning," etc.; and for the omission of the relative, 
Gr. 244. 

133. Remiss. Careless. As Wr. notes, the word is "seldom if ever 
used now except with reference to some particular act of negligence." 
Cf. I Hen. VI. iv. 3. 29: "while remiss traitors sleep." 

134. Contriving. In a bad sense = plotting; as in J. C. ii-3- \>,Rich.II. 
i. 3. 189, Hen. V. iv. i. 171, etc. 

135. Peruse. Examine closely. CL perusal, ii. i. 90 above. 

137. Unbated. Not blunted, as foils are by a button fixed to the end 
(Malone). In M. of V. ii. 6. 1 1, it means unabated. For bate = \.o blunt, 
see Z. Z. L. i. I. 6; and for bateless = not to be blunted, K. of L. 9. 
Steevens quotes North's Plutarch: "the cruel fight of fencers at unre- 
bated swords." Cf. M. for M. i. 4. 60 : " rebate and blunt his natural 
edge." So abate =\A\xf\\., in 2 flen. IV. i. I. 117 and Rich. III. v. 5. 35. 

A pass of practice. A treacherous thrust; or, possibly, a pass in 
which you are well practised. For practice in the former sense, cf. 66 

138. I will do V, etc. " Laertes shows by his horrid suggestion of the 
poison how little need there was for the king to prepare the temptation 
as carefully as he had done" (M.). 

140. Mountebank. Quack (Schmidt). Cf. Oth. i. 3. 6l : "medicines 
bought of mountebanks," etc. Wr. quotes Bacon, Adv. of L. \. 10. 2 : 
" Nay, we see the weakness and credulity of man is such, as they will 
often prefer a mountebank or witch before a learned physician;" and 
Cotgrave, Fr. Diet, (under charlatan) : "A Mountebanke, a cousening 
drug-seller, a pratling quack-saluer." 

141. Mortal. Deadly; as often. See Rich. II. p. 189 or Macb. p. 171. 

143. Simples. Herbs (as the ingredients of a compound). Cf.A'.ofL. 
530, A. Y. L. iv. i. 16, A', and J. v. I. 40, etc. 

144. Under the moon. Probably = on the earth. Cf. Lear, iv. 6. 26, 
A. and C. iv. 15. 68, etc. J. H. explains it : "plants that have magic vir- 
tue when gathered by moonlight." 

146. Contagion. Poison; the abstract for the concrete, like unction=. 
ointment (Wr.). That=so that, as in iv. 5. 197 above. 

149. At ay Jit us, etc. May enable us to act our part (Johnson). 

150. And that. And if. Gr. 285. So and that- and when, in 158 be- 
low. Look througk = shovi itself through, appear through. 

152. A back. " A support in reserve," (Schmidt). 

153. Ff this, etc "A metaphor taken from the trying or proving of 
fire-arms or cannon, which blast or burst in the proof" (Steevens). 

154. Your cunnings. Your respective skill Cf. ii. 2. 427, 577 above. 
The folio has " commings," which Caldecott (followed by K.) explains 


258 NOTES. 

as = bouts at fence. Cotgrave has "Venue, f. A comming ; also, a ven 
nie in fencing." 

157. As. For so. See on iv. 3. 58 above. 

158. Prepared. The quartos have " prefard " or "preferd." 

159. For the nonce. For the occasion ; a corruption of for then onct 
(Wb.). C I Hen. IV. L 2. 201 : "cases of buckram for the nonce,'* 

160. Stuck. Thrust; "more properly stock, an abbreviation of staccato 1 
(D.). Cf. 71 N. iii. 4. 303 : " he gives me the stuck." 

162. One woe, etc. Cf. iv. 5. 61 above : " When sorrows come," etc. 
Wr. quotes Per. i. 4. 63 ; and Ritson cites Locrine (one of the plays that 
have been ascribed to S.), v. 5, where Sabren drowns herself and Queen 
Gwendoline exclaims: "One mischief follows [on] another's neck." 

165. There is, etc. Wr. considers this speech, with its enumeration of 
flowers, " unworthy of its author and the occasion." F. quotes Campbell 
(see p. 21, foot-note), Blackwood^s Mag. : "The queen was affected after 
a fashion by the picturesque mode of Ophelia's death, and takes more 
pleasure in describing it than any one would who really had a heart. 
Gertrude was a gossip, and she is gross even in her grief." 

Aslant. Beisley says : " This willow, the Salix alba, grows on the 
banks of most of our small streams, particularly the Avon, near Strat- 
ford, and from the looseness of the soil the trees partly lose their hold, 
and bend 'aslant' the stream." 

166. Hoar. " Willow leaves are green on the upper side, but silvery- 
grey, or hoary, on the under side, which it shows in the glassy stream " 
(Clarke). Cf. Lowell, Among My Books, p. 185 (though he misquotes the 

167. Come. The quartos have "make," and the 2d and 3d quartos 

168. Crow-flowers. According to Beisley, the crowfoot (Ranunculus 
bulbosus and acris] ; but Ellacombe says that in the time of S. the name 
was applied to the " Ragged Robin " (Lychnis floscuculi}. 

Long purples. " The early purple orchis (Orchis mascula) which blos- 
soms in April and May " (Beisley). According to the same authority, 
the name dead-men' s-fingers was given to other species having palmated 
roots (Orchis maculata and latifolia). 

169. Liberal. Free-spoken; as in Kick. II. ii. \. 229: "a liberal 
tongue ;" and Oth. v. 2. 220 : No, I will speak as liberal as the north." 
Elsewhere, it means wanton, licentious ; as in Much Ado, iv. r. 93, M. of 
V. ii. 2. 194, etc. It may have that sense here. The old Herbals give 
more than one " grosser name " for the flower. 

170. Cold. Chaste; as in Temp. iv. I. 66: "To make cold nymphs 
chaste crowns," etc. 

172. Sliver. Here - a small branch. See Macb. p. 229. 

176. Which time. For the omission of the preposition, see Gr. 202, 
For tunes the quartos have "laudes" or "lauds" ( = psalms). 

177. Incapable. Insensible. See on iii. 4. 125 above. 

i7& Native. Cf. i. 2. 47 above. /</w^=fitted, suited Cf. Oth. iii 
V I4o: 

ACT V. SCENE I. 259 

nger ac 

Our other healthful members even to that sense 
Of pain : " 

that is, imparts to them the feeling of the same pain. In Hen, V. ii. 2. 
139, " best indued " = best endowed. 
181. Poor wretch. Cf. ii. 2. 1 68 above. 

186. Trick. Habit. Cf. A. and C. v. 2. 75 : " Is 't not your trick? " 
2 Hen. IV. i. 2. 240 : " the trick of our English nation," etc. 
1 88. The woman. Steevens quotes Hen, V. iv. 6. 31 : 
" But I had not so much of man in me, 
And all the mother came into mine eyes, 
And gave me up to tears." 

Wr. adds T. N. ii. I. 41. Cf. Hen. VIII. iii. 2. 431 : " to play the woman." 
190. Douts. That is, does out, extinguishes. The quartos and later 
folios have " drownes " or "drowns;" the ist folio "doubts," as in the 
only other passage in which S. uses the word, Hen. V. iv. 2. n : "And 
dout them with superfluous courage." Cf. note on i. 4. 36, 37 above. 


SCENE I. 4. Straight. Probably ^immediately; as in ii. 2. 418 above. 
Johnson says: " Make her grave from east to west, in a direct line, par- 
allel with the church; not from north to south, athwart the regular line;" 
and M. : " Not the mere hole in which a person should be buried on 
whom a felo de se verdict has been found." 

9. Offendendo. The clown's blunder for defendendo ; as jfrgai in 12 is 
his. corruption of ergo. J. H. thinks he uses it intentional^: "by offend- 
ing herself; that is, it cannot be in defence of herself, but by offence to 

13. Delver. " Hence it would appear that the Second Clown is not a 
grave-digger " (Walker). 

1 6. Nill. Will not. Cf. P. P.iSS: " In scorn or friendship, nill I con- 
strue whether;" and Per. iii. prol. 55: "I nill relate." J. H. quotes 
Latimer, Sermons : " Such men should be witnesses will they nill they;" 
and Edwards, Damon and Pythias : " Will. I or nill I. it must be done." 

21. Crowner's quest law. Sir John Hawkins suspects that S. here 
meant to ridicule a case reported by Plowden. Sir James Hales had 
drowned himself in a fit of insanity, and the legal question was whether 
his lease was thereby forfeited to the Crown. Much subtlety was ex- 
pended in finding out whether Sir James was the agent or the patient, 
that is, whether he went to the water or the water came to him. The fol- 
lowing is part of the argument : " 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 offence it is reasonable to punish the living man who 

,$0 NOTES. 

committed the offence, and not the dead man. But how can he be said 
to be punished alive when the punishment comes after death ?" etc., etc. 

25. Say'st. That is, well, or to the purpose (Schmidt). Cf. T.G.ofV. 
ii. 4. 29 : " You have said, sir." See also T. M iii. I. 12, Oth. iv. 2. 204, 
and A. and C. ii. 6. 113. 

27. Even-Christian. Fellow-Christian. The quartos have "theyreuen 
Christen;" and Capell and F. read "their even -Christen." Steevens 
quotes Chaucer, Persones Tale : " his neighebour, that is to say, of his 
even Christen " (Morris prints " evencristen "). Nares cites Sir Thomas 
More : "to fighte against their even Christen." Caldecott and Wr. add 
other examples of this and similar expressions ; as "euen-seruant " (fel 
low-servant), "euene-caytif" (fellow-prisoner), etc. 

29. Hold up. Follow up, continue (Schmidt). Cf. M. N. D. iii. 2. 239 : 
" hold the sweet jest up ;" 2 Hen. IV. iv. 2. 48 : " And heir from heir 
shall hold this quarrel up," etc. 

30. A gentleman. Douce says that Gerard Leigh, one of the oldest 
writers on heraldry, speaks of "Jesus Christ, a gentleman of great lin- 
eage, and King of the Jews ;" and again : " the second man that was 
born was a gentleman, whose name was Abell. I say a gentleman both 
of vertue and lignage, with whose sacrifice God was much pleased. His 
brother Cain was ungentle, for he offered God the worst of his fruites." 
Adam's spade is mentioned in some of the books of heraldry as the most 
ancient form of escutcheon. 

39. Go to. Come ! a common phrase of exhortation or reproof. Cf. 
Temp. v. I. 297, etc. 

40. What. Who. See on iv. 6. I above. 

51. Unyoke. That is, your day's work is done (Caldecott). J. H. sees 
an allusion to Judges^ xiv. 18. 
54. Mass. " By the mass " (ii. I. 50 above). 

58. Yaughan. The folio reading (in italics, as if a proper name) ; the 
quartos have "get thee in." The word is apparently meant as the name 
of an alehouse-keeper, and has been suspected to be a corruption of 
Johan, the Danish John. Mr. C. E. Browne (quoted by F.) says that 
it is a common Welsh name, and may have been that of some Welsh 
tavern-keeper near the theatre. 

59. Stoup. A drinking-cup. Cf. v. 2. 255 below ; also T. N. ii. 3. 14, 
129, and Otk. ii. 3. 30. 

60. In youth, etc. The clown sings some disjointed lines of a song by 
Lord Vaux, entitled "The aged lover renounceth love." It was printed 
in a collection of " Songes and Sonnettes," published by Tottel in 1557 
The following are the stanzas that are of interest here ; 

" I lothe that I did loue, 
In youth that I thought swete: 
As time requires for my behoue 
Me thinkes they are not mete. 

For age with stelytig steppes, 

Hath clawed me with his cowche [crowch], 

And lusty life away she leapes, 

4s there had bene none such. 

ACT V, SCENE I. 26 1 

A pikeax and a spade 
And eke a shrowdyng shete, 
A house of claye for to be made, 
For such a gest most mete. 

For beauty with her bande 
These croked cares hath wrought: 
And shipped me into the lande, 
From whence I first was brought." 

62. The O ! and ah ! form no part of the song, but are " only the 
breath forced out by the strokes of the mattock" (Jennens). 

66. Easiness. " Freedom from emotion, unconcernedness" (Schmidt). 
Perhaps property of easiness is simply = an easy property, an easy thing 
for him. Cf. iv. 6. 19 above: "thieves of mercy." 

