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ii. 2. 87, and W. 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. and A. 605, Lear, i. 1. 188, etc. Convert my stern effects=change my stern action, or the execution of my stern purpose.
128. 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 way.
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. Curb and woo. “Bend and truckle” (Steevens); “bow and beg" (Wr.). Curb is the Fr. courber, and is printed “courb" in the folio. Perhaps 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. i. 1. 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 ... put 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 actions also the ease and readiness of habit. M. paraphrases the latter part of the passage thus : “ Just as a new dress or uniform becomes familiar 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. 170. For. As for. Cf. i. 5. 139 above. Gr. 149.
172. To punish me, etc. « To punish me by making me the instrument of this man's death, and to punish this man by my hand” (Malone).
173. 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 hé 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 ’ll answer,” etc.
180. 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 Meiancholy: "pleasant names may be invented, bird, mouse, lamb, pus, pigeon,
182. Reechy. Dirty. Cf. Much Ado, iii. 3. 143 : “the reechy painting ;" and Cor. ii. 1. 225: "her reechy neck.” The word is only another form of reeky, soiled with smoke or reek (cf. M.W.ji. 3. 86).
183. Paddling. Cf. W. T. i. 2. 115 and Oth. ii. 1. 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 Mach. ii. 2. 37.
185. Essentially am not. Am not essentially or really. Cf. Gr. 420, 421. 187. For who, etc. Spoken ironically. 188. Paddock. Toad. See Macb. p. 152.
Gib. A male cat. Nares says : “An expression exactly analogous to that of a Jack-ass, 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 · Gib, a contraction for Gilbert,' and 'a Gib-cat, catus, felis mas.'” The female cat was called Graymalkin or Grimalkin ; Malkin being originally a diminutive of Mall (Moll) or Mary. We find gib-cat in i Hen. IV. i. 2. 83.
189. Concernings. Concerns; as in M. for M. i. 1. 57.
191-193. The reference is to some old story that has not come down to us; perhaps, as Warner suggests, also alluded to by Sir John Suckling in one of his letters: “It is the story of the jackanapes and the partridges; thou starest after a beauty till it be lost to thee, and then let'st out another, and starest after that till it is gone too." 193. Conclusions. Experiments. Ct. R. of L. 1160:
" That mother tries a merciless conclusion
Will slay the other and be nurse to none."
195. Be thou assur'd, etc. “ The queen keeps her word, and is reward. ed by the atoning punishment which befalls her in this world. Rue is herb of grace to her, as poor Ophelia says” (M.).
198. I must to England. We are not told how Hamlet came to know this. Miles says that on his way to his mother he must have overheard the interview between the king and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. S. does not always take the trouble to make these little matters clear in the play.
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. 1. 218.
204. Eiginer. The folio has the word also in T. and C. i. 3. 8 and Oth. ii. 1. 65; engineer not at all. Cf. pioner in i. 5. 163 above, niutiner (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. 1. 169: “We'll quickly hoise Duke Humphrey from his seat;” and in Rich. Ill. iv. 4. 529 : “Hoised sail.” S. also uses the verb hoist; as in Sonn. 117. 7: "I have hoisted sail ;" A. and C. iji. 10. 15: “Hoists sails,” etc. Cf. Gr. 342.
Petar. The same as petard. Wr. quotes Cotgrave, Fr. Dict. : “Pe. tart: A Petard, or Petarre ; an Engine (made like a Bell, or Morter) wherewith strong gates are burst open.”
For 't shall go hard, cf. M. of V. iii. 1. 75, 2 Hen. IV. iij. 2. 354, etc. 207. At. See Gr. 143.
209. Packing. Schmidt makes this =going off in a hurry. Cf. send packing in i Åen. IV. ii. 4. 328, Rich. III. j. 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 word 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 liiad. Halliwell says: “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 nonchalance with which we should now write stomach." St. remarks that here “it really signifies no more than lack-brain or shallow-pate."
On the adjective use of neighbour, cf. L. L. L. v. 2. 94, A. Y. L. iv. 3. 79, etc.
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 7. vi. 1. 201, Rich. II. v. 5. 118, 119, i Hen. IV. v. 4. 160, Rich. III. i. 4. 287, 288, Leur, iv. 6, 280–282, J. C. iii. 2. 261, etc.
214. To draw. See Gr. 356, and cf. iii. 2. 321 above.
ACT IV. 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 excuse for his rash deed” (Clarke).
10. Whips. For the omission of the subject, cf. iii. 1. 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. A part. 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. ii. 6. 40: “this counterfeit lump of ore.” In R. of L. 56, some eds. read “ore,” but “o'er” is better. In the English-French appendix to Cotgrave's Dict. ore is confined to gold (Wr.).
26. Mineral. Mine (Steevens and Schmidt). Cf. Hall, Satires, vi. 148: “fired brimstone in a minerall.” 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. 1. 306, and Cymb. v. 5. 50.
27. Weeps. “Either this is an entire invention of the queen, or Ham. let's mockeries had been succeeded by sorrow” (M.).
36. Speak fair. Speak gently or kindly. Cf. C. of E. iii. 2. II, Rich. Il. iii. 3. 128, etc. So also “speak him fair," “speak you fair,” etc.; as in C. of E. iv. 2. 16, M. N. D. ii. 1. 199, etc.
40. Untimely. Often used adverbially; as in Macb. v. 8. 16, R. and 7. iii. 1. 123, v. 3. 258, etc.
So, 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 passage, 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 semicircumference 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.ji. 3. 5, Lear, i. 1. 161, etc.
44. Woundless air. Cf. 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 it, etc. Cf. Sonn. 71. 10: “When I perhaps compounded am with clay." See also 2 Hen. IV. iv. 5. 116.
12. Demanded of. Questioned by. Cf. Temp. i. 2. 139: “Well demanded ;” 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, 7. C. i. 1. 51, and L. C. 122. 15. Countenance. Patronage, favour. Cf. 2 Hen. IV. iv. 2. 13:
“The man that sits within a monarch's heart,
And ripens in the sunshine of his favour,
Would he abuse the countenance of the king," etc. Authorities. Attributes or offices of authority. Cf. M. for M. iv. 4. 6, Lear, i. 3. 17, etc.
17. As an ape doth nuts. The reading of the ist 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. 1. 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 (as 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. Å 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 commentators have made nothing else of it.
29. Of nothing Steevens gives sereral examples of the phrase "a