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603. Now is he total gules ;-] Gules is a term in the barbarous jargon peculiar to heraldry, and signifies red. Shakspere has it again in Timon :
“ With man's blood paint the ground; gules,
Heywood, in his Second Part of the Iron Age, has made a verb from it :
"-old Hecuba's reverend locks “Be gul'd in slaughter."-
STEEVENS. 609. With eyes like carbuncles] So, Milton's Paradise Lost, B. IX. 1. 500. “—and carbuncles his eyes."
SreeVENS. See also, The History of the Caliph Vathek, p. 307.
647. -the mobled queen] Mobled or mabled sig. nifies veiled. So Sandys, in his Travels, speaking of the Turkish women, says, their heads and faces are mabled in fine linen, that no more is to be seen of them than
WARBURTON. Mobled, signifies huddled, grossly covered.
JOHNSON, I meet with this word in Shirley's Gentleman of Venice.
“ The moon does mobble up herself.” FARMER. But who, a woe! had seen, &c.] The folio reads, I believe, rightly:
But who, O who, had seen, &c. MALONE 651, With bisson rheum ;-] Bisson or beesen, i. c. blind. A word still in use in some parts of the north of England.
So, in Coriolanus : ,“ What harm can your bisson conspectuities glean out of this character ?"
STEEVENS, 662. -made milch-] Drayton in the 13th Song of his Polyolbion gives this epithet to dew:
“ Exhaling the milch dew,” &c. Steevens, 696. Is it not monstrous, that this player here,] It should seem from the complicated nature of such parts as Hamlet, Lear, &c. that the time of Shak, spere had produced many excellent performers. He would scarce have taken the pains to form the characters which he had no prospect of seeing represented with force and propriety on the stage.
Steevens. 700. Tears in his eyes, distraction in's aspect.] The word aspect (as Dr. Farmer very properly observes) was in Shakspere's time accented on the second sylla. ble. The folio exhibits the passage as I have printed it.
STEEVENS. 704. What's Hecuba to him, &c.] 'Tis plain Shak. spere alludes to a story told of Alexander the cruel tyrant of Pheræ in Thessaly, who seeing a famous tragedian act the Troades of Euripides was so sensibly touched that he left the theatre before the play was ended; being ashamed, as he owned, that he who never pitied those he murdered should weep at the sufferings of Hecuba and Andromache, See Plutarch in the life of Pelopidas.
Upron. 706. ---the cue for fassion, ] The hint, the direction.
708. -the general ear -] The ear of all mankind. So before, Caviare to the general, that is, to the mula titude.
JOHNSON. 714 -unpregnant of my cause,] Not quickened with a new desire of vengeance; not teeming with revenge.
JOHNSON. 717. A damn'd defeat was made.-] Defeat, for destruction.
WARBURTON. Rather, dispossession.
JOHNSON. The word defeat is very licentiously used by the old writers. Shakspere in another play employs it yet more quaintly." Defeat my favour with an usurped beard."
STEE VENS. 727 -kindless-] Unnatural. JOHNSON.
Why, what an ass am 1? This is most brave ;] The folio reads,
“ O vengeance !
STEEVENS. 733 A scullion!] Thus the folio. The quarto reads, a stallion.
STEEVENS. 735 About my brains!. -] Wits, to your work. Brain, go about the present business. JOHNSON.
This expression occurs in the Second Part of the Iron Age, by Heywood, 1632 :
" My brain about again! for thou hast found
“ New projects now to work on." STEEVENS. 736.
number of these stories are collected together by Thomas Heywood, in his Actor's Vindication.
Steevens. 744. -tent him-] Search his wounds. Johnson. if he do blench,] If he shrink or start.
STEEVENS. 751. More relative than this;-) Relative, for convictive.
WARBURTON. Conviétive is only the consequential sense. Relative, is nearly related, closely connected.
CONFERENCE] The folio reads, Line 1. circumstance.
SreEVENS. 19. -o'er-raught on the way :-) Over-raught is over-reached, that is, over.took.
JOHNSON. 35. Affront Ophelia.] To affront, is only to meet directly.
JOHNSON. Affrontare, Ital. So, in the Devil's Charter, 1607 : “ Affronting that port where proud Charles
should enter." Again, in Sir W. D'Avenant's Cruel Brother, 1630 : “ In sufferance affronts the winter's rage.”
36. espiels] i.e. spies.
The words -lawful espiels, are wanting in the quartos.
STEEVENS. 52. Your loneliness.] Thus the folio. The first and second quartos read lowliness.
STEEVENS. 53. 'Tis too much prov'd --] It is found by too frequent experience.
JOHNSO'N. 59. -more ugly to the thing that helps it, ] That is, compared with the thing that helps it. JOHNSON.
63. To be, or not to be, -] Of this celebrated solilo. quy, which bursting from a man distracted with contrariety of desires, and overwhelmed with the magnitude of his own purposes, is connected rather in the speaker's mind, than on his tongue, I shall endeavour to discover the train, and to shew how one senti. ment produces another.
Hamlet knowing himself injured in the most enormous and atrocious degree, and seeing no means of redress, but such as must expose him to the extremity of hazard, meditates on his situation in this manner: Before I can form any rational scheme of a&lion under this pressure of distress, it is necessary to decide, whether, after our present state, we are to be, or not to be. That is the question, which, as it shall be answered, shall determine, whether 'tis nobler, and more suitable to the dignity of reason, to suffer the outrages of fortune patiently, or to take arms against them, and by opposing end them, though perhaps with the loss of life. If to die, were to sleep, no more, and by a sleep to end the miseries of our nature, such a sleep were devoutly to