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Oph. Belike, this fhow imports the argument of the play.
Ham. We fhall know by this fellow: the players cannot keep counfel; they'll tell all.
Oph. Will he tell us what this fhew meant?
Oph. You are naught, you are naught; I'll mark the play.
The quarto reads-munching mallico. STEEVENS,
Micbing, fecret, covered, lying hid. In this fente Chapman, our author's cotemporary, ufes the word in The Widow's Tears, Dodf. Old. Pl. vol. iv. p. 291. Lyfander, to try his wife's fidelity, elopes from her: his friends report that he is dead, and make a mock funeral for him: his wife, to shew exceffive forrow for the lofs of her husband, fhuts herfelf up in his monument; to which he comes in difguife, and obtains her love, notwithstanding he had affured her in the mean time, that he was the man who murdered her husband. On which he exclaims, Out upon the monster !
Go tell the governour, let me be brought
And again, p. 301.
Was micht, fir, into a blind corner of the tomb.” In this very fense it occurs in the Philafter of Beaumont and Fletcher, vol. i. p. 142. "A rafcal miching in a mea low." That is, as the ingenious editors (who have happily fubstituted mitching for milking) remark, "A lean deer creeping, foltary, and with drawn from the herd." WARTON.
Be not you afham'd to shew, &c.] The converfation of Hamlet with Ophelia, which cannot fail to di guft every modern Reader, is probably fuch as was peculiar to the young and fashionable of the age of Shaktpeare, which was, by no means, an age of delicacy. The poet is, however, blamable; for extravagance of thought, not indecency of expreffion, is the characteretic of madneis, at least of fuch madness as should be reprefented on the fcene. STEEV:NS.
Pro. For us, and for our tragedy,
Ham. Is this a prologue, or the pofy of a ring?
Enter a King, and a Queen.
P. King. Full thirty times hath Phoebus' cart gone round
Neptune' falt wash, and Tellus' orbed ground; And thirty dozen moons, with borrowed 'fheen About the world have times twelve thirties been ; Since love our hearts, and Hymen did our hands, Unite commutual in moft facred bands.
P.Queen. So many journeys made the fun and moon Make us again count o'er, ere love be done! But, woe is me, you are fo fick of late, So far from cheer, and from your former ftate, That I diftruft you. Yet, though I distrust, Difcomfort you, my lord, it nothing must: For women fear too much, even as they love.
-cart] A charict was anciently fo called. Thus Chaucer in the Knight's Tale, late edit. ver. 2024 :
"The carter overridden with his cart.' STEEVENS.
3-fcen] Splendor, luftre. JoHNSON.
4 even as they love.] Here feems to be a line loft, which fhould have thymed to love. JOHNSON.
This line is omitted in the folio. Perhaps a triplet was defigned, and then inftead of love, we fhould read, luft. The folio gives the next line thus :
"For women's fear and love holds quantity." STEEVENS, There is, I believe, no inftance of a triplet being used in our author's time. Some trace of the loft line is found in the quartos, which read:
Either none in neither aught, &c.
Perhaps the word omitted might have been of this import:
In neither aught, or in extremity. MALONE.
And women's fear and love hold quantity;
My operant powers their functions leave to do:
P. Queen. O, confound the reft!
Such love muft needs be treafon in my breast :
None wed the fecond, but who kill'd the firft.
P. Queen. The inftances, that fecond marriage
Are bafe refpects of thrift, but none of love:
5 And as my love is fix'd, my fear is fo.] Mr. Pope fays, I read fiz'd; and, indeed, I do fo; becaufe, I obferve, the quarto of 1605 reads, ciz'd; that of 1611, cift; the folio in 1632, fiz; and that in 1623, fiz'd; and because, besides, the whole tenor of the context demands this reading: for the lady evidently is talking here of the quantity and proportion of her love and fear, not of their continuance, duration, or flability. Cleopatra expreffes herself much in the fame manner, with regard to her grief for the lofs of Antony:
our fize of forrow,
Proportion'd to our caufe, must be as great
As that which makes it." THEOBALD.
Where love, &c.] These two lines are omitted in the folio.
7-operant powers] Operant is active. Shakspeare gives it in
6. -may my operant parts "Each one forget their office!"
The word is now obfolete. STEEVENS.
The inftances,] The motives. JOHNSON.
A fecond time I kill my hufband dead,
P. King. I do believe, you think what now you
But, what we do determine, oft we break.
The violence of either grief or joy,
For 'tis a queftion left us yet to prove,
Whether love lead fortune, or elfe fortune love.
9what to orfelves is debt: The performance of a refolution, in which only the refolver is interested, is a debt only to himfelf, which he may therefore ren it at pleasure. JOHNSON.
1 The violence of either grief or joy,
Their own enactures with themselves deftroy:] What grief or joy enact or determine in their violence, is revoked in their abate. ment. Enactures is the word in the quarto; all the modern editions have enactors. JOHNSON.
2 And hitherto doth love on fortune tend:
For who not needs, shall never lack a friend;
And who in want a hollow friend doth try,
Directly feafons him his enemy.] So, in our author's Paffionate Pilgrim:
Every man will be thy friend,
For who not needs, fhall never lack a friend;
But, orderly to end where I begun,—
But die thy thoughts, when thy first lord is dead. P. Queen. Nor earth to give me food, nor heaven light!
Sport, and repofe, lock from me, day, and night!
"But if store of crowns be feant.
Thefe coincidencies may ferve to refute an idea that some have entertained, that the lines spoken by the player were not written by Shakspeare, but the production of a contemporary poet.
3 Nor earth to give me food, nor heaven light!] An imperative or optative was clearly intended here as in the following line :"Sport and repofe lock from me, &c." I would therefore read― "Nor earth do give me." Do thou, O earth, not give me food, &c. MALONE.
4 To defperation, &c.] This and the following line are omitted in the folio. STEEVENS.
An anchor's cheer in prifon be my fenpe!] May my whole li berty and enjoyment be to live on hermit's fare in a prifon. Anchor is for anchoret. JOHNSON.
This abbreviation of the word anchoret is very ancient. I find it in the Romance of Robert the Devil, printed by Wynkyn de Worde: "We have robbed and killed nonnes, holy aunkers, preeftes, clerkes, &c." Again, "the foxe will be an aunker for he begynneth to preche."
Again, in The Vifion of Pierce Plowman:
"As ankers and hermits that hold them in her felles."
This and the foregoing line are not in the folio. I believe w: fhould read-anchor's chair. So, in the fecond Satire of Hall's fourth book, edit. 1502. p. 13: "Si feven yeres pining in an anchore's cheyre To win fome parched freds of minevere."