69. Daintier. Nicer, more delicate. Cf. L. L. L. iv. 3. 339, etc. 

72. Intil. Into. Wr. quotes Chaucer, C. 7'. 2064 : " Ther saugh I 
Dyane turned intil a tree." 

75. Jowls. Knocks. Cf. A. IV. i. 3. 58: "They may jowl horns to- 
gether." Clarke remarks here : " If proof were wanted of the exquisite 
propriety and force of effect with which S. uses words, and words of even 
homely fashion, there could hardly be a more pointed instance than the 
verb jowls here. " What strength it gives to the impression of the head 
and cheek-bone smiting against the earth ! and how it makes the imag- 
ination feel the bruise in sympathy ! " 

77. Politician. " A plotter, a schemer for his own advantage ; as in 
I Hen. IV. i. 3. 241, and T. N. iii. 2. 34" (St.). ' 

O'er-reaches. Apparently = has the better of. The folio has " o're 
Offices," and some modern eds. read "o'er-offices" = is higher in office. 

82. That praised, etc. Steevens compares T. of A. i. 2. 216 fol. 

86. Mazzard. The head (contemptuous). Cf. Oth. ii. 3. 155: "I '11 
knock you over the mazzard." 

87. Revolution. Change of fortune. Cf. A. and C. i. 2. 129: 

" the present pleasure, 
By revolution lowering, does become 
The opposite of itself." 

Trick^" knack, faculty" (Caldecott). 

88. Loggats. A game in which loggats, or small logs, are thrown at a 
mark. We have seen a similar game played in some parts of New Eng- 
land under the name of " loggerheads." Wr. quotes B. J., Tale of a Tub, 
iv. 6: 

" Now are they tossing of his legs and arms 
Like loggats at a pear-tree." 

Halliwell gives the following from a poem of 1611 : 
" To wrastle, play at stooleball, or to runne, 
To pich the Barre, or to shoote off a Gunne, 
To play at Loggats, Nine-holes, or Ten-pinnes; 
To try it out at Foot-ball by the shinnes." 

91. For and. Equivalent to "And eke" in the song as given above. 
D. quotes B. and F., Knt. of Burning Pescle, ii. 3 : 

" and with him comes the lady 
For and the Squire of Damsels," etc. 


92. For to. See on iii. I. 167 above. 

95. Quiddits. The folio reading; the quartos have * quiddities," ol 
which quiddits is a contraction. It was applied to the subtleties or nice 
distinctions of logic and law Overbury, in his Characters, speaks of thf 
pettifogger who "makes his will in form of a law-case, full of quiddits." 
Quillets means much the same. Cf. L. L. L. iv. 3. 288 : " Some tricks, 
some quillets, how to cheat the devil;" i Hen. VI. ii. 4. 17 : "these nict 
sharp quillets of the law," etc. 

On the law terms which follow, Lord Campbell remarks that they are 
"all used seemingly with a full knowledge of their import ; and it would 
puzzle some practising barristers ... to go over the whole seriatim, and 
to define each of them satisfactorily." 

IOI. The fine of his fines. The end of all his fines; a play upon the 
word. We have^/?*=end in ii."2. 69 and iv. 7. 132 above. 

104. A pair of indentures. "Indentures were agreements made out in 
duplicate, of which each party kept one. Both were written on the same 
sheet, which was cut in two in a crooked or indented line, in order that 
the fitting of the two parts might prove the genuineness of both in case 
of dispute "(Wr.). 

106. Box. Alluding to the boxes in which attorneys keep their deeds 

inheritor here Downer, possessor ; as in L. L L. ii. I. 5 and Rich. III. 
iv. 3. 34 (Schmidt). 

no. Assurance. Safety, security; with a play on the legal sense of 
"conveyance of lands by deed." 

Ii6. Thine. "Note that throughout this dialogue Hamlet addresses 
the Clown in the second person singular, while the Clown replies in the 
second person plural " (R). See Gr. 231, 232. 

120. Quick. Opposed to dead, as in 240 below. Cf. Acts. x. 42, etc. 
See Hen. V. p. 156. 

130. Absolute. Positive, certain ; as in Macb. iii. 6. 40, Cor. iii. 1. 90, iii. 
2. 39, etc. 

Speak by the card. That is, with the utmost precision. The card 
is probably the chart of the navigator, though some take it to be the 
compass-card. St. thinks the allusion is to the card and calendar of eti- 
quette, or book of manners. See A. Y. L. p. 198, and cf. v. 2. 109 below. 

133. Picked. " Refined " (Schmidt) ; " smart, sharp " (Hanmer). Cf. 
L. L. L. v. i. 14: " He is too picked, too spruce, too affected, too odd ;" 
and K. John, i. I. 193 : " My picked man of countries." 

134. Kibe. Chilblain. Cf. Temp. ii. i. 276, M. W. L 3. 35, and Lear, \. 

136. Of all the days, etc. Wr. quotes R. and J. i. 3. 16 : 
" Even or odd, of all days in the year, 

Come Lammas-eve at night shall she be fourteen." 

140. Hamlet was born. This, in connection with what follows, makes 
Hamlet thirty years old. which Blackstone thought to be inconsistent 
with his going back to Wittenberg (i. 2. 113). Tschischwitz replies that 
this is now no unusual age for a student at a German university; but, 
according to Minto and others, it would have been unusual in the time 

ACT v. SCE^EJ, 263 

of S., when young men generally left the university at the age of seven- 
teen or eighteen. Besides, many other things in the early part of the 
play seem to show that Hamlet was " nearer twenty than thirty." Dow. 
den, on the other hand, argues that these allusions to youth are not in- 
consistent with the theory that Hamlet was thirty. The age at which S. 
conceives " that boyhood is blooming into adult strength and beauty " is 
"from twenty -one to twenty -five." Henry V. when he ascended the 
throne was twenty-six, yet the Bishop of Ely speaks of him as " in the 
very May-morn of his youth." " The stolen sons of Cymbeline, boys just 
ready to be men, are aged twenty-three and twenty-two," etc. Cf. Muck 
Ado, in. 3. 141 : "all the hot bloods between fourteen and five-and-thir- 
ty." The grave-digger himself speaks of "young Hamlet." On the 
whole, we may make Hamlet at least twenty-five, even if we hesitate to 
call him thirty. Perhaps, as Furnivall suggests, " when S. began the play 
he conceived Hamlet as quite a young man ; but as the play grew, as 
greater weight of reflection, of insight into character, of knowledge of 
life, etc. were wanted, he necessarily and naturally made Hamlet a formed 
man ; and by the time that he got to the grave-diggers' scene, told us 
the Prince was thirty the right age for him then." For a resume of 
the interesting discussion on this subject, see F. vol. i. pp. 391-394, and 
cf. preface, pp. xiv.-xvii. 

146. There the men, etc. Wr. quotes Marston, Malcontent, iii. I : " Your 
lordship shall ever finde . . . amongst a hundred Englishmen fourscore 
and ten madmen." 

158. You, See on me, ii. 2. 421 above, or Gr. 220. 

Eight year. See on a thousand pound, iii. 2. 266 above. 

171. Yorick. Perhaps the Danish Jdrg (George). F. notes that "Jer 
ick " is the name of a "Dutch Bowr" in Chapman's Alphonsus. 

178. It is. That is, this skull which is all that is left of him. W. says : 
" What he abhors, what his gorge rises at, is his imagination that here 
hung the lips, that he has kissed.'" Gorge = throat, swallow, stomach 
(Schmidt). Cf. V. and A. 58, W. T. ii. I. 44, Oth. ii. i. 236, etc. 

181. On a roar. For on, see Gr. 180. 

184. Favotir. Look, appearance; as often. Cf. M. for M. iv. 2. 34: 
" Pray, sir, by your good favour, for surely, sir, a good favour you have, 
but that you have a hanging look," etc. See also M. N. D. p. 130. 

195. Curiously. Fancifully, ingeniously. Cf. T. of S. iv. 3. 144: "the 
sleeves curiously cut." Horatio anticipates some fanciful or far-fetched 
reasoning here, to which Hamlet replies that he will " follow him thither 
with modesty enough and likelihood" that is, not overstepping "the mod- 
esty of nature" (iii. 2. 18) and probability naturally, not sophistically. 

199. Loam. The word seems to mean clay, or something more tena- 
cious 'than what we call loam; and so in the three other instances in 
which S. uses the word: M.N.D. iii. I. 70, v. I. 162, and Rich. //. i. I. 179. 

202-205. These lines are marked in the Coll. MS. as a quotation ; but 
probably, as Clarke remarks, " Hamlet is merely putting into rhyming 
form the fancy that for the moment passes through his mind." On this 
' tendency to doggerelize when he is speaking lightly or excitedly," cf. iii 
2. 272, etc. 

264 NOTES. 

Imperious is the quarto reading, the folio has " Imperiall." Cf. T. and 
C. iv. 5. 172: "most imperious Agamemnon;" T. A, iv. 4. 8l : "be thy 
thoughts imperious, like thy name " (cf. Id. v. i. 6), etc. 

Flaw. Gust. D. quotes Smith's Sea Grammar, 1627: "A flaw of 
wind is a gust, which is very violent upon a sudden, but quickly endeth." 
It is still used by sailors in the same sense; and so flawy= gusty. Cf. 
F. and A. 456, Cor. v. 3. 74, etc. 

M. remarks that "the passage of the living body into the state of inan- 
imate beings has often been seriously illustrated in a somewhat similar 
way;" and he quotes Wordsworth: 

'"No motion has she now, no force- 
She neither hears nor sees, 
Rolled round in earth's diurnal course 
With rocks, and stones, and trees." 

Still more similar is In Memoridm, Iv. " Shall man," the poet asks, 

" Who loved, who suffered countless ills, 
Who battled for the true, the just, 
Be blown about the desert dust, 
Or sealed within the iron hills ? " 

208. Maimed. Imperfect, defective; as in Oth. i. 3. 99, etc. By the 
English law, a suicide was formerly buried at the meeting of cross-roads 
with a stake driven through his body and without any form of burial 
service (Wr.). 

210. Fordo. See on ii. I. 103 above; and for it = its, on i. 2. 216. 
Estate. Rank. Cf. R. of L. 92, M. of F. ii.g. 41, etc. 

211. Couch. Hide; perhaps, literally, lie down. Cf.M. W. v. 2. 1, etc. 

216. Warrantise. The folio has " warrantis," the quartos " warrantie." 
For ivarrantise, cf. Sonn. 150. 7 and I Hen. VI. i. 3. 13. 

Doubtful. " Only so far as that she was a lunatic, and had died by her 
own act; the presumption in such a case being held to be that the act 
was wilful, and there being always a doubt whether Christian burial could 
then be demanded ; although, as Burn's Ecclesiastical Law states, there 
is no record of its having been actually refused in any instance" (M.). 
The queen has said that the death was accidental (iv. 7. 171 fol.). The 
context implies that a kind of " maimed " burial-service had been secured 
for Ophelia by the "great command" of the king. 

217. Order. That is, the course which ecclesiastical rules prescribe 

219. For. Instead of. See Gr. 148. 

220. Shards. Potsherds, fragments of pottery. In the only other in- 
stance of the word in S. it means the wing-cases of beetles. See A. and C, 
iii. 2. 20, and cf. Macb. iii. 2. 42 and Cymb. iii. 3. 20. 

221. Crants. The quarto reading; the folio has " rites," which Rowe, 
K., W., H., and some others prefer. D. and Schmidt define crants as 
"garland" (German Kranz). According to Jamieson's Scottish Diet., 
crance is used in Lowland Scotch in the same sense. Nares says that 
no other example of crants has been found in English; but Elze has dis- 
covered corancc, which is evidently the same word, in a stage-direct'or 
of Chapman's Alphonsus : "with Corances on their heads;" and again 

ACT V. SCENE I. 265 

in a line of the same play : " When thou hast stolen her dainty rose- 
corance." Johnson suggests that S. wrote crants, and then finding tha 
the word was provincial, and perhaps not understood, changed it to rites, 
" a term more intelligible, but less proper." 

