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many of our old plays the guards attendant on kings are called Switzer's, and that without any regard to the country where the scene lies.” Malone quotes Nash, Christ's 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. 1. 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. 1. 47 : “ He seem'd in running to devour the way.”
84. Heud. Armed force (Schmidt); as in i Hen. IV. i. 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 backwards. Turbervile, in his Book of Hunting, says : “ When a hound hunteth backwards the same way that the chase is come, then we say he hunt. eth 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 him." Cf. 105 below.
102. Unsmirched. Unstained, unsullied. Cf. besmirch, i. 3. 15 above; and smirched in Hen. 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, Treason! 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 majestie had her presence, and such boldnesse 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 iji, 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 on Throughfares.
120. My will. That is, only my own will (Wr.). The quartos have “ worlds, and Pope “world's.”
124. Is 't writ, etc. Wr. compares i. 2. 222 above.
125. Swoopstake. “ 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. iii. 3. 167 (Wr.).
129. Pelican. The folio has “Politician.” Caldecott quotes Dr. Sherwen: “By the pelican's dropping upon its breast its lower bill to enable its young to take from its capacious pouch, lined with a fine fleshcoloured 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. 1. 126 and Lear, 111. 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. 1. 114.
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" (referring 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 functions 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 illustrations are to be received with caution.” No satisfactory example of the word 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. ji. 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 7. 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 herb sacred to remembrance, and therefore to friendship; whence a sprig of it hath a dumb language that maketh it the chosen emblem at our funeral 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 Fr. pensée, thought. The flower is the love-in-idleness of M. N. D. ii. 1. 168 and T. of s. i. 1. !56. Spenser calls it by the old name paunce. Cf. F. Q. iii. 1. 36:
And fragrant violets, and Paunces trim;" Id. iii. . 37: “The one a Paunce, the other a Sweet-breare ;” and Shep. Kil. Apr.:
“The pretie Pawnce,
And the Chevisaunce." Milton (Lycidas, 144) speaks of it as “the pansy freak'd with jet." Cf. P. L. ix. 1040 and Comus, 851.
159. Document. Lesson, precept; used by S. nowhere else. Cf. Spenser, 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 Delites, 1584, the former is thus mentioned : ‘Fennel is for flatterers,' etc. See also Florio, Ital. Dict. 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 its yellow flowers,
Lost vision to restore.
A wreath of fennel wore." Cf. 2 Hen. IV. 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 my garden." It was the emblem of cuckoldom on account of the horns of its nectaria. The Caltha Poetarum, 1599, speaks of it as “the blue cornuted columbine.” It was also emblematic of forsaken lovers. Holt White quotes Browne, Brit. Past. i. 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 Rich. 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 the Latin ferula, the name of the giant fennel, the stalks of which were used as “birches" by the Roman schoolmaster.
says. Cf. A. W. iv. 5. 18. It was specially in repute as an eye-salve. Cf. Milton, P. L. xi. 414:
." then purg'd with euphrasy and rue
The visual nerve, for he had much to see.” Ellacombe quotes the old lines of the Schola Salerni: “Nobilis est ruta quia lumina reddit acuta,” etc.
163. With a difference. “The difference between the ruth and wretchedness of guilt, and the ruth and sorrows of misfortune” (Caldecottj. Skeat explains the passage thus: “I offer you rue, which has two meanings : 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 Shakespeare's own, and refers to Rich. II. iii. 4. 105. For a different explanation, 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. Legende of Goode Women, 40 :
“Now have I thanne suche a condicion,
That of al the floures in the mede,
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 dessembling daisie.”
Violets. Malone quotes a sonnet printed in 1584: “Violet is for faithfulnesse.” Cf.i. 3. 7 above and v. 1. 229 below.
167. The song of Bonny Sweet Robin is found in Anthony Holtorne'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, ii. 1, the jailer's daughter, when mad, says : “I can sing The Broom and Bonny Robin” (Chappell).
168. Thought. Anxiety, trouble. Cf. ii. 1. 85 above. Passion=“violent sorrow” (Schmidt); as in T. A. i. 1. 106: “A mother's tears in passion for her son,” etc. Cf. ii. 2. 504 above.
169. Favour. Attractiveness. Cf. Oth. iv. 3. 21: “even his stubbornness, his checks, his frowns ... have grace and favour in them.” See p. 28 above.
179. God ha' mercy. The folio has “Gramercy;" perhaps to avoid the introduction of the name of God. See on ii. 1. 76 above.
180. Of all. On all. See Gr. 181.
182. Commune. Accented on the first syllable by S., except, perhaps, in W. T. ii. 1. 162 (Schmidt). The folio has “common."
184. Of whom, etc. That is, “ of your wisest friends, whom you will” (Wr.). Cf. Gr. 426.
187. Touch'd. That is, accessary to the deed (Schmidt).
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 Much Ado, iv. 1. 207 : “a mourning ostentation.”
197. That. For the omission of so, see Gr. 283, and cf. iv. 7. 146 below.
SCENE VI.-1. What. Equivalent, as often, to who, but only in the predicate (Schmidt). Cf. Temp. v. I. 85, M. for M. ii. 1. 62, iv. 2. 132, iv. 3. 27, v. 1. 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. 1. 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. 1. 296, etc.
16. Com pelled. Enforced, involuntary. Cf. R. of L. 1708: “this compelled stain ;' M. for M. i. 4. 57 : “our compell’d sins,” etc.
18. 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 “mercy” 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 accident to account, and had persuaded the pirates to assist him in the plan. What Hamlet says in iii. 4. 202–207 has been 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 refutes the notion that it was a device of his own.
21. As thou 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.
9. 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 greatness."