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you in this garb, lest my extent to the players, (which, I tell you, must show fairly outward) should more appear like entertainment than yours. You are welcome; but my uncle-father, and aunt-mother, are deceived.

Guil. In what, my dear lord ?

Ham. I am but mad north-north-west: when the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw6.

Pol. Well be with you, gentlemen!

Ham. Hark you, Guildenstern ;—and you too ;-at each ear a hearer: that great baby, you see there, is not yet out of his swathing-clouts.

Ros. Haply, he's the second time come to them; for, they say, an old man is twice a child.

Ham. I will prophesy, he comes to tell me of the players; mark it.—You say right, sir: o'Monday morning; 'twas then, indeed.

Pol. My lord, I have news to tell you.

Ham. My lord, I have news to tell you. When Roscius was an actor in Rome?,

Pol. The actors are come hither, my lord.
Ham. Buz, buz!
Pol. Upon my honour,-
Ham. Then came each actor on his ass,

Pol. The best actors in the world, either for tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral, pastoral-comical, historicalpastoral, tragical-historical, tragical-comical-historical-pastoral®, scene individable, or poem unlimited : Seneca

I know a hawk from a handsaw.] It is very likely, as Sir T. Hanmer suggested, that “bandsaw” is a corruption of hernshaw, i.e. a heron ; but the expression, “ I know a hawk from a handsaw,” was proverbial in the time of Shakespeare.

? When Roscius was an actor in Rome,–] The folio omits “was,” and there are some other variations of little moment.

8 tragical-historical, tragical-comical-historical-pastoral,] These words are only in the folio, 1623, (and in the other folios printed after it) and in the quarto, 1603, which shows that they were part of the original representation.

cannot be too heavy, nor Plautus too light. For the law of writ, and the liberty?, these are the only men.

Ham. O Jephthah, Judge of Israel, what a treasure hadst thou !

Pol. What a treasure had he, my lord ?
Ham. Why,
“One fair daughter, and no more,

The which he loved passing well."
Pol. Still on my daughter.

[Aside. Ham. Am I not i’ the right, old Jephthah?

Pol. If you call me Jephthah, my lord, I have a daughter that I love passing well.

Ham. Nay, that follows not.
Pol. What follows, then, my lord ?
Ham. Why,

“As by lot, God wot,” And then, you know,

“It came to pass, as most like it was '0,”— The first row of the pious chanson will show you more; for look, where my abridgment comes.

Enter Four or Five Players.

You are welcome, masters; welcome, all.-I am glad to see thee well :-welcome, good friends.—0, old friend! Why, thy face is valanced" since I saw thee last : com’st thou to beard me in Denmark ?- What! my young lady and mistress! By-'r-lady, your ladyship is nearer to heaven, than when I saw you last, by the altitude of a chopine''. Pray God, your voice, like a piece of uncurrent gold, be not cracked within the ring!.—Masters, you are all welcome. We'll e'en to't like French falconers?, fly at any thing we see: we'll have a speech straight. Come, give us a taste of your quality; come, a passionate speech.

9 For the law of writ, and the Liberty,] The meaning probably is, that the players were good, whether at written productions or at extemporal plays, where liberty was allowed to the performers to invent the dialogue, in imitation of the Italian commedie al improviso. See History of Engl. Dram. Poetry and the Stage, vol. iii. p. 393.

10 It came to pass, as most like it was,] These are quotations from the first stanza of the ballad of “Jephthah, Judge of Israel,” in Percy's" Reliques," vol. i. p. 193. edit. 1812. Steevens informs us, that in the books belonging to the Stationers' Company, there are two entries of this ballad. Among others, " A ballet intituled the Songe of Jephthah's Doughter,” &c. 1567, vol. i. fol. 162. Again : “ Jeffa Judge of Israel," p. 93, vol. iii. Dec. 14, 1624. Malone conjectured that there had been an English drama written on the subject, and it appears from Henslowe's Diary that such was the fact, for in May, 1602, Henry Chettle was paid money on account of a tragedy called “ Jefftha."

11 – thy face is VALANCED - ] So the quarto, 1603, and the other editions in that form : the folio, raliant.

1 Play. What speech, my good lord 3?

Ham. I heard thee speak me a speech once,—but it was never acted; or, if it was, not above once, for the play, I remember, pleased not the million; 'twas caviare to the general*: but it was (as I received it, and others, whose judgments in such matters cried in the top of mine) an excellent play; well digested in the scenes, set down with as much modesty as cunning. I remember, one said, there were no sallets in the liness to make the matter savoury, nor no matter in the phrase that might indict the author of affectation®, but called

10 — by the altitude of a CHOPINE.) A “ chopine,” or more properly cioppino, was a cork or wooden soled shoe, worn by the Italian ladies to add to their height. It is often mentioned in the writers of Shakespeare's age. Ben Jonson, T. Heywood, Dekker, and other dramatists, speak of it in the same way, and in Marston's “ Dutch Courtesan," 1605, one of the characters asks, “ Dost thou not wear high corked shoes-chopines ?