222. Strewments. Not used elsewhere by S., but we have sire-wings in 
the same sense in Cymb. iv. 2. 285 : "strewings fitt'st for graves." For 
the custom, Wr. refers to R. andj.'w. 5.79,89^.3.281,^. T. iv-4. 128, 
and Cymb. iv. 2. 218. 

Bringing home. " As the bride was brought home to her husband's 
house with bell and festivity, so the dead maiden is brought to her last 
home with bell and burial" (Wr.). 

223. Of. With. Gr. 193. 

227. Peace-parted. Having parted in peace. orfart= depart or die, 
cf. Hen. V. ii. 3. 1 2, Macb. v. 8. 52, etc. So timely-parted having died in 
time, or by a natural death, in 2 lien. VI. iii. 2. 161. 

229. May violets spring. Steevens quotes Persius, Sat. I : 

" e tumulo fortunataque favilla 
Nascentur violae?" 

and M. compares Tennyson, In Memoriam, xviii. : 

" 'T is well; 't is something; we may stand 
Where he in English earth is laid, 
And from his ashes may be made 
The violet of his native land." 

233, 234. For shouldst have been and to have decked, now commonly 
considered ungrammatical when used as here, see Gr. 360. 

2 37- Ingenious sense. Keen intellect. Wr. compares Lear, iv. 6. 287. 
242. Skyish. "Sky-aspiring" (A'u/i. II. \. 3. 130). 

245. Wandering stars. Wr. explains this as = planets, but it may mean 
simply the stars moving through the heavens. 

246. Wonder-wounded. Wonderstruck. 

249. Thou pray'st not well. " A litotes marking the perfect self- 
possession of Hamlet at first, and his real love for Laertes" (M.). 

251. Splenitive. Passionate. Cf. j//v/^ in //. F7/7. iii. 2. 99, and 
spleenful vn 2 Hen. VI. iii. 2. 128 and T. A. ii. 3. 191. So spleen often = 
passion, impetuosity; as in K. John, ii. I. 68, 448, iv. 3. 97, v. 7. 50, Kich. 
III. v. 3. 50, etc. See also Af. N. D. p. 129, note on Spleen. 

253. Wisdom. The folio has " wisenesse," and is followed by K., St., 
M., and others. 

257. Wag. Move. Cf.iii.4. 39 above; also/I/. ofV. iv. I. 76, Cymb. iv. 
2. 1 73, etc. As Wr remarks, the word had not then the grotesque signifi- 
cation which it now has. 

260. Quantity. See on iii. 4. 75 above. 

264. 'Swounds. See on ii. 2. 562 above. 

265. Woo't. A provincial contraction for wouldst thou or wilt thou, 
perhaps used here contemptuously. Cf. A. and C. iv. 2. 7 and iv. 15. 59, 
where it "denotes affectionate familiarity" (Wr.). 

266. Eisel. " With the exception of the dram of eale, no word or 
phrase in this tragedy has occasioned more discussion than this Esill [in 
the quartos] or Esile [in the folio], which, as it stands, represents nothing 

8 66 NOTES. 

in the heavens above, or the earth beneath, or the waters under the earth" 
(F.). Theo. suggested that the word either represents the name of a river 
(as the Yssel) or is an old word meaning vinegar. The latter is the more 
probable, as the A. S. aisil vinegar. Cf. also Sonn. 1 1 1. 10 : 

" I will drink 

Potions of eisel 'gainst my strong infection ;" 

vinegar being esteemed a protection against contagion. Wr. finds "vyn- 
egre or aysel" in a MS. in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge. 
There is, however, something to be said in favour of the river, for which, 
as well as for other explanations, see F. vol. i. pp. 405-409. 

Eat a crocodile. Referring, as some suppose, to the dried or pickled 
crocodile of the apothecary (cf. R. and J. v. i. 43) ; or more probably, as 
others believe, to the toughness of the creature's hide. 

268. In. Equivalent to into, as often. See Gr. 159. 

273. Mouth. Brag, rant. Cf. iii. 2. 2 above. 

277. When that. See Gr. 287, and cf. iv. 4. 5 above. 

Golden couplets. The pigeon generally sits on two eggs, and her young 
when first disclosed, or hatched (see on iii. i. 166 above), are covered with 
a yellow down/ 

282. The cat will mew, etc. That is, things have their appointed course, 
nor have we power to divert it (Caldecott). " Bay " has been proposed 
instead of day, but the expression was a common one. The Princess 
Elizabeth, in a letter to her sister, Queen Mary, says : " As a doge hathe 
a day, so may I." Mr. Daniel quotes New Ctistom, 1573: "Well if it 
chaunce that a dogge hath a day;" and B. J. Tale of a Tub, ii. I : "A 
man hath his hour, and a dog his day." 

284. Strengthen yotir patience. Cf. J. C. ii. I. 248: "Fearing to 
strengthen that impatience," etc. 7 = in the thought of (Gr. 162). 

285. We '// put, etc. "Let us push on the matter immediately" 
(Schmidt) ; we will go to work at once. For present, see on iv. 3. 64 
above ; and for push, cf. W. T. v. 3. 129. 

287. A living monument. A lasting one (Schmidt). M. makesit = "a 
statue like life itself." Wr. suggests that the expression may be used in 
a double sense : that of enduring, as the queen would understand ; and 
the deeper meaning, which Laertes would see, by which the life of Ham- 
let is menaced. 

288. Shortly. The folio reading; the 2d quarto has "thirtie," the later 
ones "thereby." 

SCENE II. 6. Mittines. See on iii. 4. 83 above. 

Bilboes. A kind of fetters by which mutinous sailors were linked to- 
gether ; so called from Bilboa, in Spain, which was famous from Roman 
times for manufactures of iron and steel. The sword known as the bilbo 
(see M. W. i. i. 165 and iii. 5. 112) gets its name from the same place. 
As the prisoners in the bilboes were fastened close together, every motion 
of the one must disturb the sleep of the other. 

Rashly. Hastily ; as in Rich. III. iii. 5. 43 (Schmidt). Hamlet begins 
the account of his escape, "and then is carried into a reflection upon the 
weakness of human wisdom. I rashly praised be rashness for it let us 

ACT V. SCENE II, tf-j 

not think these events casual, but let us know, that is, take notice and 
rsmember, that we sometimes succeed by indiscretion when we fail by- 
deep plots, and infer the perpetual superintendence and agency of the 
Divinity " (Johnson). 

9. Deep. The folio has " deare," and is followed by Rowe, K., St., and 
others. Fail is Pope's emendation for the " fall " of the later quartos. 
The folio has "paule" and the 2d quarto "pall." For teach the quartos 
have " learne," which S. uses in the same sense ; as in Temp. i. 2. 365, 

10. Shapes our ends, etc. Steevens says : " Dr. Farmer informed me 
that these words are merely technical. A wool-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. 1 Whoever recollects the profession of Shakes- 
peare's father [see Mer. p. 9] will admit that his son might be no stranger 
to such terms. I have frequently seen packages of wool pinned up with 
skewers." Rough-hew, however, is not limited to skewer-making, but is 
a general word in carpentry (and metaphorically in other connections) for 
such work as the word naturally suggests the first rough hewing-cut of 
the material, which a common workman can do, as distinguished from 
the subsequent shaping and finishing, which require a master hand. 
Hunter quotes Palsgrave, Table of Verbs, 1530: "I rough-heve a pece 
of tymber to make an ymage of;" and Florio, Ital. Diet. 1598 : " Abboz- 
zare, to rough hew any first draught, to bungle ill-favouredly." 

1 1. That is most certain. " Horatio for once expresses a slight impa- 
tience, which cuts short Hamlet's generalization" (M.). 

13. Sea-gown. Sr. quotes Cotgrave, Fr. Diet. : " Esclavine, ... a sea- 
gowne; or a course high-collered, and short-sleeued govvne, reaching 
downe to the mid-leg, and vsecl most by sea-men, and Saylors." Scarf 'a 
= "put on loosely like a scarf" (Schmidt). 

14. Find out them. Cf. y. C. i. 3. 134: "To find out you;" and see 
Gr. 240. 

15. Finger 1 d. Cf. 3 Hen. VI. v. I. 44: "The king was slily finger'd 
from the deck." 

17. To unseal. For the omission of as, see Gr. 281. Cf. Macb. ii. 3. 55, 

20. Larded. See on iv. 5. 37 above. 

Several. Separate, different. Cf. L. C. 206 : " I have received from 
many a several fair," etc. For reasons the folio has " reason." 

21. Importing. Concerning. Cf. L. L. L. iv. 1.57: "This letter i:- 
mistook, it importeth none here ;" and Olh. i. 3. 284 : "As doth impor< 
vou " (where the quarto has "concern"). For other meanings offtnport, 

ee i. 2. 23, iv. 3. 62, and iv. 7. 80 above. 

22. Bugs. Bugbears. Cf. T. of S. i. 2. 211 : "Tush ! tush ! fear boys 
#ith bugs ;" 3 Hen. VI. v. 2. 2 : " For Warwick was a bug that fear'd us 
all," etc. In both passages fear frighten. Wr. quotes Coverdale's 
translation of the Psalms (xci. 5) : "thou shalt not nede to be afrayed foi 
eny bugges by night ner for arowe that flyeth by claye." 

23. On the supervise. That is, at sight, on the looking-over o- reading 

268 NOTES. 

of the document. So the verb = look over, inspect, in Z. Z. Z. iv. 2. 124. 
Gr. 451. Bated = excepted, allowed. 

24. Stay. Stay for, wait for ; as in A . Y.L. iii. 2. 221, etc. Cf. the in- 
transitive use in iii. 3. 95 above. 

29. Be-netted. For verbs compounded with be-, see Gr. 438. 
Villanies. The quartos have "villaines," the folio "Villaines;" bu f . 

the sense and the measure both require villanies, and Walker shows that 
the two words have been several times confounded in the folio. 

30. Ere I could make, etc. "Before I formed my real plan, my brains 
had done the work. This line should be carefully remarked. Hamlet 
writes the commission under a strong impulse rather of imagination than 
will, the ingenuity of the trick captivating him. Then the encounter with 
the pirate puts an end to the chance of undoing it ; and thus he is driven, 
somewhat uneasily, to justify his action to Horatio. As the latter receives 
his narrative with something like surprise, and even with a touch of com- 
passion, we may conclude with safety that Hamlet's kindly nature would 
have cancelled the letters but for the accident which hindered his doing 

31. Sat me down. For the reflexive use, cf. iii. 4. 18 above ; also 2 
Hen. IV. iii. i. 56, 3 Hen. VI. ii. 5. 14, etc. We find it sometimes in 
modern writers ; as in Goldsmith, Traveller, 32 : "I sit me down a pen- 
sive hour to spend;" Tennyson, Lotos- Eater s : "They sat them down 
upon the yellow sand," etc. 

33. Statists. Statesmen ; as in Cytnb. ii. 4. 16: "Statist though I am 
none." Wr. quotes Milton, P. R. iv. 354 : "statists indeed, And lovers 
of their country." Blackstone says: "Most of the great men of Shake- 
speare's time, whose autographs have been preserved, wrote very bad 
hands ; their secretaries very neat ones." 

36. Yeoman's service. The ancient yeomen were famous for their 
military valour (Steevens). Cf. Hen. V. iii. i. 25 and Rich. III. v. 3. 338. 

42. A comma. " So as to separate them as little as possible " (M.). 
Schmidt says, " keep their amities from falling together by the ears." 
Hanmer, followed by W. and H., reads " cement." For the many other 
attempts at emendation, see F. 

43. As's. A quibble is intended between as and ass (Johnson). Ma- 
lone remarks that in the midland counties the s in as is usually pro- 
nounced as in us. Charge = \oa.d, weight; as in W. T. iv. 4. 261, R. 
andj. v. 2. 1 8, etc. 

44. Knowing. The folio has "know," which many eds. follow. Cf. 
Gr. 451. For knowing as a noun, cf. T. of A. iii. 2. 74, Macb. ii. 4. 4, 
Cymb. i. 4. 30 and ii. 3. 102. 

