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Again, in Churchyard's Worthiness of Wales :
“ Their cunning can with craft so cloke a troeth,
HENDERSON. 553. O my lord, if my duty be too bold, my love is too unmannerly.) i. e. if my duty to the king makes nie press you a little, my love to you makes me still more importunate. If that makes me bold, this makes me even unmannerly.
WARBURTON. I believe we should read---my love is not unmannerly. My conception of this passage is, that, in consequence of Hamılet's moving to take the recorder, Guildenstern also shitis his ground, in order to take place himself beneath the prince in his new position. This Hamlet ludicrously calls “ going about to recover the wind,” &c, and Guildenstern may answer properly enough, I think, and like a courtier ; " if my duty to the king makes me too bold in pressing you upon a disagreeable subject, my love to you will make me not unmannerly, in shewing you all possible marks of respect and attention,"
TYRWHITT. 562. -ventages --] The holes of a Aute.
JOHNSON. 563. -and thumb,-) The first quarto readswith your fingers and the umber. This may probably be the ancient name for that piece of moveable brass at the end of a fute which is either raised or depressed by the finger. The word umber is used by Stowe the chronicler, who, describing a single combat between
two knights, says, “ he brast up his umber three times.” Here, the umber means the visor of the hel. met. So, in Spenser's Faery Queene, B. III. c. 1.
“ But the brave maid would not disarmed be,
“ But only vented up her umbriere,
“ And so did let her goodly visage to appere." Again, B. IV. c. 4.
" And therewith smote him on his umbriere." Again, in the second book of Lidgate on the Trojan War, 1513: “ Thorough the umber into Troylus' face."
STEEVENS. If a recorder had a brass key like the German Flute, we are to follow the reading of the quarto'; for then the thumb is not concerned in the government of the ventages or stops. If a recorder was like a tabourer's pipe, which has no brass key, but has a stop for the thumb, we are to read-Govern these ventages with your finger and thumb. In Cotgrave's Dictionary, ombre, ombraire, ombriere, and ombrelle, are all from the Latin umbra, and signify a shadow, an umbrella, or any thing that shades or hides the face froin the sun; and hence they may have been applied to any thing that hides or covers another; as for example, they may have been applied to the brass key that covers the hole in the German flute. So Spenser used umbriere for the visor of the helmet, as Rous's History of the Kings of England uses umbrella in the same
584. Methinks, &c.] This passage has been printed in modern editions thus :
" Methinks it is like an cuzle.
6 Pol. It is black like an ouzle."
Pol. It is back'd like a weazel.-
Mr. Tollet observes, that we might read it is beck'd like a weasel," i. e. weasel-snouted. So, in Holinshed's Description of England, p. 172. “ if he be wesell-becked." Quarles uses this term of reproach in his Virgin Widow: “ Go you weazel-snouted, addlepated,” &c. Mr. Tollet adds, that Milton in his Lycidas, calls a promontory beaked, i.e. prominent like the beak of a bird.
STEEVENS. 589. They fool me to the top of my bent.-] They compel me to play the fool, till I can endure to do it no longer.
JOHNSON. 603. -be shent,] To shend, is to reprove harshly, to treat with injurious language.
STEEVENS. Shent seems to mean something more than reproof by the following passage from The Mirror for Magistrates : “ Thomas Mowbray, duke of Norfolk, is the speaker, and he relates his having betrayed the duke
of Gloucester and his confederates to the king, which,” says he, “ they were all tane and shent.”
Hamlet surely means, “ however my mother may be hurt, wounded, or punished by my words, let me never consent to put them in execution."
HENDERSON. 604. To give them seals-] i. e. put them in execution.
WARBURTON. 605. SCENE II. Enter King, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern. King. I like him not; nor stands it safe with us,
To let his madness range. Therefore, prepare
And he to England shall along with you :] In The Hystory of Hamblet, bl. let. the king does not adopt this scheme of sending Hamlet to England, till after the death of Polonius; and though he is described as doubtful whether Polonius was slain by Hamlet, his apprehension lest he might himself meet the same fate as the old courtier, is assigned as the motive for his wishing the prince out of the kingdom. This at first inclined me to think that this short scene, either from the negligence of the copyist or the Printer, might have been misplaced ; but it is certainly printed as the author intended, for in the next scene Hamlet says to his mother, “I must to England; you know that i" before the king could have heard of the death of Polonius.
611. Out of his lunes.] The old quartos read,
THEOBALD. Lunacies is the reading of the folio. I take brows to be, properly read, frows, which, I think, is à provencal word for perverse humours; which being, I suppose, not understood, was changed to lunacies. But of this I ain not confident.
JOHNSON. Shakspere uses the word lunes in the same sense in The Merry Wives of Windsor, and The Winter's Tale. From the redundancy of the measure nothing can be inferred,
Since this part of my note was written, I have met with an instance in support of Dr. Johnson's conjecture; "-were you but as favourable as you are frow
ish-" Tully's Love, by Greene, 1616. Perhaps, however, Shakspere designed a metaphor from horned cattle, whose powers of being dangerous increase with the growth of their brows. STEEVENS.
The present reading is fully established by a pasa sage in The History of Hamblet, bl. let. which the author had, probably, here in his thoughts: Fengon could not content himselfe, but still his mind gave him that the foole [Hamlet] would play him some tricke of legerdemaine. And in that conceit seeking to be rid of him, determined to find the means to doe it, by the aid of a stranger, making the king of England minister of his massacrous resolution, to whom he purposed to send him.”
MALONE. The two readings of brows and lunes-when taken