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Eiter. HAMLET. Ham. To be, or not to be? that is the question.ro Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The flings and arrows of outrageous fortune ; Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, (33)

(33),Or 10 like arins again a fea of trou?!es,

did by opposing end them?? I once imagined, that; to pres serve the uniformity of metaphors and as it is a word our Author is fond of uliog elsewhere, he inig!ıt have wrote;a firge of troubles. So, in Mi jummer Viglu's Dream ;

Or, if i here were a sympathy in choice,

War, deaib, or fickacís did lay siege to it. Kiog che;

Death, having prcyed upon the outward parts,

Leaves them, inviGble his ficge is now, &e. Romeo and Juliet ;

You, to remove that rege of grief from her,

Betrotbed, and would have married her, &c.
Timon of Athens ;

Nor even Nature,
To whom all fores lay Riege, can bear great fortune

But by contempt of nature.
Or one might conjecturally amend the passage, nearer to.
the traces of the text, thus;
Or to take arins against th' oftmy of troubles,

-against a 'lay of troubles; i. e. against the attempts, attacks, &c. So, before, in this, play;

Makes vow before his uncle, never more

To give the ajay of arms against your city. Henry V.

Galling the gleaned land with hot olays. Macteih;

mamtheir malady convinces. The great afay of art. And that thy tongue fome Jay of breeding breathies..

&c. &c. But, perhaps, any correction whatever may be unnecessary,

OT,

Lear ;

And by oppofing end them !--- to die,---to fleep--No more; and by a sleep, to say, we end The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks. That flelh is heir to; 'tis a consummation Devoutly, to be wilhed. To die --to fleep--(3+) considering the great licentiousness of our Poet in joininglieterogeneous metaphors; and considering too, that a jer is used not only to fignify the ocean, bui likewise a vall quantity, multitude, or confluence of any thing else. Instances are thick both in sacred and profane writers. The prophet Jee reiniah, particularly, in one pațage, calli a prodigious army coining up agaiof a city, a sea ; chupa li

The foais come up upon Babylon; she is covered with the inulitude of the waves thereof." Eichylus is frequent in the use of this metaphor;

Bozi ydp xüuz xiprañov spx?i. Sep, cont. Thebas, V. 63. And again, a little luwer;

Κυμα γαρ περί πόλιν
Δοχμολό των ανδρων
Καχλάζει σνομίς
"Αρεος ορόμενον.

Ibid. v. 116. And again, in his Persians ;

Δόκ μος δ' τις υτσοςάς
Mayang Saúre zło oulcov,
'Exupuis épress tipyar

"Αμιχαν κύμι 3αλάσσης. So Ciciro, in one of his letters to Atticus, lib. vii. Ep. 4. Fluctum enim loiius Burbaric jerre urbs wa non poterat. And, besides, a sea of troubles among the Greeks grew into proverbial usage; Kazan 2631, xzx@v tpixupiac. So that the expression, figuratively, means the troubles of human life, which flow in upon us, and encompass us round like a f:. Our Poet too has employed this nuciaphor in his Anjiny, speaking of a confluence of courtiers;

I was of late as petty to his ends,
As is the morn-dew on tbe myrtie leaf

To his grand fea. The same image and expression, lobserve, is used by Beantsmoat and Fletcher, in their Two Noobc Kinjinen ;

Though I know,
His acea: needs not my poor drops, yet they:

Must yield their tribute there. (34)

-Tu aii, 10 litepi

To fleep? 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,
Tl'oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pang of despised love, the law's delay,
The infolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th' unworthy takes ;
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardles bear,-
To
groani

and sweat under a weary life? But that the dread of something after death, (That.undiseovered country, from whose bourne (35)

To seep? perchance, 10 dream :} This admirable fine reflection seems, in a paltry manner, to be sneered at by: Beaumont, aud Fletcher, in iheir Scorful Lady ;

Rig. Have patience, Sir, until our fellow Nicholas be de, ceased, that is, alleep; 10 Jeep, to die ; to die, to seep; a very figure, Sir. (35) That undiscovered country, from whale bouroze