45. Debatement. Debate, consideration; as in M. for M. v. I. 99: 
"after much debatement." 

47. . Shriving-time. " A term in common use for any short period " 

48. Ordinant. Ordaining, ruling. The folio has " ordinate." 

50. Model. Copy, counterpart. Cf. Rich. //. i. 2. 28, iii. 2. 153, etc. 

51. Writ. Commission, mandate. Cf. Cymb. iii. 7. i: "the em- 
peror's writ." 


53. Changeling. Alluding to fairy changelings. See M. N. D. p. 138. 

54. Seqtient. Cf. A, IV. ii. 2. 56 : " Indeed your ' O Lord, sir !' is very 
sequent to your whipping," etc. The folio misprints "sement." 

57. Make love to. Court, seek. Cf. Macb. iii. i . 1 24 : "I to your as- 
sistance do make love," etc. 

58. Near my conscience. Cf. A. Y. L. v. 2. 68 : " near the heart;" Hen. 
VIII. iii. I. 71 : "so near mine honour," etc. For defeat the folio mis- 
prints "debate." See on ii. 2. 556 above. 

59. Insinuation. Meddling; insinuating themselves into the business. 
So insinuate^ intermeddle in W. T. iv. 4. 760, etc. 

61. Pass. Thrust; as in 159 below. Cf. the stage-direction at iii. 4. 
23 above. 

62. Opposites. Opponents. See on iii. 2. 203 above. 

63. Thinks Y thee. That is, thinks it thee = seems it to thee: In Rich. 
II f. iii. I. 63, the folio has " Where it think'st best vnto your Royall 
selfe;" the 1st and 2d quartos "seems best." This think is the same 
verb that we have in met/links ( =it seems to me), from the A. S. thincan, 
to seem, not from thencan, to think. See Gr. 297 (cf. 212). The folio has 
" meethink'st " in L. L. L. ii. 3. 269. 

Stand me now upon. Be incumbent on me. Cf. Rich. IT. ii. 3. 138; 
" It stands your grace upon to do him right;" and A. and C. ii. i. 50 : 

" It only stands 

Our lives upon to use our strongest hands." 
See Gr. 204. 

66. Angle. Angling-line; used literally in A. and C. ii. 5. 10; and 
again figuratively, as here, in W. T. iv. 2. 52. On proper, cf. Temp. iii. 3. 
60 : " their proper selves," etc. 

67. Is 't not perfect conscience. That is, perfectly consistent with a good 
conscience. We should not use such an expression now, nor " Made it 
no conscience to destroy a prince " {K. John, iv. 2. 229). Cf. Hen. VI If. 
v. 3. 67. 

68. Quit. Requite; as in 257 below. See Rich. II. p. 208. Lines 
68-80 are omitted in the quartos. 

70. In. Into; as in v. I. 268 above. Come in further evil= commit 
further crimes (M.). 

73. It will be short, etc. " You never suspect the errand Hamlet is on 
until you happen to hear that little word, ' the interim is mine! ' It means 
more mischief than all the monologues ! No threats, no imprecations, 
no more mention of smiling, damned villain; no more self-accusal ; but 
solely and briefly, ' It will be short ; the interim is mine ! ' Then, for the 
first time, we recognize the extent of the change that has been wrought 
in Hamlet; then, for the first time, we perfectly comprehend his quiet 
jesting with the Clown, his tranquil musings with Horatio. The man is 
transformed by a great resolve; his mind is made up! The return of the 
vessel from England will be the signal for his own execution, and there- 
fore the moral problem is solved : the only chance of saving his life from 
a lawless murderer is to slay him; it has become an act of self-defence; 
he can do it with perfect conscience. He has calculated the return voy- 
age; he has allowed the longest duration to his own existence and the 

king's. At the very moment he encounters the Clown in the churchyard 
he is on his death-march to the palace at Elsinore " (Miles). 

78. Court. The folio has "count;" corrected by Rowe. "Count" 
has, however, been defended as = make account of, reckon up, value. 

79. Bravery. Bravado (D.). Cf. J. C. v. I. IO: " With fearful bravery ;" 
and see note in our ed. p. 175. 

83. Water-fly- '* A water-fly skips up and down upon the surface of 

the water without any apparent purpose or reason, and is thence the 

proper emblem of a busy trifler" (Johnson). Cf. T. and C. v. 1. 38 : " how- 

the poor world -is pestered with such water-flies, diminutives of nature !' ; 

85. Gracious. Cf. i. I. 164 above. 

88. Chough. See Macb. p. 221, or Temp. p. 127. F. favours Calde- 
cott's suggestion that the word here is chuff, a wealthy boor or clown. 
Cf. Cotgrave, Fr. Diet. : " Franc-gontier. A substantiall yonker, wealthie 
chuffe ;" and again : " Maschefouyn. A chuffe, boore, lobcocke, lozell ; 
one that is fitter to feed with cattell, then to conuerse with men." See 
also Massinger, Duke of Milan, iii. I : 

"To see these chuffs, that every day may spend 
A soldier's entertainment for a year, 
Yet make a third meal of a bunch of raisins." 

90. Sweet. A common form of address in the Elizabethan court Ian* 
guage (Mommsen apud F.). Cf. iii. 2. 48 above. 

91. Bonnet. Cap. See Rich. II. p. 169. 

94. Lordship. The folio has 'friendship," which K. adopts. 

97. Indifferent. See on iii. I. 122 above. On the dialogue here, cf. iil 
2. 351 fol. t 

98. For 'my, etc. The quartos have "or my complection." (or "com- 
plexion."), and some modern eds. read " or my complexion" Cf. i. 4. 
27 above. 

104. / beseech you, remember . The full expression is found in L. L. L. 
v. i. 103 : " I do beseech thee, remember thy courtesy ; I beseech thee, 
apparel thy head." Malone thought it should read " remember not thy 
courtesy ;" but St. shows that the old text is right. He cites Lusty Juven- 

and cover your head ;" and Every Man 
, remember your courts'y . . . Nay, pray 

xplained the phrase ; but probably, a? 

W. suggests, remember is used in some peculiar and perhaps elliptical 
way. It is curious that "leave your courtesy " is used in the same senst 
in M. N. D. iv. I. 21. 

105. For mine ease. Farmer quotes Marston, Malcontent, ind. : 

"Citn. I beseech you, sir, be coverd. 
Sly. No, in good faith, for mine ease." 

Malone adds from Massinger, New Way to Pay Old Debts, 1L 3 ; 

" Is 't for your ease 
You keep your hat off?" 

and from Florio. Second Frutes : 

"Why do you stand hareheddedi" . . , 
Pardon me, good sir, I doe it for mine ease." 

tus : " I pray you be remembred, and cover your head ;" and Every Man 
in His Humour, i. I : " Pray you, remember your courts'y . . . Nay, pray 
you be cover'd." No one has explained the phrase ; but probably, a? 

ACT V. SCENE 77. 2? I 

106-139. Sir, here . . . unfellowed. This is omitted in the folio, which 
has only " Sir, you are not ignorant of what excellence Laertes is at his 

1 06. Absolute. Complete, perfect. See Hen. V. p. 170. 

107.. Excellent differences, " Different excellencies," as Schmidt ex- 
plains it (p. 1416), adding many similar examples; as "murderous 
shame" (Sonn. 9. I4)=shameful murder; "aged honour" {A.W.\. 3. 
216) = honourable age ; "expert allowance" (Oth. ii. i. 49)= allowed or 
acknowledged expertness ; "negligent danger" (A. and C. iii. 6. 8i) = 
dangerous negligence, etc. Caldecott makes it=" every nice punctilio 
of good breeding ; " and Wr., "distinctions marking him ou* from the 
rest of men." 

108. Feelingly. So as to hit it exactly (Schmidt). Cf. M.forM. i. 2. 
36 : "Do I speak feelingly now ?" See also T. JV. ii. 3. 172. 

109. Card or calendar of gentry. " The general preceptor of elegance ; 
the card [see on v. I. 131 above] by which a gentleman is to direct his 
course ; the calendar by which he is to choose his time, that what he does 
may be both excellent and seasonable " (Johnson). Gentry= courtesy, 
gentlemanliness. Cf. ii. 2. 22 above. 

1 10. The continent, etc. The sum total of all gentlemanly qualities. 
See on iv. 4. 64 and iv. 7. 72 above. 

in. Definement. Definition, description. The sense of this affected 
jargon seems to be : You describe him justly ; though to do it minutely 
and thoroughly would overtask one's memory and yet not come up to his 
deserts. Verily, he is a man of manifold virtues, and of so rare a nature 
that none but himself can be his parallel, while those who would imitate 
him are at best only his shadow. 

113. Yaw, A vessel yaws when she falls off for the moment from her 
true course. The term is still in use among sailors ; we have heard it 
often. D. quotes Coles, Diet.: "To yaw (as a ship), hue illuc vacillare, 
capite nutare." The noun occurs in Massinger, Very Woman, iii. 5 : "O, 
the yaws that she will make ! " where Gifford remarks : " A. yaw is that 
unsteady motion which a ship makes in a great swell, when, in steering, 
she inclines to the right or left of her course." 

115. Of great article. That is, of many items. 

Infusion. Endowments, qualities (Schmidt). Dearth :high value 
(Johnson and Schmidt). 

116. Semblable. Cf. T. of A. iv. 3. 22 : " His semblable, yea, himself, 
Timon disdains," etc. 

117. Trace. Follow. Cf. Macb. iv. I. 153 : "That trace him in his 
line," etc. 

Umbrage. Shadow ; used by S. only here. 

1 20. The concernancy, sir? The meaning, sir ? What does this 
mean ? 

121. More rawer. See on ii. I. ii above. 

123. Is '/ not possible, etc. "The meaning may be,' Can l you under- 
stand your own absurd language on another man's tongue ? Use your 
v its, sir, and you '11 soon be at the bottom of it ' " (M.). 

12J. Nomination. Naming, mentioning by name. Cf. I..L. L. iv. 2, 1 ^8. 



132. Approve. Make approved, commend (Schmidt). 

135. Compare with. Assume to rival. 

138. Imputation. Reputation, opinion. Cf. M. of V. i. 3. 13, 7'. and 

' 1 39.' Meed. Merit. Cf. 3 Hen. VI. iv. 8. 38 : " my meed hath got me 
fame," etc. 

144. Imponed. Staked (Schmidt). The quartos have " hee has im- 
paund ; " the folio has " he impon'd." The text is due to Theo. 

145. Assigns. Appendages; an " affected expression " (Schmidt). 

146. Hangers. The straps by which the sword was hung to the belt. 
Steevens quotes Chapman, Iliad, xi. 27 : " The scaberd was of silver 
plate, with golden hangers grac'd." 

148. Liberal conceit. Tasteful design. Cf. R. of L. 1423: 
" For much imaginary work was there ; 

Conceit deceitful, so compact, so kind," etc. 

150. Edified by the margent. Instructed by the explanation in the 
margin ; a very common thing in old books. See M. N. D. p. 142. 
This speech of Horatio is omitted in the folio. 

153. Germane. Akin, pertinent. Cf. W. T. iv. 4. 802 and T. of A. 
iv. 3. 344. 

161. Twelve for nine. Johnson says : "This wager I do not under- 
stand. In a dozen passes one must exceed the other more or less than 
three hits. Nor can I comprehend how in a dozen there can be twelve 
for nine." Various attempts have been made to " figure it out," but they 
are not very satisfactory. We venture to suggest that S. wrote the "three 
hits " at random, and added the " twelve for nine " without stopping to 
think whether subtracting the three from twelve made the arithmetic all 
right. Cf. Hen. V.\. 2. 57 fol., where he subtracts 426 from 805 and gets 
a remainder of 421. The error is copied from Holinshed, but the fact 
that S. did not see and correct it shows his carelessness in regard to such 

162. Answer. Acceptance of the challenge. Cf.7". and C. i. 3. 332: 
" And wake him to the answer" (referring to the challenge of Hector). 

167. Breathing time. Time for exercise (Schmidt). Cf. A. IV. i. 2. 17 : 
" For breathing and exploit ; " Id, ii. 3. 271 : " thou wast created for men 
to breathe themselves upon thee ; " Per. ii. i. 101 : " Here is a lady that 
wants breathing too" (where the exercise is dancing), etc. 