1- cracked within the ring.) The allusion is to the voice of the boy, (who usually performed female parts, and is addressed by Hamlet as “your ladyship,”) which, by advance towards maturity and manhood, became cracked, or “cracked within the ring.” The phrase “ cracked within the ring,” is frequently met with metaphorically applied, and it refers to money, which, when so much injured as to be cracked within the ring upon the face of the coin, was not current.

2 – like French falconers,] So the folio, and so, no doubt, rightly, as “French" is the word in the quarto, 1603, although in all the later quartos it is friendly. “How well (observes the Rev. Mr. Barry) this expresses what the French call La Chasse, the pursuit of trifling birds.”

3 What speech, my good lord !) Here we adopt “good” from the quarto, 1603, and it accords with all the other quarto editions : the folio omits it.

4- 'twas caviare to the GENERAL :) The general here, as in “ Measure for Measure," Vol. ii. p. 42, is used for the people at large.

5 — there were no sallets in the lines,] So every copy, quarto and folio: Poje read salt with some plausibility.

6 — that might INDICT the author of AFFECTATION,] i. *. conrict him of affectation, or affection as it stands in the quarto, 1604, &c. Affection was often used by Shakespeare and other writers for “ affectation.” See Vol. ii. pp. 345 and 365.

it an honest method, as wholesome as sweet, and by very much more handsome than fine’. One speech in it I chiefly loved : 'twas Æneas' tale to Didos; and thereabout of it especially, where he speaks of Priam's slaughter. If it live in your memory, begin at this line :let me see, let me see ;“ The rugged Pyrrhus, like the Hyrcanian beast," —'tis not so ; it begins with Pyrrhus. “ The rugged Pyrrhus,-he, whose sable arms, “ Black as his purpose, did the night resemble “ When he lay couched in the ominous horse, “ Hath now this dread and black complexion smear’d “ With heraldry more dismal; head to foot “ Now is he total gules ; horridly trick'd “ With blood of fathers, mothers, daughters, sons ; “ Bak'd and impasted with the parching streets, “ That lend a tyrannous and a damned light “ To their lord's murder': Roasted in wrath, and fire, “ And thus o'er-sized with coagulate gore, “ With eyes like carbuncles, the hellish Pyrrhus “Old grandsire Priam seeks;” — So proceed you.

Pol. 'Fore God, my lord, well spoken ; with good accent, and good discretion.

1 Play. Anon he finds him “ Striking too short at Greeks : his antique sword, “Rebellious to his arm, lies where it falls, “ Repugnant to command. Unequal match’d", “ Pyrrhus at Priam drives; in rage, strikes wide; “ But with the whiff and wind of his fell sword

? - as wholesome as sweet, and by very much more handsome than fine.) These words are not in the folio. The folio afterwards reads, “ One chief speech," &c., and omits “So proceed you," below.

8 - 'twas Æneas' tale to Dido ;] The quartos, 1604, &c. have talk ; but the quarto, 1603, and the folio“ tale."

9 To their Lord's murder :) So the quartos: the folios “rile murders." 10 – Unequal match’d,) The folio reads, “ Unequal match.


ch in ther

“ The unnerved father falls. Then senseless Ilium, -
“Seeming to feel this blow, with flaming top
“Stoops to his base; and with a hideous crash
“ Takes prisoner Pyrrhus' ear: for, lo! his sword
“ Which was declining on the milky head
“Of reverend Priam, seem'd i' the air to stick :
“So, as a painted tyrant, Pyrrhus stood;
“And, like a neutral' to his will and matter,
“ Did nothing.
“But, as we often see, against some storm,
“A silence in the heavens, the rack stand still,
“ The bold winds speechless, and the orb below
“As hush as death, anon the dreadful thunder
“ Doth rend the region; so, after Pyrrhus' pause,
“ Aroused vengeance sets him new a-work,
“ And never did the Cyclops' hammers fall
“On Mars's armour, forg’d for proof eterne,
“ With less remorse than Pyrrhus' bleeding sword
“Now falls on Priam.-
“Out, out, thou strumpet, Fortune! All you gods,
“ In general synod, take away her power;
“ Break all the spokes and fellies from her wheel,
“And bowl the round nave down the hill of heaven,
“ As low as to the fiends !"

Pol. This is too long.

Ham. It shall to the barber's, with your beard. Pr’ythee, say on :-he's for a jig?, or a tale of bawdry, or he sleeps.—Say on : come to Hecuba.

1 Play. “But who, O! who had seen the mobled


1 And like a neutral] “And” is from the folio, the line in the quartos being defective.

? – he's for a jig,] A jig was the technical name for a comic species of entertainment, usually performed by the clown of the company after the play. See History of Engl. Dram. Poetry, and the Stage, iii. 378.

3 But who, O! who had seen the MOBLED queen-] Thus the line stands in the quarto, 1603, the oldest authority, as far as it is to be considered such : the quarto, 1604, has, “ But who, a woe, had seen the mobled queen.” The folio, 1623, misprints “ mobled " inobled. “ Mobled” means hastily or carelessly

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