« ZurückWeiter »
Couch we a while, and mark.
Ham. That is Laertes, a most noble youth: mark
Prieft. Her obfequies have been fo far enlarg'd As we have warranty; her death was doubtful; And but that great Command o'er-fways the order, She fhould in ground unfanctified have lodg'd 'Till the laft Trump. For charitable prayers, Shards, flints, and pebbles, fhould be thrown on her; Yet here the is allow'd her virgin rites, Her maiden-ftrewments, and the bringing home Of bell and burial.
Laer. Muft no more be done?
We should profane the fervice of the dead,
Laer. Lay her i'th' earth;
And from her fair and unpolluted flesh
Ham. What, the fair Ophelia !
Queen. Sweets to the fweet, farewel!
I hop'd, thou fhould't have been my Hamlet's wife;
Laer. O treble woe
Fall ten times treble on that curfed head, Whofe wicked deed thy moft ingenious fenfe Depriv'd thee of! Hold off the earth a while, 'Till I have caught her once more in my arms; [Laertes leaps into the Grave. Now pile your duft upon the quick and dead, 'Till of this flat a mountain you have made, T'o'er-top old Pelion, or the skyish head Of blue Olympus.
Ham. [difcovering himself.] What is he, whofe griefs Bear fuch an emphafis? whofe phrase of forrow
Conjures the wandring ftars, and makes them stand
[Hamlet leaps into the Grave.
Hamlet the Dane.
Laer. The Devil take thy foul! [Grappling with him.
I pr'ythee, take thy fingers from my throat
[The attendants part them. Ham. Why, I will fight with him upon this theme, Until my eyelids will no longer wag.
Queen. Oh my fon! what theme?
Ham. I lov'd Ophelia; forty thousand brothers
Queen. For love of God, forbear him.
Woo't weep? woo't fight? woo't faft? woo't tear thy felf?
Woo't drink up Eifel, eat a croccdile? (29)
(29) Would drink up Efill, eat a Crocodile?] This Word has thro' all the Editions been distinguish'd by Italick Characters, as if it were he proper Name fome River: and fo, I dare fay, all the Editors have from time to time understood it to be. But then this must be fome River in Denmark; and there is none there so call'd; nor is there any near it in Name, that I know of, but Tel, from which the Province of Overyffel derives its Title in the German Flanders. Befides, Hamlet is not propofing any Impoffibilities to Laertes, as the drinking up a River would be: but he rather feems to mean, Wilt thou refolve to do things the most shocking and diftafteful to human Nature? and, behold, I am as refolute. I am perfuaded,
the Poet wrote;
- Do'st thou come hither but to whine?
To out-face me with leaping in her Grave?
Queen. This is meer madness;
And thus a while the Fit will work on him:
Ham. Hear you, Sir
What is the reason that you use me thus?
[Exit Hor. Strengthen your patience in our last night's fpeech. [To Laertes.
We'll put the matter to the present push.
Wilt drink up Eifel, eat a Crocodile ?
i. e. Wilt thou swallow down large Draughts of Vinegar? The
SCENE changes to a HALL, in the Palace. Enter Hamlet and Horatio.
much for this, now fhall you fee the other.
You do remember all the circumftance?
Ham. Sir, in my heart there was a kind of fighting,
Hor. That is moft certain.
My fea-gown scarft about me, in the dark
Hor. Is't poffible?
Ham. Here's the commiffion, read it at more leifure; But wilt thou hear now how I did proceed? Hor. I beseech you.
Ham. Being thus benetted round with villany, (Ere I could make a prologue, to my Bane (30)
(30) Being thus benetted round with villains,
E'er I could make a Prologue to my Brains,
They had begun the Play :) I fate me down,
A bafeness to write fair; and labour'd much
Her. Ay, good my lord.
Ham. An earnest conjuration from the King,
As love between them, like the palm, might flourish,
This Paffage is certainly corrupt both in the Text and Pointing. Making a Prologue to his Brains is such a Phrafe as SHAKESPEARE would never have us'd, to mean, e're I could form my Thoughts in making a Prologue. I communicated my Doubts to my two ingenious Friends Mr. Warburton and Mr. Bishop and by their Affiftance, I hope, I have reform'd the whole to the Author's Intention. The Senfe is, plainly, this 66 Being thus in their Shares, e're I could make a Prologue (take the leaft previous Step) to ward off Danger, they had begun the Play (put their Schemes in Action) "which was to terminate in my Destruction."
(31) As Peace should still her wheaten Garland wear, And ftand a Comma 'tween their Amities, &c.] Peace is finely and properly perfonaliz'd here, as the Goddefs of good League and Friendship: but what Ideas can we form of her ftanding as a Comma, or Stop, betwixt their Amities? I am fure, fhe ftands rather like a Cypher, in this Reading. I have no Doubt, but the Poet wrote; And ftand a Commere 'tween their Amities;
i. e, a Guarantee, a Common Mother. Nothing can be