168. Hold. Changed by Capell to " holding." For similiar " confu- 
sion of two constructions," see Gr. 41 1 fol. 

169. Will gain. For the -will, see Gr. 319. 

171. Re-deliver. Report (Schmidt). Cf. iii. I. 94, where it is used in 
a less affected way. 

177. This lapwing, etc. Steevens quotes Greene, Never too Late: "Are 
you no sooner hatched, with the lapwing, but you will run away with the 
shell on your head ?" Malone adds from Meres, Wifs Treasury : "As 
the lapwing runneth away with the shell on her head as soon as she is 
hatched." So Webster, White Devil, ii. : "Forward lapwing, he flies 
with the shell on 's head." Hence the bird was the symbol of a forward 
fellow ; and also of insincerity, from its habit of alluring intruders from 


its nest by crying far away from it (Wr.). Cf. M, for M. i. 4. 33 ana 
C. ofE. iv. 2. 27. 

179. Comply. Use the courtier. Cf. ii. 2. 363 above. 

Bevy. The folio has " Beauy," the quartos "breede" or " breed." 

181. Outward habit, etc. " Exterior politeness of address" (Henley). 

Yesty. Frothy. The quartos have " histy" or " misty." Cf. Macb. iv. 
1. 53 : " the yesty waves." 

183. Fond and winnowed. The folio reading ; the quartos have " pro- 
phane (or " profane") and trennowed" (or " trennowned "). " Fanned " 
and "profound" have been suggested in place oifond. If any change is 
called for, the former is very plausible ; but fond 'and 'winnowed may be = 
foolish and over-refined (cf. picked in v. I. 133 above). 

185-197. Enter a Lord . . . instructs me. Omitted in the folio. 

1 86. Commended him. Cf. T. and C. iii. I. 73 : "Commends himself 
most affectionately to you ; " M.of V. iii. 2. 235 : "Antonio commend* 
him to you," etc. 

189. Or that. Or if. Cf. iv. 7, 61, 150, and 158 above. Gt. 285. 

191. Fitness. Convenience (Schmidt). 

194. In happy time. Just in time ; " like the Fr. it la bonne heure " 
(Wr.). Cf. T. ofS. ind. i. 90, A. IV. v. i. 6, F. C ii. 2. 60, etc. 

195. Gentle entertainment. " Conciliating behavior " (Caldecott). 

200. At the odds. " With the advantage that I am allowed " (Malone). 

201. But thou wouldst not think, etc. Coleridge remarks : "Shakes- 
peare seems to mean all Hamlet's character to be brought together be- 
fore his final disappearance from the scene : his meditative excess in the 
grave-digging, his yielding to passion with Laertes, his love for Ophelia 
blazing out, his tendency to generalize on all occasions in the dialogue 
with Horatio, his fine gentlemanly manners with Osric, and his and 
Shakespeare's own fondness for presentiment." 

204. Gain-giving. Misgiving. Cf. gainsay (gain = against, A. S. 

in). So gainstand-= withstand, gainstrtve=strive against (Spenser, 
~f. Q. ii. 4. 14: " Who him gainstriving nought at all prevaild"), etc. 

207. Repair. Cf. M.for M. iv. I. 43, L. L. L. ii. I. 240, and 3 Hen. 
VI. v. i. 20. Fit= ready ; as in Cor. L 3. 47 : "We are fit to bid her 
welcome," etc. 

211. Since no man, etc. The quartos have "since no man of ought 
he leaues, knowes what ist to leaue betimes, let be ;" the folio, " since no 
man ha's ought of what he leaues. What is't to leaue betimes ? " Warb., 
followed by Coll., Sr., Halliwell, H., and others, reads, " Since no man, 
of aught he leaves, knows, what is 't to leave betimes ? " Rowe, Pope, 
Theo., K., D., St., W., and others, have " Since no man has aught of 
what he leaves, what is 't," etc. The reading in the text was suggested 
by Johnson, who assumed that the " knows" of the quartos was right, but 
was misprinted " ha's " in the revised form of the passage in the folio. 
Johnson paraphrases the passage thus : " Since no man knows aught of 
the state of life which he leaves, since he cannot judge what other years 
may produce, why should he be afraid of leaving life betimes ? Why 
should he dread an early death, of which he cannot tell whether it is an 
exclusion of happiness or an interception of calamity ? I despise the 

274 NOTES. 

superstition of augury and omens, which has no ground in reason 
piety ; my comfort is, that I cannot fall but by the direction of Provi 
dence." Caldecott explains the re-pointed folio reading as follows: 
" Since no man has (that is, has any secure hold, or can properly be de- 
nominated the possessor, of) any portion of that which he leaves, or must 
leave, behind him, of what moment is it that this leave-taking, or parting 
with a possession so frail, should be made thus early ? " Clarke and F. 
prefer the quarto reading, as we do, on the ground that " it is more char- 
acteristic of Hamlet to think little of leaving life, because he cannot solve 
its many mysteries, than because he cannot carry with him life's goods." 

214. Give me your pardon, etc. Johnson says: " I wish Hamlet had 
made some other defence ; it is unsuitable to the character of a brave or 
a good man to shelter himself in falsehood." Seymour believes that the 
passage from This presence to enemy in 227 below is an interpolation, 
as "the falsehood contained in it is too ignoble." 

2l6. This presence. The abstract for the concrete ( Wr.). Cf. Z. Z. /. 
T. 2. 102, K.John, ii. i. 196, Rich. II, i. I. 34, etc. 

219. Exception. Disapprobation, objection. Cf. Hen. V. ii. 4.341 
"modest in exception," etc. 

228. Sir, in this audience. Omitted in the quartos. 

232. Brother. The folio has " Mother." 

In nature. " A piece of satire on fantastical honour. Though nature 
is satisfied, yet he will ask advice of older men of the sword whether 
artificial hop ur ought to be contented with Hamlet's submission" 

238. Ungor'a. Un wounded, unhurt. The folio has " ungorg'd." 
Wr. quotes T. and C. iii. 3. 228 : " My fame is shrewdly gor'd." 

245. Stick fiery off. Be brilliantly set off, stand in brilliant relief* 

249. Your grace, etc. "I understand that your grace has taken care 
that points shall be given me ; but for all that I fear that I shall be the 
weaker. No, replies the king, I have seen you both, and the points given 
will counterbalance his Paris improvement" (M.). According to Jen- 
nens, the odds ^ those that were laid in the wager, namely, the greater 
value of the king's stake as compared with that of Laertes (Ritson com- 
putes the values as twenty to one), and not to the number of hits, which 
is what the king refers to in his reply. 

251. Since he is better 'd. " Since he has perfected himself in his art " 
(Schmidt). The quartos have "better." 

253. Likes. Pleases, suits. See on ii. 2. 80 above. ,4=one (Gr. 8l). 

257. Quit, etc. Pay him off in meeting him at the third encounter 
(Wr.). Cf. 68 above. 

258. Ordnance. The folio has "Ordinance." See Hen. V. p. 161. 

260. Union. A fine pearl. Malone quotes Florio, Ital. Diet.: 
"Vmone, ... a faire, great, orient pearle." Steevens cites Holland's 
Pliny: "our dainties and delicates here at Rome, haue deuised thk 
name for them, and call them Vnions ; as a man would say, Singular 
and by themselues alone." 

263. Kettle. That is, kettle-drum. Cf. i. 4. u above. 

ACT r. SCENE // 275 

270. This pearl, etc. "Under pretence of throwing a pearl into the 
cup, the king may be supposed to drop some poisonous drug into the 
wine. Hamlet seems to suspect this, when he afterwards discovers the 
effects of the poison, and tauntingly asks him, 'Is thy union here?'" 

275. He 'sfat, etc. Coll. has shown that Richard Burbadge was the 
original Hamlet, and that these words were inserted because he was 
corpulent. This is evident from an elegy upon the actor, which says: 

1 No more 

ore young Hamlet, though but scant of breath, 
cry ' Revenge ! ' for his dear father's death." 

276. Napkin. Handkerchief; the only meaning of the word *n S. 
See A. Y. L. p. 190; or cf. L. C. 15, Otk. iii. 3. 290, 306, etc. 

277. Carouses. Drinks a health. Cf. Oik. ii. 3. 55 : 

" Now my sick fool Roderigo, 
Whom love hath turn'd almost the wrong side out, 
To Desdemona hath to-night carous'd 
Potations pottle-deep, '' etc. 

284. And yet, etc. "This symptom of relenting is not only a redeem- 
ing touch in the character of Laertes (and Shakespeare, in his large 
tolerance and true knowledge of human nature, is fond of giving these 
redeeming touches even to his worst characters), but it forms a judi- 
ciously interposed link between the young man's previous determination 
to take the Prince's life treacherously and his subsequent revealment of 
the treachery. From the deliberate malice of becoming the agent in 
such a plot, to the remorseful candour which confesses it, would have 
been too violent and too abrupt a moral change, had not the dramatist, 
with his usual skill, introduced this connecting point of half compunc- 
tion" (Clarke). 

287. Afeard. Used by S. interchangeably with afraid. See M. N. D. 
p. 156 or Macb. p. 163. 

Make a wanton of me. " Trifle with me as if you were playing with a 
child" (Ritson). Cf. Rich. II. iii. 3. 164. Schmidtmakes it=treat me 
like an effeminate boy. Cf. K. John, v. i. 70 and Rich. II. v. 3. 10. H. 
remarks here: "This is a quiet but very significant stroke of delineation. 
Laertes is not playing his best, and it is the conscience of what is at the 
point of his foil that keeps him from doing so; and the effects are per- 
ceptible to Hamlet, though he dreams not of the reason." 

290. Much has been written on the change of rapiers in the stage- 
direction, for an abstract of which, and also for the practice of celebrated 
actors, see F. 

294. As a woodcock. F. quotes a writer in Notes and Queries (Aug. 8, 
1874) who. says: "This bird is trained to decoy other birds, and some- 
times, while strutting incautiously too near the springe, it becomes itseli 
entangled. " Cf. i. 3. 115 above. 

296. How does the queen? That is, what is the matter with the queen i 

Swoons. The quartos and 1st and 2d folios have " sounds," the latei 
folios "swounds" ( = swoons), a pet word with Mrs. Browning. 

305. Unbated. See on iv. 7. 137 above; and for practice, iv. 7. 66, 137 

309. Envenom 1 d too. That is, envenomed as well as unbated. 

2? 6 NOTES. 

314. A My union here f See on 270 above. 

^6. Tempered. Mixed, compounded (Schmidt). Ct tf. d f. HL 

qS and Cymb. v. 5. 250. 

319. Laertes, who was not wounded till after Hamlet, dies first of the 
poison ; but possibly, as F. suggests, Hamlet gave Laertes a mortal 
thrust in return for the "scratch," which was all that Laertes was aiming 
\t, so that Laertes dies of the wound, Hamlet of the poison. 

323. Mutes. " That are either auditors of this catastrophe, or at rnos* 
only mute performers, that fill the stage without any part in the action ** 

324. As. See Gr. 1 10, and cf. iv. 3. 58 above. 

Sergeant. Ritson, Schmidt, and others explain this as = " bailiff, or 
sheriff's officer ;" but Mr. J. F. Marsh, in Notes and Queries (March 16, 
1878), says that a sheriff's officer was not called a sergeant, and that the 
allusion is probably to the sergeants-at-arms, the executive officers of the 
two Houses of Parliament and the High Court of Chancery. Malone 
quotes Silvester's Du Bartas : " And Death, drad Seriant of th' eternal! 
ludge." Cf. C. of E. iv. 2. 56, 61, iv. 3. 30, 40, and Hen. VIII. i. i. 198. 

329. Antique. For the accent, cf. ii. 2. 455 above, and see Macb. p. 234, 
Wr. quotes here A. and C. iv. 15. 87. 

332. O God! The quartos have " O god Horatio" or " O God Hora- 
tio / The folio has "Oh good Horatio" which is followed by many 
modern eds. 

333. Live behind. St. quotes Muck Ado, iii. I. lie : "No glory lives 
behind the back of such." For live the quartos have " I leave ;" and W. 
reads " leave." 

335. Felicity. The joys of heaven (Delius). 

341. Cfer-crows. "As a victorious cock crows over his defeated an- 
tagonist " (JennensX Steevens quotes Chapman, Odyssey: 

"and told his foe 

It was not fair nor equal t' overcrow 
The poorest guest;" 

and Malone adds from the epistle prefixed to Nash's Pierce PennUesse, 
1593 ! "and overcrowe me with comparative terms." 

