« ZurückWeiter »
SCENE changes to a more remote Part of the
Re-enter Ghoft and HAMLET.
Ham. Where wilt thou lead me? speak, I'll go .
Ghoft. Mark me.
Ham. I will,
Ghost. My hour is almost come,
When I to fulphurous and tormenting flames
Must render up myself.
Ham. Alas, poor Ghost!
Ghost. Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing To what I shall unfold.
Ham. Speak, I am bound to hear.
Ghaft. So art thou to revenge, when thou shalt
hear. Hain. What?
Ghoft. I am thy father's Spirit; Doomed for a certain term to walk the night, And, for the day, confined to fast in fires; (18)
(18) And, for the day, confined 1n fast in fires;] I once fufpected this expression to fast in fires; because though fasting is often a part of penance injoined us by the churchdiscipline here on earth, yet I conceive it would be no great punishment for a spirit, á being which requires no fustenance, to faft. Mr Warburton has fince perfectly convinced nie that the text is not to be disturbed, but that the expresion is purely metaphorical. For it is the opinion of the religion here represented, (i. e. the Roman.catholic) that falitiny purifies the soul here, as the fire does in the purgatory here alluded to; and that the soul must be purged either by fasting here, or by burning hereafter. This opinion Shakespeare again hints at, where he makes Hamlet say;
He took my father grofly, full of bread. And we are to obferve, that it is a common saying of the Romilh priests to their people, "If you won't faji here, you mult fast in fire."
*Till the foul crimes, done in my days of nature,
Are burnt and purged 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 foul, freeze thy young blood,
Make thytwo eyes, like itars, start from theiripheres,
Thy knotty and combined locks to part,
And each particular hair to stand on end
Like quills upon the fretful porcupine:
But this eternal blazon must not be
To ears of flesh and blood; list, lift, oh lift!
If thou didit ever thy dear father love-------
Ham. Oh Heaven!
Ghost. Revenge his foul and most unnatural mur-
Ghoft. Murder most foul, as in the best it is;
But this moit foul, ftrange, and unnatural.
Ham. Halte ine to know it, that I, with wings
As meditation or the thoughts of love,
[as fwiit May sweep to my revenge.
Ghost. I find thee apt;
And duller shouldit thou be than the fat weed
That roots itself in ease on Lethe's wharf,
Wouldlt thou not itir in this. Now, Hamlet, hear;
'Tis given out, that, sleeping in my orchard,
A serpent Itung me. So the whole ear of Denmark
Is by a forged process of my death
Rankly abused: but know, thou noble youth,
The ferpent, that did sting thy father's life,
Now wears his crowr.
Ham. Oh, my prophetic foul! my uncle ?
Ghost. Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast,
With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts,
(0 wickel wit, and gists, that have the power
So to fedce!) won to his shameful luft
The will of my most seeming-virtuous Queen.
Oh 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
I made to her in marriage; and to decline
Upon a wretch, whose natural gifts were poor
To those of mine !
But virtue, as it never will be moved,
Though lewdness court it in the shape of heaven;
So lutt, though to a radiant angel linked,
Will fate itself in a celestial bed,
And prey on garbage---------
But foft! methinks I scent the morning air-----
Brief let me be; Sleeping within mine orchard,
My custom always of the afternoon,
Upon my secure hour thy uncle stule
With juice of cursed hebenon in a phial,
And in the porches of mine ears did pour
Tbe leperous distilment; whose effect
Holds such an enmity with blood of man,
That fwift as quick-lilver it.courses through
The natural gates and alleys of the body;
And, with a ludden vigour, it doth poflet
And curd, like eager droppings into milk,
The thin and wholsome blood : fo did it mines.
And a most instant tetter barked about,
Most lazar-like, with vile and loathsome crust
All my fmooth body. .----
Thus was I, sleeping by a brother's hand,
Of life, of crown, of Queen, at once dispatch'd;
Cut off even in the blossoms of my fin,
Unhouseled, unappointed, unanealed: (19)
(12) Unhouzzled, unanointed, unanealed;] The ghost, haring recounted the process of his murder, proceeds to exaggerate the inhumanity and unnaturaluess of the fact, from the cir. cumstances in which he was surprised. But there, I find, have
No reckoning made, but sent to my account With all my imperfections on my head. Oh, horrible! oh, horrible ! molt horrible! If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not ; been stumbling-blocks to our editors; and therefore I molt ameod and explain these three compound adjectives in their
Instead of unhouzzled, we must restore unbeuselet, i. e. without the facrament taken, from the old Saxon word for the facrament, boufel. So our etymologists, and Chaucer write it; and Sp.ncer, accordingly, calls the facramental fire hulling fire. In the next place, unanointed is a sophistication of the text; the old copies concor in reading disappointed. I corrected,
wabueled, unappointed. ise no confession of fins made, no reconciliation to Hearen; no appointment of penance by the church. To this purpose Othello speaks to his wife, when he is upon the point of killing her;
If you bethink yourself of any crime,
Unteconciled as yet to Heaven and Grace,
Solicit for it (trait.
So, in v-afure for Meafire, when Isabella brings word to
Claudio that he is to be instantly executed, the urges him to
this necessary duty;
Therefore your best appointment make with speed,
Tomorrow you set out. Unanesied, I agree to be the Poet's genuine word; but I must take the liberty to dispute Mr Pope's explication of it, viz. No krell rung. I don't pretend to know what glofTaries Mr Pope may have consulted and trusts to; but whatsoever they are, I am sure, their comment is very singular in the word alledged. The adjeđive formed from knell, must bave been urknelleu or unknolled. So, in Macbeth;
Had I as many sons, as I have hairs,
I would not wish them to a fairer death;
And so his krell is knolled. There is no rule in orthography for finking the k in the defexion of any verb or compound formed from knell, and melting it into a vowel. What sense does unanenied then bear? Skinner, in his Lexicon of old and obsolete Enge lith terms, tells us, that ancaled is undus, from the Teutonic
Let not the royal bed of Denmark be
A couch for luxury and damned incest.
But howsoever thou pursuelt 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 lier bosom lodge,
To prick and sting her. Fare thee well at once !
The glow-worm Inews the matin to be near,
And 'gins to pale his uneffectual fire.
Adieu, adieu, adieu ; remember me. [Exit.
Ham. Oh, all you host of heaven! oh earth!
And shall I couple hell? oh, hold my heart-------
And you, my sinews, grow not instant old;
But bear me stilfly up. Remember thee--------
Ay, thou poor ghost, while memory holds a feat
In this distracted globe; rememljer thee------
Yea, from the table of my memory (20)
I'll wipe away all trivial fond records,
All laws of books, all forms, all preifures past,
preposition an, and ole, i. e.cil; fo that umanealed must con-
fequently fignify unanointed, not liaving the extremiè undlion.
So the Poet's reading and explication being ascertained, he
very finely makes his ghost cuinplain of these four dreadful
hardships, that he had been dispatched out of life without
receiving the bolte, or facrament; without being reconciled to
lieaven and a solved; without the benclit of extreme untion;
or without fo inuch as a conferjion made of his fins. The
having no krill rung, I think, is not a point of equal con-
sequence to any of these; especially if we consider, that
llie Romish church admits the cfficacy of praying for the
(20) Yra, from the table of my memory
I'll wipe away'all trivial fond records,] Æschylus, I remember, trvice uses this very metaphor; confidering the anind or memory as a tablet, or urising-bork, on avhich we are 10 engrave things worthy of remembrance:
"Ην εγγράφι Συ μνήμιοσιν Δέλτοις φρενών. Promethi,
Δελτογράφω δε πάνθ' έπαστά φρενί.