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thing of nothing;” and Whalley adds Ps. cxliv. 4 (Prayer-book version); “Man is like a thing of nought.” Cf. M. N. D. iv. 2. 14: “A thing of naught,” and see note in our ed. p. 178.
Hide fox, etc. “There is a play among children thus called” (Han. mer). M. says: “Hamlet sheathes his sword, and, as if he were playing hide-and-seek, cries, ‘now the fox is hid: let all go after him.'i, For fox=sword, see Hen. V. p. 179.
SCENE III.-4. Of. See on iv. 2. 12 above.
9. Deliberate pause. “A matter of deliberate arrangement” (M.). CI. iii. 3. 42 above.
Diseases desperate, etc. Rushton quotes Lyly, Euphues: “But I feare me wher so straunge a sicknesse is to be recured of so vnskilfull a Phisition, that either thou wilt be to bold to practise, or my body too weake to purge. But seeing a desperate disease is to be committed to a des. perate Doctor, I wil follow thy counsel, and become thy cure.”
21. Convocation of politic worms. “Holding congress over the great politician” (M.); perhaps alluding, as Sr. suggests, to the Imperial Diets held at Worms.
Your. See on i. 5. 167, and cf. iii. 2. 108 above. See also v. I. 161 below : “your water," etc.
27. Eat. For the form of the participle, see Rich. II. p. 104 or A. Y. L. p. 165. Gr. 343.
31. Progress. A royal journey of state was always so called (Stee. vens). Cf, 2 Hen. VI. i. 4. 76: “The king is now in progress towards Saint Alban's.”
33. Send thither to see. For you cannot go yourself, as you can to “the other place.”
40. Tender. Regard, cherish. Cf. i. 3. 107 above. According to De lius dearly is to be understood : “as dearly tender as we grieve.”
42. With fiery quickness. “In hot haste” (Wr.).
43. At. Abbott (Gr. 143) explains this as used instead of the obsolescent a (as in “a-cursing,” ii. 2. 573 above) governing a noun, and compares W. T. v. I. 140: “at friend," etc. Cf. i. 3. 2 above: “as the winds give benefit.”
44. Tend. Attend, wait. Cf. i. 3. 83 above. For is bent the folio has “at bent."
47. A cherub, etc. “The cherubs are angels of love; they there. fore of course know of such true affection as the king's for Hamlet” (M.).
53. At foot. At his heels (Gr. 143). Schmidt compares A. as:d C. i. 5.44 and ii. 2. 160.
56. Leans on. Depends on; as in 2 Hen. IV. i. 1. 164, T. and cüi. 3. 85, etc. There is a play upon the expression in M. for M. ii. 1. 49.
57. Hold'st at aught. Dost value at all. Gr. 143. .
6o. Free. Willing, ready (Schmidt); no longer enforced by the Danish sword. Or we may say that free awe pays homage=awe pays free
homage. Cf. the examples of the “transposition of epithets" in Schmidt, Appendix, p. 1423.
61. Coldly set. “Regard with indifference” (Schmidt). Cf. “set me light”-esteem me lightly, in Sonn. 88. i and “sets it light” in Rich. II. i. 3. 293.
63. Conjuring. The folio reading; the quartos have “congruing," which Wr. prefers. On the accent of conjure in S. see M. N. D. p. 164.
64. Present. Instant. Cf. R. of L. 1263, 1307, M. for M. ii. 4. 152, iv. 2. 171, 223, etc. See on presently, ii. 2. 170 above.
65. Hectic. Wr. quotes Cotgrave, Fr. Dict. : “Hectique : Sicke of an Hectick, or continuail Feauer.” S. uses the word only here.
67. Haps. Cf. Much Ado, iii. 1. 105: “loving goes by haps ;” T. A. v. 3. 202: “our heavy haps,” etc. The Coll. MS. has "hopes,” which was also a conjecture of Johnson's.
Begun. “T'schischwitz, having found that gin is used for begin, sug. gests, reads, and defends ‘my joys will ne'er be gun'" (F.).
SCENE IV.-3. Clains. The folio reading; the quartos have “Craues” (Craves) which some editors prefer.
5. If that. For that as a “conjunctional affix,” see Gr. 287.
6. In his eye. In his presence; especially used of the royal presence (Steevens). Cf. A and C. ii. 2. 212 : “tended her i’ the eyes, etc. Steevens quotes The Establishment of the Household of Prince Henry, 1610 : “all such as doe service in the Prince's eye;" and The Regulations for the Queen's Household, 1627: “Such as doe service in the Queen's eye.” F. refers to iv. 7. 45 below.
8. Softly. Slowly, gently; probably addressed to his soldiers. Cf. 7. C. v. 1. 16: “Octavius, lead your battle softly on,” etc. The folio has “safe
The remainder of this scene (9–66) is omitted in the folio.
9. Powers. Troops. Both the singular and the plural are used in this sense (cf. force and forces). See 7. C. p. 168, note on Are levying powers.