345. Occurrents. Occurrences, incidents. Steevens quotes Drayton, 
Barons* Wars, i. 12 : " As our occurrents happen in degree ;" and Wr. 
adds from Holland's Pliny, xxv. 2 : " This occurrent fell out in Lacetania." 

346. Which have solicited. " Which have induced me to act as I have 
done " (M.X Cf. Rich. II. i. 2. 2. 

The rest is silence. " To Hamlet silence would come as the most wel 
come and most gracious of friends, as relief to the action-wearied soul, 
freedom from conflicting motives, leisure for searching out all problems, 
release from the toil of finding words for thought ; as the one sole Ian 
guage of immortality, the only true utterance of the infinite " (M.). 

347. Cracks. Breaks. Cf. M. W. ii. 2. 301 : "My heart is ready tt 
crack ;" K. John, v. 7. 52 : " The tackle of my heart is crack'd ;" Cor. -. 
3. 9 : " with a crack'd heart," etc. 

, 3S2-. 7%/j quarry cries on havoc. "This heap of dead proclaims a 
indiscriminate slaughter " (W.). Qnarry-the game killed ; as in Macb 



iv. 3. 206, etc. Johnson makes cries on = exclaims against; but it is 
rather, as Schmidt gives it, cries out. Cf. Oth. v. i. 48: "whose noise 
is this that cries on murther ?" For havoc, see J. C. p. 160. 

353. Toward. See on i. i. 77 above, and cf. A. and C. ii. 6. 75 : " Four 
feasts are toward." For eternal, see on i. 5. 21 above. 

360. His mouth. That is, the king's (Warb.). Theo. strangely re 
ferred it to Hamlet. 

363. Jump. See on i. i. 65 above. 

369. Carnal. Sensual (Schmidt) ; as in Oth. i. 3. 335. The allusion is 
' .o the murder of the elder Hamlet by Claudius previous to his incestuous 

union with Gertrude (Malone). 

370. This line refers to Polonius, and the next to Rosencrantz and 
Guildenstern, whose deaths were forced on Hamlet (Delius). 

371. Put on. See on iv. 7. 130 above. 

372. Upshot. Conclusion, final issue. Cf. T. N. iv. 2. 76. " In archery 
the upshot was the final shot, which decided the match" (Wr.). For 
mistook, see Gr. 343. 

374. Deliver. Report, relate. See on i. 2. 193 above. 
377. Rights of memory. Rights which are remembered (Malone). 
380. Will draw on more. Will be seconded by others (Theo.). 
383. On. In consequence of v Gr. 180). 

385. Put on. Put to the proof, tried (Caldecott). 

386. Passage. Departure, death ; as in iii. 3. 86 above. 

391. " Hamlet has gained the haven for which he longed so often ; yet 
without bringing guilt on himself by his death : no fear that his sleep 
should have bad dreams in it now. Those whom he loved, his mother, 
Laertes, Ophelia, have all died guiltless or forgiven. Late, and under 
the strong compulsion of approaching death, he has done, and well done, 
the inevitable task from which his gentle nature shrank. Why then any 
further thought, in the awful presence of death, of crimes, conspiracies, 
vengeance? Think that he has been slain in battle, like his Sea-King 
forefathers ; and let the booming cannon be his mourners " (M.), 


THE "TIME-ANALYSIS" OF THE PLAY. This is summed up by Mr 
P. A. Daniel ( Trans, of New Shaks. Soc. 1877-79, P- 2 '4> as follows : 

" The time of the Play is seven clays represented on the stage or eight 
if the reader prefers to assign a separate day to the last scene with two 

Day i. Act I. sc. i. to iii. 
" 2. Act I. sc. iv. and v. 

An interval of rather more than two months. 

3. Act II. sc. i. and ii. 

4. Act III. sc. i. to iv., Act IV, sc. i. to iii. 

5. Act IV. sc. iv. 

An interval a week? 

6. Act IV. sc. v. to vii. 

7. Act V. sc. i. and ii." 


THEY APPEAR. The numbers in parentheses indicate the lines the 
characters have in each scene. 

King: i. 2(93); ii. 2(39); iii. 1(40), 2(7), 3(50); iv. 1(34), 3(44), 
5(67), 7(140; v - i (9)i 2(27). Whole no. 551. 

Hamlet: i. 2(iO3), 4 (68), 5(99); 2(302); iii. 1(84), 2(245), 3(24), 
4(176); iv. 2(23), 3(26), 4(47); v. 1(142), 2(230). Whole no. 1569. 

Polonius: i. 2(4), 3(68); ii. 1(87), 2(146); iii. 1(23), 2(13), 3(9), 
4(7). Whole no. 357. 

Horatio: i. 1(100), 2(50), 4(26), 5(17); iii. 2(9); iv. 5(2), 6(28); 
v. 1(12), 2(54). Whole no. 298. 

Laertes: i. 2(7), 3(53); iv. 5(48), 7(47); v. 1(18), 2(35). Whole 
no. 208. 

Voltimand: i. 2(1); ii. 2(21). Whole no. 22. 

Cornelius: i. 2(0- Whole no. I. 

Rosencrantz: ii. 2(50); iii. 1(12), 2(15), 3(14); iv. 2(9), 3(4), 4 (i). 
Whole no. 105. 

Guildenstern . ii.2(2i); iii. 1(5), 2(24), 3(5) ; iv. 2(2). Whole no. 57. 

Osric: v. 2(56). Whole no. 56. 

1st Gentleman : iv. 5(12). Whole no. 12. 

zd Gentleman: iv. 5(11). Whole no. n. 

1st Priest : v. 1(13). Whole no. 13. 

Marcellus: i. 1(46), 2(6), 4(7), 5(8). Whole no. 67. 

Bernardo: i. 1(34), 2(4). Whole no. 38. 

Francisco: i. 1(10). Whole no. 10. 

Reynaldo : ii. 1(15). Whole no. 15. 

1st Player : ii. 2(48) ; iii. 2(3). Whole no. 51. 

Player King: iii. 2(44). Whole no. 44. 

Lucianus : iii. 2(6). Whole no. 6. 

Fortinbras: iv. 4(8); v. 2(19). Whole no. 27. 

Captain: iv. 4(12). Whole no. 12. 

1st Sailor : iv. 6(5). Whole no. 5. 

1st Clown: v. 1(107). Whole no. 107. 

zd Clown: v. 1(19). Whole no. 19. 

1st. Ambassador: v. 2(6). Whole no. 6. 

Lord: v. 2(10). Whole no. 10. 

Servant: iv. 6(1). Whole no. I. 

Messenger: iv. 7(5). Whole no. 5. 

Ghost: i. 5(89); iii. 4(6). Whole no. 95. 

Queen: i. 2(10);. ii. 2(20); iii. 1(9), 2(4), 4(47); iv. 1(12), 5(16), 
7(20; v. i (12), 2(7). Whole no. 158. 

Ophelia : i. 3(20); ii. 1(28); iii. 1(33), 2(18); iv. 5(76). Whole no. 

lyer Queen; iii. 2(30). Whole no. 30. 
^rologue " : iii. 2(3). Whole no. 3. 
"":i.2(0; i". 2(0; iv. 5(3); v.i(0,2(i). Whole no. 7. 

" Prologue 




In the above enumeration, parts of lines are counted as whole lines, 
making the total in the play greater than it is. The actual numher of 
lines in each scene (Globe edition numbering) is as follows: i. 1(175), 
2(258), 3(136). 4(9 X ), 5(190 5 I(U9). 2(633) I i". 1(196), 2(417), 3(98), 
4(217) ; iv. 1(45), 2(33), 3(70), 4(66), 5(220), 6(34), 7(195) ; v. 1(322), 
2(414). Whole number in the play, 3930. 

Hamlet is the longest of the plays. Richard II. comes next, with 
3618 lines ; then Tivilus and Cressida, with 3496 ; 2 Henry IV., with 
3446; Coriolanus, with 3410; and Henry V. with 3380. The Comedy 
of Errors is the shortest, with 1778 lines ; next. The Tempest, with 
2065 ; and Macbeth, with 2109 (much the shortest of the great tragedies). 

Hamlet speaks more lines (1569) than any other character in any one 
play. Richard III. comes next, with 1161 lines ; then lago, with in^, 
and Henry V. with 1063. Of the characters who appear in more than 
one play, Henry V., as prince and king, has the most lines (including 
616 in 1 Henry IV. and 308 in 2 Henry IV.}, or 1987 in all. FalstafJ 
comes next with 1895 in all (719 in 1 Henry IV., 688 in 2 Henry IV., 
and 488 in the Merry Wives). 




* (-one), 274. 

as (=namely), 193. 

bettered, 374. 

about, 214. 

as's, 268. 

bilboes, 266. 

abridgment, 209. 
absolute, 262, 271. 
absurd (accent), 222, 

aspect (accent), 2x3. 
assay (= proof), 202, 233. 
assay (verb), 216. 

bisson, 212. 
blank ( = target), 243. 
blanks (=blanches), 327. 

abuse ( = deceive), 215. 

assays of bias, 200, 

blastments, 188. 

abuse (noun), 255. 

assigns, 272. 

blench, 215. 

act (= action), 186. 

assurance, 262. 

bloat, 240. 

addition ( = title), 193, 199. 

assure you, 202. 

blood, 187, 223, 246. 

admiration, 230, 

at, 244. 

blown, 220. 

adulterate, 195. 

at foot, 244. 

board ( = accost), 204., 

aery, 207. 

at height, 193. 

bodkin, 217. 

afeard, 274. 

at point, 186. 

bodykins, 212. 

affection, 210. 

attent, 185. 

bonnet ( = cap), 270. 

affections, 220. 
affront (=meet), axfi, 
afoot, 223. 
against (of time), 176,211, 

attribute, 193. 
authorities, 243. 
avouch (noun), 172, 
a-work, 211. 

Bonny Sweet Robin, 232. 
bore of the matter, 253. 
borne in hand, 202. 
bound, 195. 


ay (dissyllable), 199. 

bourn, 218. 

aim f= guess), 247. 
a-making, 191. 

back ( = reserve), 357. 

brainish, 242. 
brave, 205. 

amaze, 2x3. 
ambition, 233. 

bak'd meats, 185. 
Baptista, 228. 

bravery ( = bravado), 270. 
breathe ( = speak), 199. 

amble, 219. 

bare (=mere), 217. 

breathing time, 272. 

amiss (noun), 247. 

barred, 177. 

broad ( = free), 235. 

an end, 195. 

barren, 222. 

brokers, 191. 

anchor ( = anchorite). 337. 
angle ( = fish-line), 369. 

bate ( = blunt), 257. 
bated (=excepted), 268. 

brooch, 256. 
bruit, 182. 

annexment, 232, 

batten, 236. 

brute (play upon), 224. 

another, 199. 

be, x 74 \ 

bugs (= bugbears), t(rf. 

answer, 240, 242, 272 

be it either which, 234. 

bulk (= breast) , 200. 

antic, 198. 

beaten, 205. 

but ( = except', 174. 

antique, 275. 

beautied, 216. 

buttons (=buds), x88. 

any the most, 180. 

beautified, 203. 

buz, buz ! 208. 

apart ( = aside), 242. 

beaver, 186. 

buzzers, 248. 

apopkxed, 237. 

beck, at my, 219. 

by and by, 231. 

appointment, 253. 

bedded, 238. 

by (= with), 250. 

approve ( = commend), 271. 

belike, 225. 

approve ( = prove), 171. 

bended, 200. 

can ( = can do), 233, 255. 

appurtenance, 208. 

be-netted, 268. 

candied, 222. 

argal, 259. 

bent, 202. 

canker, 188. 

argument, 207, 225, 227, 246. 

beseeched, 216. 

canonized (accent), 194. 

arm you, 232. 

beshrew, 201. 

capable, 239. 

arras, 204. 
art, 203. 
article, of great, 271. 
as ( = as if), 200, 249, 255. 

bespeak, 203. 
bestow, 212, 240. 
beteem, 183. 
bethought, 190. 

cap-a-pe, 186. 
card or calendar of gentry. 
card, speak by the, 262. 

as (=for so), 244, 258,275. 

better, you were, 212. 

carouses, 275. 


carnal, 277. 
carry it away, 208. 
cart (^chariot), 225. 
cast, 201. 

condolement, 180. 
confederate, 228. 
confine (accent), 176. 
confines, 203. 

deliver (-relate), 186, 277. 
demanded of, 243. 
demonstrated (accent), 173. 
Denmark (=King of Den 

cat will mew, etc., 266. 

confront, 233. 

mark), 181. 

cautel, 187. 

conjunctive, 234. 

denote, 180. 

caviare, 210. 

conscience, perfect, 269. 

deprive, 195. 

cease (noun), 232. 

contagion, 257. 

desires (=good wishes), 2" 

censure ( = opinion), 190, 

content ( =; please), 216. 

dexterity, 184. 

