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King. Where is Polonius?
Ham. In heaven: send thither to see; if your messenger find him not there, seek him i’the other place yourself. But, indeed, if you find him not within this month, you shall nose him as you go up the stairs into the lobby.
King. Go seek him there. [To some Attendants. Ham. He will stay till you come.
[Exeunt Attendants. King. Hamlet, this deed’, for thine especial safety,Which we do tender, as we dearly grieve For that which thou hast done,-must send thee hence With fiery quickness : therefore, prepare thyself. The bark is ready, and the wind at help, Th' associates tend, and every thing is bent For England. Ham. For England ?
Good. King. So is it, if thou knew'st our purposes.
Ham. I see a cherub that sees them'.—But, come; for England !- Farewell, dear mother.
King. Thy loving father, Hamlet.
Ham. My mother : father and mother is man and wife, man and wife is one flesh; and so, my mother. Come, for England.
[Exit. King. Follow him at foot; tempt him with speed
[Exeunt Ros. and GUIL.
2 Hamlet, this deed,] The folio inserts of thine after “ deed,” unnecessarily to the sense, and injuriously to the metre. Lower down, “ With fiery quickness" is only in the folio. It also reads, “ at bent” for “ is bent” of the quartos, at the conclusion of the speech.
3 — that sees ThEM.] The folio has him for “ them” of the quartos : him seems to have no reference, unless Hamlet be mentally adverting to his father.
And, England, if my love thou hold'st at aught,
A Plain in Denmark.
Enter FORTINBRAS, and Forces, marching. For. Go, captain; from me greet the Danish king: Tell him, that by his licence Fortinbras Claims the conveyance of a promis'd march Over his kingdom. You know the rendezvous. If that his majesty would aught with us, We shall express our duty in his eye; And let him know so. Cap.
I will do’t, my lord. For. Go softly on?
[Exeunt FORTINBRAS and Forces.
By letters CONJURING-) All the quartos have congruing. The same word occurs in the quartos of “Henry V.” (See Vol. iv. p. 476, note 7) which the folio there alters to congreeing. The text of the folio seems preferable, although the quartos may be right.
5 – were ne'er begun.) So the folio, and so the rhyme requires: the quartos, “will ne'er begrin.”
6 Claims the conveyance-] “ Craves the conveyance" in the quartos.
7 Go softly on.] These words are probably addressed to his troops, and in the quarto, 1603, we have, “Go, march away,” instead of them. The folio prints “ softly" safely.
Enter HAMLET, ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN, 8c.
How purpos’d, sir,
Against some part of Poland. Ham.
Who Commands them, sir?
Cap. The nephew to old Norway, Fortinbras.
Ham. Goes it against the main of Poland, sir,
Cap. Truly to speak, and with no addition,
Ham. Why, then the Polack never will defend it.
[Exit Captain. Ros.
Will't please you go, my lord ? Ham. I'll be with you straight. Go a little before.
[Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN. How all occasions do inform against me, And spur my dull revenge! What is a man, If his chief good, and market of his time, Be but to sleep, and feed ? a beast, no more. Sure, he, that made us with such large discourse,
& Enter Hamlet, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, &c.] The folio omits all the rest of this scene, and there is no trace of it in the quarto, 1603.
Looking before and after, gave us not
9 And ever three parts coward,–] Schlegel, in his work, Ueber dramatische Kunst und Litteratur, iii. p. 149, quotes this passage as a sort of key to Hamlet's character, and the omission of such an important soliloquy, in connexion with what immediately precedes it, would convince us, even if we had no other reason for thinking so, that the abbreviation of this tragedy for the stage, as we find it in the folio, 1623, was the work of the players, and not of the poet.
Enter Queen, HORATIO, and a Gentleman''.
Gent. She is importunate; indeed, distract:
What would she have ? Gent. She speaks much of her father; says, she
hears, There's tricks i' the world; and hems, and beats her
heart; Spurns enviously at straws; speaks things in doubt, That carry but half sense: her speech is nothing, Yet the unshaped use of it doth move The hearers to collection; they aim at it', And botch the words up fit to their own thoughts; Which, as her winks, and nods, and gestures yield
them, Indeed would make one think, there might be thought, Though nothing sure, yet much unhappily. Hor. "Twere good she were spoken with, for she
may strew Dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds. Queen. Let her come in.
10 Enter Queen, Horatio, and a Gentleman.) The folio omits the “Gentleman,” and gives all the quartos assign to him to Horatio, and what Horatio says to the Queen-no doubt to avoid the employment of another actor. We have restored the ancient, more convenient, and, as it seems to us, more natural distribution of the dialogue.
1- they aim at it,] The folio has “ aim ” for yawn of the quartos ; and yarn may possibly be right, though not very likely to be so. Three lines lower, the folio substitutes would for “ might.”
? Hor. "Twere good, she were spoken with.] This advice seems to come properly from Horatio, as it is given in the quartos, and the Queen's reply ought to commence at the order, “ Let her come in.” In the quartos these latter words are, however, erroneously made the end of what Horatio says. The desire to employ few actors, in all probability, led to this confusion of the dialogue.