11. How purpos'd ? Having what purpose or destination? Cf. Lear, ii. 4. 296 : “So am I purpos’d,” etc.
14. Norway. The King of Norway. See on i. 2. 125 above.
15. The main. “The chief power” (Wr.); or the country as a whole (Schmidt). Cf. T. and C. ii. 3. 273: “all our main of power,” etc.
17. To mend the metre Pope read “speak it” and Capell “speak, sir." “Speak on 't” and “no more addition” have also been suggested.
20. Five ducats, five. “A rent of five ducats, only five” (Wr.).
Farm. Take on lease. S. uses the verb only here and in Rich. II. i. 4. 45 : “to farm our royal realm.”
22. Ranker. Greater. See A. Y. L. p. 186.
25, 26. It has been plausibly suggested that these lines belong to the Captain, not to Hamlet. Debate the question=decide the question.
27. Imposthume. Inward sore or abscess. Cf. V. and A. 743 and T. and C. v. 1. 24. Caldecott quotes i Hen. IV. iv. 2. 32 : "the cankers of a calm world and long peace.” For the origin of the word, see Wb.
34. Market of his time. “ That for which he sells his time” (Johnson). 36. Such large discourse, etc. “Such latitude of comprehension, such power of reviewing the past and anticipating the future” (Johnson). Theo. remarks that looking before and after is “an expression purely Homeric,” and refers to Iliad, iii. 109 and xviii. 250.
39. Fust. To grow mouldy or “fusty” (T. ană C. i. 3. 161, ii. 1. III, and Cor. i. 9. 7). S. uses the verb nowhere else.
41. Of. In consequence of. Gr. 168.
"Hamlet envies every one who has quick and determined resolution, and whose energy does not, like his own, evaporate in meditation, and pass by opportunity after opportunity for action” (M.).
Event=issue ; as in 50 below.
46. Gross. Palpable, obvious. Cf. i Hen. IV. ii. 4. 250 : “gross as a mountain, open, palpable.”
47. Charge. Cost, expense. Cf. K. John, i. 1. 49: “This expedition's charge,” etc.
49. Puff'd. Inspired
50. Mäkes mouths, etc. “Utterly scorns the dire uncertainties of the war” (M.). For makes mouths, cf. M. N. D, ji. 2. 238 and Lear, iii. 2. 36.
54. Is not, etc. The not modifies is, as F. notes : “To stir without great argument, upon every trifling occasion, is not an attribute of greatness; ... but it is the attribute of greatness to stir instantly and at a trifle when the heart is touched.”
For argument=matter in dispute, see Hen. V. p. 163.
58. My reason and my blood. Cf. iii. 2. 64: “ blood and judgment,” and see note.
61. Trick of fame. “Point of honour” (Caldecott). Cf. Cor. iv. 4. 21 : “Some trick' (that is, trifle] not worth an egg.” Delius considers that of fame belongs to fantasy also: "an illusion and a whim that promise fame.” On the passage, cf. A. Y. L. ii. 7. 152:
“Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth." 63. Whereon, etc. That is, not large enough to hold the armies that fight for it. 64. Continent. Receptacle, that which contains. Cf. M. N. D. ii. 1.92:
“Have every pelting river made so proud
That they have overborne their continents ;" A. and C. iv. 14. 40: “Heart, once be stronger than thy continent,” etc. Reed quotes Bacon, Adv. of L.: “and if there be no fullness, then is the continent greater than the content.”
SCENE V.-The stage-direction in the quartos is “Enter Horatio, Ger. tiard, and a Gentleman ;' in the folio, “Enter Queene and Horatio." The latter gives to Horatio the speeches of the Gentleman. “Lines 11-13, so cautiously obscure, seem better suited to an ordinary courtier than to Horatio” (Wr.).
2. Distract. See on deject, iii. 1. 155, or Gr. 342. 3. WHl. See Gr. 319.
5. There's. See on iii. 4. 199 above.
6. Spurns. Kicks (Schmidt). Cf. C. of E. ii. 1. 83: “That like a foot ball you do spurn me thus,” etc.
Enviously=angrily, spitefully (Nares). So envious often=spiteful, and envy=malice, spite. See Rich. II. p. 172.
8. Unshaped. Formless, confused. Cf. M. for M. iv. 4. 23 : “ This deed unshapes me quite ;' tliat is, deranges or confuses me.
9. To collection." Tó endeavour to collect some meaning from it” (Mason).
For aim the quartos have “yawne.” Aim=guess; as in T. G. of V. iii. 1. 45, T. of S. ii. 1. 237, 2 Hen. VI. ii. 4. 58, etc.
11-13. “ The general sense of this ill-expressed sentence is more easily understood than paraphrased. The speaker is afraid of committing himself to any definite statement. If he had spoken out he would have said, .Her words and gestures lead one to infer that some great misfortune has happened to her?” (Wr.).