193, 221, 224. 

continent, 246, 271. 

didest, 255. 

centre, 204. 

contraction, 235. 

difference, with a, 252. 

chameleon's dish, the, 224. 
change (exchange), 184. 
changeling, 269. 
chanson, pious, 209. 
character (accent), 189, 255. 

Contrary (accent), 227. 
contrive (=plot), 257. 
converse, 199. 
convert my stern effects, 237. 
convoy, 187. 

differences, 271. 
dilated, 178. 
disappointed, 196. 
disaster, 173. 
disclose (=hatch), 220, 266 

charge (=cost), 246. 
charge (=load), 268. 
chariest, 188. 

coped withal, 222. 
corrival, 170. 
coted, 206. 

discourse of reason, '83. 
discourse, such large, 246. 
discovery, 203. 

check at, 253. 

couch (verb), 264. 

disjoint, 173. 

cheer, 226, 227. 

count (--account), 234. 

dispatched, 196. 

chief (adverb), 190. 

countenance, 243. 

disposition, 194. 

chopine, 209. 

counter, 249. 

disprized, 217. 

chorus, 228. 
chough, 270. 
cinkapase, 222. 

counterfeit, 236. 
couplets, golden, 266. 
cousin (=nephew), 179. 

distempered, 229. 
distract, 246. 
distrust, 226. 

circumstance, 197, 234. 

cracks, 276. 

divulging, 242. 

clepe, 193. 

crants, 264. 

document, 251. 

climature, 173. 

credent, 188. 

dog will have his day, tn- 

closely (=secretly), 216. 
closet, 200, 230. 

crescent, 187. 
cried in the top of, 210. 

doom (=doomsday), 236. 

coagulate, 211. 

crimeful, 233. 

doublet, 200. 

cockle-hat, 247. 

crocodile, eat a, 266. 

doubt (= disbelieve), 203. 

coil (^turmoil), 217. 

crow-flowers, 258. 

doubt (=suspect), 187, 202 

cold (=chaste), 258. 

crowner's quest law, 239. 


coldly set, 245. 

cry (=company), 220, 

douts, 259. 

colour, will want true, 239. 
columbines, 251. 

cue, 213. 
cullison, 222. 

down-gyved, 200. 
dram of eale, 193. 

come in further evil, 269. 

cunnings, 237. 

dreadful, 186. 

come tardy off, 221. 

curb, 239. 

drift of circumstance, 215, 

come your ways, 191. 

curiously, 263. 

drive upon, 211. 

comma, 268. 

currents (=courses), 233. 

duke (=king), 228. 

commendable (accent), 180. 

cutpurse, 238. 

comment of thy soul, 223. 
commerce. 218. 

daintier, 261. 

eager, 192, 196. 
eale, 193. 

commune (accent), 252. 

daisy, 252. 

easiness, 261. 

commutual, 225. 

Dane (=King of Denmark), 

eat (=eaten), 244. 

compact (accent), 173. 


ecstasy, 20:, 237, 239. 

compare with, 272. 

Danskers, 199. 

edge, 216. 

compelled, 253. 
complete (accent), 194. 

dead-men' s-fingers, 258. 
dear, 185, 223. 

effects ( action), 239. 
eisel, 265. 

<mplexion, 193. 
comply with, 208, 273. 
compulsative, 174. 

dear a halfpenny, 205. 
debate (=decide), 243. 
debatement, 268. 

eldest, 232. 
Elsinore, 169. 
emulate (=envious), 173. 

compulsive, 237. 

decline upon, 196. 

enact (=act), 224. 

comrade (accent), 190. 
conceit (^conception), 213. 

declining, 211. 
deeply-sworn, 227. 

enactures, 226. 
encompassment and drif) 

conceit (= imagination), 238, 

defeat (=ruin), 214. 
defeated (=marred), 177. 

encumbered, 198. 

Conceit, liberal, 272. 

defeature, 177. 

engaged, 233. 


defence, 236. . 

enginer, 241. 

loncernings, 241. 

definement, 271. 

entreatments, 191. 

;onclusions, 241. 

deject, 219. 

enviously, 247. 


erring (= wandering), 176. 

free (=willing), 244. 

heavens, 202. 

escoted, 207. 

French falconers, 210. 

hebenon, 196. 

espials, 216. 
estate ( = rank), 264. 

fret, 230. 
fretted, 205. 

Hecate(pronunciation) ,228. 
hectic, 245. 

eternal blazon, 195. 

friending, 198. 

hent, 234. 

even ( = honest), 205. 

from ( = away from), 221. 

Hercules, 183, 208. 

even-Christian, 260 

front (=forehead), 236. 

hernshaw, 208. 

event ( = issue), 246. 
exception, 274. 

fruit (= dessert), 202. 
full of bread, 234. 

Herod, 221. 
hey-day, 236. 

excrements, 238. 

function, 213. 

hide fox, etc., 244. 

expostulate, 203. 

fust, 246. 

hillo, ho, ho, 197. 

express, 206. 

him ( = he), 199. 

expressed in fancy, 190. 

gain-giving, 273. 

his (=its), 193, 194, 233. 

extent, 208. 

gait, 178. 

hoar, .58. 

extravagant, 176. 

galled eyes, 184. 

hobby-horse, 225. 

eyases, 207. 

general ( = people), 210. 

hoist, 241. 

general gender, 254. 

hold up, 260. 

fair (proleptic), 219. 
falls ( = happens), 255. 

gentle entertainment, 273. 
gentry, 202. 

holds quantity, 226. 
hold's! at aught, 244. 

fanged, 241. 

germane, 272, 

honest ( = virtuous), 218. 

fantasy, 171. 

get thee, 219. 

hoodman-blind, 237. 

fardels, 218. 

gib, 240. 

how (=however), 231. 

fares (play upon), 224, 
farm ( = lease), 245. 
fashion, 187, 220. 

gins, 197. 
giving-out, 198. 
globe ( = head), 197. 

how purposed? 245. 
how say you by that? 204. 
hugger-mugger, in, 248. 

favour, 252, 263. 

go about, 230. 

humorous, 206. 

fay, 205. 

go to, 191, 260. 

humour, 201. 

fear (=fear for),i88,2 3 s, 249. 
fear(=object of fear), 232. 
feature, 220. 

God-a-mercy, 204. 
God 'ield you ! 247. 
good kissing carrion, 204. 

husbandry, 190. 
hush (noun), 211. 
Hyperion, 183, 236. 

feeds on his wonder, 248. 

good now, 173. 

Hyrcanian beast, 211. 

feelingly, 271. 
felicity, 276. 

gorge, 263. 
race ( = honour), 181. 

idle, 224. 

fennel, 251. 
fetch of warrant, 199. 

racious ( = blessed), 177. 
rained, 237. 

ill-breeding, 247. 
illume, 171. 

fierce, 175. 

rating, 216. 

image, 227. 

figure, 203. 

reen, 190. 

immediate, 181. 

find ( = detect), 220. 

reenly, 248. 

impartment, 194. 

fine, 210, 262. 

ross, 246. 

impasted, 211. 

fingered, 267. 

rossly, 234. 

imperious, 264. 

fire (dissyllable), 191. 
first, 202. 

roundlings, 220. 
runt (=groan), 218. 

implorators, 191. 
imponed, 272. 

fit ( = ready), 273. 

ules, 2ii. 

important, 238. , 

fitness, 273. 

ulf, 232. 

importing, 178, 267. 

flaw ( = gust), 264, 

guts, 241. 

importuned (accent), 190. 

flush, 234. 

imposthume, 245. 

flushing, 183. 

hairs (=hair), 238. 

impress, 173. 

fond (=foolish), 197. 
fond and winnowed, 273. 
for (=as for),i8i, 187, 240. 
for ( = instead of), 264. 
for and, 261. 

handsaw, 208. 
handsome, 210. 
hangers, 272. 
happily ( = haply), 175, 208. 
haps, 245. 

imputation, 272. 
in ( = into), 203, 237, 266. 
in ( = in the thought of), 
in all my best, 181. 

for to, 220. 

haste (transitive), 195. 

in few, 191. 

fordo, 201, 264. 
fore, 2ii. 

hatchment, 253. 
haunt, out of, 242. 

in happy time, 273. 
in little, 208. 

forestall, 233. 
forged process, 195. 

have ( = find), 254. 
have after, 195. 

in pause, 232. 
in that, 178. 

forgery, 256. 

haviour, 180. 

in the ear, 220. 

Fortinbras, 173. 

havoc, 276. 

in this consequence, 199. 

forward, 187, 216. 

head ( = armed force), 749. 

incapable, 258. 

fox ( = sword), 244. 

health, 255. 

incorporal, 238. 

rame, 229. 

hearsed, 194. 

incorpsed, 256. 

ree ( =guiltless> , 213, 228. 

heaven (plural), 240. 

incorrect, 180. 


indentures, 262. 

lies, 233. 

mouse, 240. 

index, 236. 

lightness, 204. 

mouth (verb), 266. 

indict, 210. 

like ( = likely), 186. 

mows, 208. 

indifferent, 205. 

like ( = uniform), 256. 

much ( = great), 170. 

indifferent (adverb), 219. 

like as, 1 86. 

muddy-mettled, 213. 

indifferently, 221. 

likes ( = pleases), 202, 274. 

murthering-piece, 248. 

indirections, 200. 
individable, 209. 

limed, 233. 
list (=boundary), 249. 

mutes, 276. 
mutine (verb), 237. 

indued, 258. 

list ( = roll), 174. 

mutines (noun), 266 

inexplicable, 220. 

littlest, 226. 

infusion, 271. 

loam, 263. 

napkin (=handkerchiel> 

ingenious sense, 265. 

loggats, 261. 


inheritor, 262. 

long purples, 258. 

native, 178, 258. 

inhibition, 207. 

look through, 257. 

nature, 196. 

inky, 180. 

loves ( = love), 177, 187. 

near my conscience, 269. 

insinuation, 269. 
instances ( = motives), 226. 

luxury ( = lust), 196. 

neighbour (adjective), 242. 
neighboured to, 201. 

instant, 196. 

machine, 203. 

Nemean (accent), 195. 

interpret, 228. 

maimed, 264. 

Nero, 231. 

intil, 261. 

main, the, 202, 245. 

nerve ( = sinew), 195. 

investments, 191. 

majestioal, 176. 

neutral, 211. 

it (-its), 186, 264. 

make (=do), 185, 205. 
make assay, 233. 

new-lighted, 236. 
nickname (= misname), 219, 

jade, 228. 

make love to, 269. 

nighted, 179. 

jangled out of tune, 220. 

make mouths, 246. 

nill, 259. 

jealousy, 247. 

manner, 192. 

Niobe, 183. 

jig, 212, 219. 

many many, 232. 

nobility, 181. 

jig-maker, 225. 
John-a-dreams, 213. 

margent, edified by the, 272. 
market of his time, 245. 

nomination, 271. 
nonce, for the, 258. 

jowls, 261. 
jump (=jiist), 172,277. 

mart, 173. 
marvellous, 229. 

