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Good Laertes, If you desire to know the certainty Of your dear father's death, is't writ in your revenge, That, sweepstake, you will draw both friend and foe, Winner and loser ? Laer. None but his enemies.
Will you know them, then?
Why, now you speak
Danes. [Within.] Let her come in“.
2 — life-rendering PELICAN,] This is the reading of every quarto : the folio absurdly misprints it politician, and modern editors silently adopt the word in the earlier impressions, as in many other instances, leaving people to imagine that the folio, 1623, is much more accurately printed than it is in reality.
3 — to your judgment ’PEAR,] So the quartos : the folio, pierce.
4 Let her come in.] These words are given to Laertes in the quartos ; but in the folio they properly stand as uttered by the Danes, who are unseen by the audience.
5 Re-enter Ophelia.] “Enter Ophelia, fantastically dressed with straws and flowers” say modern editors; but not so the old copies, where we read merely “Enter Ophelia," excepting in the quarto, 1603, which has, “Enter Ophelia, as before.” In fact, it is only her “re-entrance,” as she has been on the stage before in this scene.
Should be as mortal as an old man's life?
Hey non nonny, nonny, hey nonny":
And in his grave raind many a tear ; Fare you well, my dove8! Laer. Hadst thou thy wits, and didst persuade re
venge, It could not move thus.
Oph. You must sing, Down a-down, an you call him a-down-a. O, how the wheel becomes it! It is the false steward, that stole his master's daughter'.
Laer. This nothing's more than matter.
Oph. There's rosemary, that's for remembrance; pray you, love, remember: and there is pansies ', that's for thoughts.
Laer. A document in madness; thoughts and remembrance fitted.
Oph. There's fennel for you, and columbines :there's rue for you; and here's some for me: we may call it, herb of grace o’Sundays?:—you may wear: your rue with a difference.—There's a daisy: I would give you some violets; but they withered all when my father died.—They say, he made a good end,
6 After the thing it loves.] This hemistich and the two preceding lines are only in the folios : the quartos read, “ a poor man's life," but they are evidently wrong.
7 Hey non nonny, nonny, hey nonny :) This burden (not uncommon in old songs of the time) is not in any of the quarto impressions.
8 Fare you well, my dove !) In the folio, these words are erroneously printed in Italics, as if part of the song.
9 It is the false steward, that stole his master's daughter.] No such ballad is known. In the quarto, 1603, Ophelia says, “ 'Tis o' the king's daughter, and the false steward."
1- and there is PANSIES,] The folio calls them paconcies.
2 — we may call it, herb of grace o'Sundays :) Rue seems to have been also constantly called “herb of grace.” Shakespeare so terms it in “ Richard II.” Vol. iv. p. 181 :
“ I'll set a bank of rue, sour herb of grace.” And in “ All's Well that Ends Well,”. Vol. iii. p. 295, it is spoken of as “ herb of grace" only. | 3 -- you may wear-] “O! you must wear,” in the folio.
For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy,—[Sings. Laer. Thought and affliction, passion, hell itself, She turns to favour, and to prettiness. Oph. And will he not come again? [Sings.
And will he not come again?
No, no, he is dead;
Go to thy death-bed,
He is gone, he is gone,
And we cast away moan :
And of all christian souls! I pray God. God be wi’
[Exit OPHELIA. Laer. Do you see this, O God?
King. Laertes, I must commune with your grief,
4 God ha' mercy on his soul !) This last stanza is quoted with some variation in “ Eastward Ho !” 1605, by Ben Jonson, Marston, and Chapman. See Dodsley's Old Plays, last edit. vol. iv. p. 223. Both Shakespeare and the authors of “ Eastward Ho !” probably adopted the words of a well-known ballad of the time. The folio reads, “ Gramercy on his soul."
I pray God.) Here the quartos are more scrupulous than the folio, as they omit “ I pray God.” In the next speech of Laertes, the quartos omit "see.”
And we shall jointly labour with your soul
Let this be so:
So you shall;
Another Room in the Same.
Enter HORATIO, and a Servant. Hor. What are they, that would speak with me? Serv. Sailors, sir?: they say, they have letters for
you. Hor. Let them come in.
[Exit Servant. I do not know from what part of the world I should be greeted, if not from lord Hamlet.
Enter Sailors. 1 Sail. God bless you, sir. Hor. Let him bless thee too.
1 Sail. He shall, sir, an't please him. There's a letter for you, sir: it comes from the ambassador that
6 his obscure PUNERAL,] So the quartos, 1604, &c. The folio has burial. In the last line of this speech, the quartos seem right in reading, “ That I must call’t in question :" the folio has “ That I must call in question.”
7 SAILORS, sir :) For “ Sailors," the quartos, 1604, &c. have “ Sea-faring men;" but on their entrance they are termed “ Sailors," and the prefixes accord with this designation.
was bound for England, if your name be Horatio, as I am let to know it is.
Hor. [Reads.] “Horatio, when thou shalt have overlooked this, give these fellows some means to the king: they have letters for him. Ere we were two days old at sea, a pirate of very warlike appointment gave us chase. Finding ourselves too slow of sail, we put on a compelled valour; and in the grapple I boarded them: on the instant they got clear of our ship, so I alone became their prisoner. They have dealt with me, like thieves of mercy; but they knew what they did; I am to do a good turn for them. Let the king have the letters I have sent; and repair thou to me with as much haste as thou would'st fly death. I have words to speak in thine ear will make thee dumb; yet are they much too light for the bore of the matter. These good fellows will bring thee where I am. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern hold their course for England : of them I have much to tell thee. Farewell;
He that thou knowest thine, HAMLET.” Come, I will give you way for these your letters; And do't the speedier, that you may direct me To him from whiom you brought them. [Excunt.
Another Room in the Same.
Enter King and LAERTES. King. Now must your conscience my acquittance
8- I am to do a good turn for them.] “Good” is from the folio, and there are other minute variations : thus " and " is in one place omitted in the folio, and “thine ear" is there printed “your ear.” In the quartos the letter ends, “ Farewell; So that thou knowest thine.”