14-16. The quartos give all three lines to Horatio ; the folio to the queen. The arrangement in the text was suggested by Blackstone, and is adopted by Coll., St., the Camb. editors, M., and F.
On the measure of 14, see Gr. 461.
18. Toy. Trifle. Cf. i Hen. VI. iv. 1. 145: “a toy, a thing of no regard,” etc.
Amiss. Misfortune, disaster. Also used as a noun in Sonn. 35. 7 and 151. 3. Steevens quotes The Arraignment of Paris, 1584 : “Gracious forbearers of this world's amiss ;” and Lyly, Woman in the Moon : “to witness my amiss.”
19. Jealousy. Suspicion ; as in ii. I. 113 above. The meaning is, “Guilt is so full of suspicion that it unskilfully betrays itself in fearing to be betrayed” (Wr.).
21. Sir Joshua Reynolds says : “There is no part of the play in its representation on the stage more pathetic than this scene ; which, I suppose, proceeds from the utter insensibility Ophelia has to her own misfortunes. A great sensibility, or none at all, seems to produce the same effect. In the latter the audience supply what she wants, and with the former they sympathize.” See also p. 28 above.
25. Cockle-hat. The cockle-shell in the hat was the badge of a pilgrim.
26. Shoon. As Delius remarks, this plural was archaic in the time of S. He puts it also into the mouth of Cade, 2 Hen. VI. iv. 2. 195.
37. Larded. Garnished (Caldecott). Cf. v. 2. 20 below. See also M. W. iv. 6. 14, T. and C. v. i. 63, etc.
38. Did go." All the early eds, have “did not go ;” corrected by Pope. 41. God’ield you! God yield or reward you. See Macb. p. 175, or A. Y. L. p. 180.
The owl, etc. According to Douce, there is a story current in Gloucestershire that our Saviour went into a baker's shop to ask for bread. The mistress of the shop would have given him all he wanted, but was reprimanded by her daughter, who for her lack of charity was transformed into an owl.
47. Conceit. Imagination; as in iii. 4. 112 above. 45. Of. About. Gr. 174.
49. And I, etc. The first girl seen by a man on the morning of this day was considered his Valentine or true-love. The custom continued until the last century, and is graphically alluded to by Gay (Halliwell).
59. This is. Metrically equivalent to one syllable. Gr. 461.
60. O Gertrude, Gertrude. The quartos read “ death, and now behold, 0," etc. Stratmann suggests that S. first wrote “And now behold," and then substituted “O Gertrude, Gertrude.”
61. When sorrows come, etc. That is, “misfortunes never come sin.
Spies. Scouts sent in advance of the main army.
64. Remove. See on avouch, i. 1. 57; and cf. Lear, ii. 4. 4, A. and C. i. 2. 203, etc.
Muddied . . . unwholesome. These refer primarily to the blood, and then to the mood of the people (Delius).
66. Greenly. Foolishly. Cf. Hen. V. v. 2. 149: "look greenly." See also i. 3. for above.
67. In hugger - mugger. Secretly and hurriedly. Steevens quotes North’s Plutarch: “Antonius thinking good ... that his bodie should be honorably buried, and not in hugger-mugger.” Malone cites Florio, Ital. Dict. : “ Dinascoso, secretly, hiddenly, in hugger-mugger.” Cf. also Spenser, Mother Hubberds Tale, 139:
"Of all the patrimonie, which a few
Now hold in hugger mugger in their hand.” 68. Divided, etc. Cf. v. 2. 112 below.
72. Feeds on his wonder. The quartos read “Feeds on this wonder ;" the folio, “Keepes on his wonder.” The reading in the text is Johnson's. “The mysterious death of Polonius filled his son with doubt and amazement” (Wr.).
Keeps himself in clouds. Is reserved and mysterious in his conduct (Theo.).
73. Buzzers. Whisperers, tale - bearers (Schmidt); used by S. only here. Cf. the verb buzz=whisper, in Rich. 11. ii. 1. 26, 3 Hen. VI. v. 6. 86, Hen. VIII. ii. 1. 148, etc.
75. Wherein, etc. “Wherein (that is, in which pestilent speeches) necessity, or the obligation of an accuser to support his charge, will nothing stick,” etc. (Johnson).
76. Person. The quarto reading; the folio has “persons.” The king is speaking of himself only (D.).
78. A murthering-piece. A cannon loaded with case-shot. Steevens quotes Smith's Sea Grammar, 1627: “A case shot is any kinde of small bullets, nailes, old iron, or the like, to put into the case, to shoot out of the ordinances (see Hen. V. p. 161] or murderers.” M. defines it as "a rude mitrailleuse of the day, the pévier or perrier, which discharged stones so that they shattered into many fragments.”
80. Switzers. “Swiss guards such as served in France, Spain, and Naples—the men whose fidelity to Louis XVI. on the terrible roth of August is commemorated by the Lucerne lion” (M.). Reed says: “In