Norway ( = King of Nor 
way), 172, 245. 

mass, 260. 

not (transposed), 227. 

keep (=dwell), 199. 
keeps himself in clouds, 248. 

massy,2 3 2. 
masterly report, 250. 

note ( = attention), 223. 
nothing (adverb), 178. 

kept short, 242. 

matin, 196. 

noyance, 232. 

kettle ( = drum), 274. 

matter, 204, 250. 

kibe, 262. 

mazzard, 261. 

obscure (accent), 252. 

kill dead, 226. 

me ( = for me), 214. 

obsequious, 180. 

kindless, 214. 

means, 253. 

occulted, 223. 

knowing (noun), 268. 

meddle ( = mingle), 223. 

occurrents, 276. 

meed ( = merit), 272. 

o'er-crows, 276. 

laboursome, 179. 
lack, 198. 
Lamond, 256. 
lapsed in time and passion, 

merely, 182. 
miching mallecho, 225. 
might (=could), 172. 
milch, 212. 

o'er-raught, 216. 
o'er-reaches, 261. 
o'ersized, 211. 
o'erteemed, 212. 


milky, 211. 

o'ertook, 199. 

lapwing, 272. 

mincing, 212. 

of ( = about), 198, 248. 

larded, 247, 267. 

mineral, 242. 

of ( = because of), 246. 

law and heraldry. 173. 
law of writ and liberty, 209. 
lazar-like, 196. 
leans on, 244. 
leave (=cease), 183, 226, 

mobled, 212. 
model ( = copy), 268. 
moiety, 174. 
moist star, the, 175. 
mole of nature, 193. 

of( = by), 171. 
of ( = from), 201. 
of (=on), 252. 
of ( = over), 202. 
of ( = upon), 205. 

leave (=leave off), 199. 
leave ( = part with), 237. 

monument, living, 266. 
mope, 237. 
more above, 201, 203. 

of ( = with), 265. 
of wisdom and of reach 

lenten, 206. 

more considered time, 202. 

offendendo, 259. 

let ( = hinder), 195. 
let the galled jade wince, 

more nearer, 199. 
moreover that, 201. 

omen, 175. 
on ( = in consequence of) 

let to know^2 53 . 
Lethe wharf, 195. 
liberal, 258. 

mortal ( = deadly), 257 
most ( = greatest), i y 8. 
motion ( = impulse), 237. 
mountebank, 257. 

on (=of), 172. 
on a roar, 263. 
on brood, 220. 


once (=ever), 197. 

prenominate, 199. 

replication, 243. 

opened, 202. 

presence, 274. 

residence, 207. 

operant, 226. 

present, 245. 

resolve, 182. 

opposite, 227. 

presently, 204, 222. 

respect ( = motive), 217. 

or ( = before), j8 3 , 165. 

presentment, 236. 

respects (=considerations) 

ordinant, 268. 

pressure, 197, 221. 


ore, 242. 

prevail ( = avail), 180. i rests ( = remains), 233. 

orisons, 218. 

prevent ( = anticipate), 205. | retrograde, 181. 

ostentation, 253. 

primy, 187. 

revenue (accent), 222. 

outstretched, 205. 

probation ( = proof), 176. 

revolution, 261. 

overlooked, 253. 

prodigal (adverb), 191. 

re-word, 239. 

overpeering, 249. 

profound, 242. 

rhapsody, 235. 

over-top, 210. 

progress, 244. 

Rhenish, 192. 

pronounce, 230 

rheum, 212. 

packing, 241. 

proof, 235, 256, 257. 

rights of memory, 277. 

paddling, 240. 

proper, 201. 

rivality, 170. 

paddock, 240. 

property, 213. 

rivals ( = partners), 170 

painted ( = unreal), 216. 
panders (transitive), 237. 

proposer, 205. 
Provincial, 228 

romage, 174. 
rood, 235. 

pajock, 229. 

puffed, 188, 246 

rosemary, 250. 

pansy, 251. 
pardon ( = leave), 179, 230. 

purgation, 229 
purport (accent), 200. 

rough-hew, 267. 
round ( = directly), 203. 

parle, 172. 

pursy, 239. 

round ( = plain , 220, 235. 

partisan, 176. 

put on ( = mcite), 257, 277. 

rouse, 181, 192. 

pass ( = thrust), 269. 
passage (= death), 277. 

put on ( = tried), 277. 
put on me, 190. 

row ( = stanza), 209. 
rub, 217. 

passion, 212. 

rue, 251. 

pat, 233. 

quaintly, 199. 

patience, 224. 

quality, 207. 

sables, 225, 255. 

pause, 244. 

quantity, 237, 265. 

gallet, 210. 

pause, give us, 217. 

quarry, 276. 

sans, 237. 

peace-parted, 265. 

question, 207. 

sat me down, 268. 

peak, 213. 

questionable, 194. 

satyr, 183. 

pelican, 250. 

quick ( = living), 262. 

saw( = maxim),, 97 . 

perdy, 229. 

quiddits, 262. 

sayest ( = sayest well), 260 

periwig-pated, 220. 

quietus, 217. 

'sblood, 208, 230. 

perpend, 203. 

quillets, 262. 

scape, 1 88. 

persever, 180. 

quintessence, 206. 

scarfed, 267. 

perusal, 200. 

quit ( = requite), 269. 

school ( = university), 181. 

peruse, 257. 

quoted, 201. 

scourge, 244. 

pester, 178. 

petar, 241. 
picked (=refined), 262. 
pickers and stealers, 230. 

rack ( = clouds), 211. 
ranker, 245. 
rashly, 266. 

sea-gown, 267. 
season, 185, 190, 199. 227. 
secure ( = careless), 196. 

pigeon-livered, 214. 

ravel out, 240. 

seeming, 224. 

pioner, 198. 

razed, 229. 

seeming-virtuous, 195. 

plausive, 193. 

reckon, 203. 

seized of, 173. 

pluck, 255. 

record (accent), 197. 

semblable, 271. 

plurisy, 256. 

recorder (accent), 197. 

sense, 235, 237. 

ply his music, 200. 
Polack, 172. 

recorders, 229. 
recover the wind of, 230. 

sensible, 172. 
sensibly, 250. 

pole ( = pole-star), 171. 

rede, 188. 

sequent, 269. 

politician, 361. 
porpentine, 195. 
posset, 196. 

re-deliver, 272. 
reechyj 240. 
region ( = air), an, 214. 

sergeant, 276. 
several ( = separate), 267. 
shall ( = will), 198, 220. 

posy, 225. 
pound (singular), 229. 

relative, 215. 
relish of, 219. 

shapes our ends, 267. 
shards, 264. 

powers(=troops), 245 
practice (=plot), 255, 257, 

remember your courtesy, 

share, 229. 
sharked up, 174. 


remiss, 257. 

sheen, 225. 

precedent, 837. 

remorse ( = pity), 21 1. 

shent, 231. 

precurse, 175. 

removed ( = remote), 195. 

shook, 254. 

Viregnant. 30^. 732. 

repast (verb), 250. 

bhoon. -A. 


should (= would) ,igs, 205, 

supervise, on the, 267. 
suppliance, 187. 

trick (=knack), 261. 
trick of fame, 246. 

shrewdly, r J2. 

supply and profit, 203. 

tricked, 211. 

shriving-time, 268. 

sweet, 270. 

tristful, 236. 

siege ( = rank), 255. 

Switzers, 248. 

tropically, 227. 

silence, 235. 
simple (=foolish), 180. 

swoopstake, 250. 
sword, upon my, 197. 

truepenny, 198. 
trumpet (= trumpeter), 176 

simples, 257. 

'swounds, 214, 265. 

truster, 185. 

sith, 201, 246, 253. 
sits (of the wind), 189. 
sized, 226. 

synod, 212. 
table (=tablet), 197. 

turn Turk, 228. 
two days old at sea, 253. 
tyrannically, 207. 

skyish, 265. 

tables ( = note-book), 197. 

slander, 191. 

taints, 199. 

umbrage, 271. 

sledded, 172. 

take ( = bewitch>, 177. 

unaneled, 196. 

slips, 199. 

take arms against a sea, 

unbated, 257, 275. 

sliver, 258. 

etc., 217. 

unbraced, 200. 

so ( = ip, 255. 
so (omitted), 253, 257. 

tarre, 207. 
tax him home, 232. 

uncharge, 255. 
undergo, 193. 

so please you, 220. 
soft (=hold, stop), 196, 218. 

tell ( = count), 186. 
tempered, 276. 

uneffectual, 197. 
unfortified, 180. 

softly (=slowly), 245. 
soldiers (trisyllable), 197. 

temple (of the body), 187. 
tenable in your silence, 187. 

ungartered, 200. 
ungored, 274. 

sole, 234. 
solicited, 276. 

tend ( = attend), 190, 244. 
tender (= regard), 244. 

ungracious, 188. 
unhouseled, 196. 

solidity, 235. 
something-settled, 220. 
sometime (adjective), 177, 

tenders, 190. 
tent ( = probe), 215. 
Termagant, 221. 

unimproved, 174. 
union (=pearl), 274, 
unlimited, 209. 


that (=such), 185, 196. 

unmastered, 188. 

sometimes ( = formerly), 

thee ( = thou), 171, 196. 

unpregnant of, 213. 


theft, 224. 

unprevailing, 180. 

sort (=suit), 174. 

thereabout, 210. 

unproportioned, 189. 

soul (gender), 213. 

thews, 187. 

unreclaimed, 199. 

speak fair, 242. 
spendthrift sigh, 256. 

thieves of mercy, 253. 
thinks't thee, 269. 

unshaped, 247. 
unsifted, 190. 

sphere, 254. 

thou, 239. 

unsinewed, 254. 

spi;s ( = scouts), 248. 

thought (=anxiety), 218, 

unsmirched, 249 

spirit (monosyllable), 176. 
spite, 198. 

thought-sick, 236. 

untimely (adverb), 243. 
unyoke, 260. 

spleuitive, 265. 
spnnges, 191. 
spurns, 247. 

throughly, 249. 
tickle o' the sere, 206. 
time ( = the times), 217. 

upon (adverbial 1 *, 183. 
upon (=just at), 170, 
upshot, 277. 

stand me upon, 369. 

tinct, 237. 

upspring, 192. 

star, 193. 

to ( = for), 177. ^ 

star, out of thy, 203. 

to (in comparisons), 183, 

vailed, 179. 

station, 236. 

196, 216. 

valanced, 209. 

statists, 268. 

to-do, 207. 

validity, 226. 

stay (= wait for), 234, 268. 
stay upon, 224. 
stick fiery off, 274. 
still (=always), 175, 202, 

toils (transitive), 173. 
too much, 256. 
too much i' the sun, 179. 
too much proved, 216. 

vantage, of, 232. 
vast, 186. 
ventages. 230. 
vice (= clown), 237. 


too, too, 182. 

vigour, 196. ' 

stithy, 223. 
stomach ( = courage), 174. 
stoup, 260. 
straight (adverb), 210, 233, 

top of my bent, to the, 231. 
top of question, 207. 
topped, 256. 
touched, 252. 

virtue ( = power), 250, 
vouchsafe your rest, aot 
vulgar, 189. 

toward ( = at hand), 173, 

wag, 235, 265. 

strewments, 265. 


wanned, 213. 

strike (of planets), 177. 

toy ( = trifle), 247. 

wanton, 275. 

strucken, 228. 
stuck ( = thrust), 258. 
subject ( = people), 173, 178. 

toy in blood, a, 187. 
toys ( = freaks), 195. 
trace ( = follow), 271. 

warrantise, 264. 
wash (=the sea), as 
wassail, 192. 

succession, 207. 
sum of parts, 255. 

trade, 230. 
trick (-habit), 259. 

watch. 204. 
water-fly, 370. 


well be with you, 208. 
well-took, 202. 
wharf ( = bank), 1 95. 
what ( = who), 253, 260. 
what make you ? 185. 
wheel, 250. 
whether ( monosyllable ) , 


whiles, 188. 
who ( = which), 180. 
who ( = whom), 185, 204. 
wholesome, 230. 
wildness. 216. 

will, 237. 
windlasses, 200. 
wit ( = wisdom), 203. 
withal, 188, 205. 
withdraw with you, to, 230. 
within 's, 225. 
woe is me, 225. 
wonder-wounded, 265. 
woodcock, 191, 275. 
woo't, 265. 
word (= watchword), 197, 
worser, 239. 

would, 172, 234. 
wrack, 201. 
wretch, 204, 259. 
writ, 178, 186. 
writ ( = commission), 2 

Vaughan, 260. 
yaw, 271. 
yeoman's service, 260. 
yesty, 273. 
yond, 171. 
Yorick, 263. 
your, 198, 230, 344. 


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