No traveller returns,). As sonic fuperficial critics have, withoui the least fcruple, accused the Poet of forgetfulness: and self-contradiction from this passage ;-feeing that in this very play he introduces a character from the other world, the gholt of Hamlet's father; I have thought this circumstance worthy of a justification. 'fis certain, to intoduce. a ghost, a being from the other world, and to say, that no. traveller returns from those coufines is, literally taken, as abfolute a contradiction as can be supposed er falto et termi-'His. But we are to take notice, that Shakespeare brings his ghost only from a. middle state, or local purgatory, a prisone House, as he makes his spirit call it, where he was doomed for a term only, to expiate his fins of nature, By the unifo. pered country hcre mentioned, he may, perhape, mean that lot and cternal refidence of souls in a state of full hliss or misery, which spirits in a middle state could not be acquainted with, er explain. So that if any latitude of sense may be allowed

No traveller returns) puzzles the will;
And makes us-rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of.
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all:
And thus the native hue of refolution.
Is ficklied-o'er with the pale cast of thought;
And enterprizes of great pith and moment,
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action-Soft you, now!

[Secing Ophelia: The fair Ophelia? Nymph, in thy oricons Be all my sins remembered.

Oph. Good my Lord, How does

your

honour for this many a-day? : Ham. I humbly thank you, well;

to the Poet's words, though he admits the possibility of a spirit returning from the dead, he yet holds, that the state of the dead cannot be communicated; and, with that allowance, it reinajns still an unili fcovered country. We are to obferve too, that even his ghost, who comes from purgatory, or whatever has been signified under that denomination) comes under restrictions; and though he confesses himself fubject to a viciffitude of torments, yet he says, at the same time, that he is forbid to tell the secrets of his prison-house. The ancients had the fame notion of our obscure and twi. light knowledge of an after being. Valerius lilaccus, I remember, (if I may be indulged in a thort digrellion) speak ing of the lower regions, and state of the spirits there, has an expression, which, in one sense, comes close to our Autbor's undiscovered country;

-Superis incognita tellus. And it is observable that Virgil, before he enters upon a description of Hell, and of the Elysian Fields, implores the permission of the infernal deities, and profeses, even then, to discover no more than hearsay concerning their mysterio ous dominions ;

Dii, quibus imperium eft animarum, umbreque silentes,
Et Chaos, et Phlegcthon, loca nocte tacenria lute,
Sit mihi fas auaita loqui, fit numire veliro
Pandire res alla terra et caligine merjas. Æneid. VI.

Oph. My Lord, I have remembrances of yours, That I have longed long to re-deliver.1 pray you, now receive them. Hai. No, I never gave you aught. [you did;

Oph. My honoured Lord, you know right well,
And with them words of fo sweet breath composed,
As made the things more rich : that perfume, loity:
Take these again; for to the noble mind
Rich gifts wax poor, when givers prove unkind.
There, my Lord.

Ham. Ha, ha! are you honest?
Oph. My Lord---
Ham. Are

you

fair? Oph. What means your Lord hip?

Ham. That if you be honest and fair, you should adinit no discourse to your beauty.

Oph. Could beauty, my Lord, have better commerce than with honesty?

Han. Ay, truly; (36) 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 its likeness. This was sometime a pa

(36), Ay, truly , fie the power of beauty will sooner transform horefty from what it is to a bawd, &c.] Our Author has twice before, in his As you like it, played with a sentiment bordering upon this;

Celia. 'Tis true, for those that the makes fair, the scarce. makes horest; and those that she makes bone;t, she makes yery illofaviured. And again;

Autit. Would you not have me honeft?

Clown. No truly, unless thou wert hard forured; for bnefly, coupled to beanty, is to have honey a sauce ro sugar..

The foundation of both passages may posübly have been of claflical extraction : Lis eji i um furma nagra pudicitie

Ovid.
Rara eft a.leo iineiruia forma
A, we prodicisie.

Juvenal.

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