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Been thus encounter'd. A figure like your father,
Arm'd at all points ', exactly, cap-a-pé,
Appears before them, and, with folemn march,
Goes flow and ftately by them: thrice he walk'd,
By their oppreft and fear-furprized eyes,

Within his truncheon's length; whilft they, diftill'd
Almost to jelly 3 with the act of fear,

Stand dumb and fpeak not to him. This to me
In dreadful fecrefy impart they did;

And I with them, the third night, kept the watch:
Where as they had deliver'd, both in time,

Form of the thing, each word made true and good,
The apparition comes: I knew your father.

Thefe hands are not more like.

Ham. But where was this?

Mar. My lord, upon the platform where we watch'd.

Ham. Did you not speak to it?

Hor. My lord, I did;

But answer made it none: yet once, methought,

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Shall for that vaft of night that they may work,

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All exercife on thee."

The folio has not safe, but evaft.

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i Arm'd at all points,] Thus the folio. The quartos-armed at point. STEEVENS,


with the act of fear,] Shakspeare could never write so improperly as to call the paffion of fear, the act of fear. Without doubt the true reading is,

Fear is

with th' effect of fear. WARBURTON. Here is an affectation of fubtilty without accuracy. every day confidered as an agent. Fear laid hold on him; fear drove him away. If it were proper to be rigorous in examining: trifles, it might be replied, that Shakspeare would write more eFoncoufly, if he wrote by the direction of this critic; they were not difilled, whatever the word may mean, by the effect of fear; for that diftillation was itfelf the effect; fear was the caufe, the active caufe that distilled them by that force of operation,which we strictly call a involuntary, and power in involuntary agents, but popularly call act in both. But of this too much. JoHNSON. The folio reads-be.til'd. STEEVENS."


It lifted up its head, and did address
Itself to motion, like as it would speak :
But, even then, the morning cock crew loud;
And at the found it fhrunk in haste away,
And vanish'd from our fight.

Ham. 'Tis very ftrange.

Hor. As I do live, my honour'd lord, 'tis true; And we did think it writ down in our duty, To let you know of it.

Ham. Indeed, indeed, firs, but this troubles me. Hold you the watch to-night?

All. We do, my lord.

Ham. Arm'd, say you?

All. Arm'd, my lord.
Ham. From top to toe?

All. My lord, from head to foot.

Ham. Then faw you not his face.

Hor. O, yes, my lord; he wore his beaver up. Ham. What, look'd he frowningly?

Hor. A countenance more

In forrow than in anger.

Ham. Pale, or red?

Hor. Nay, very pale.

Ham. And fix'd his eyes upon you


Hor. Moft conftantly.

Ham. I would, I had been there.

Hor. It would have much amaz'd

Ham. Very like,

Very like ftay'd it long?'


Hor. While one with moderate hafte

Might tell a hundred.

Both. Longer, longer.

Hor. Not when I faw it.

Ham. His beard was grizzl'd? no?

Hor. It was as I have feen it in his life, A fable filver'd.

Ham. I will watch to-night : Perchance, 'twill walk again.


Hor. I warrant, it will.

Ham. If it affume my noble father's perfon,
I'll fpeak to it, though hell itself should gape,
And bid me hold my peace. I pray you all,
If you have hitherto conceal'd this fight,
4 Let it be tenable in you filence ftill;
And whatsoever elfe fhall hap to-night,
Give it an understanding, but no tongue;
I will requite your loves: So, fare you well:
Upon the platform, 'twixt eleven and twelve,
I'll vifit you.

All. Our duty to your honour.

Ham. Your loves, as mine to you: Farewel.

[Exeunt. s My father's fpirit in arms! all is not well; I doubt fome foul play: 'would, the night were


'Till then fit ftill, my foul: Foul deeds will rife, (Though all the earth o'erwhelm them) to men's eyes. [Exit.


An apartment in Polonius' Houfe.
Enter Laertes, and Ophelia.

Laer. My neceffaries are embark'd; farewel:
And, fifter, as the winds give benefit,

4 Let it be treble in your filence fiill:] If treble be right, in pròpriety it should be read,

Let it be treble in your filence now:

But the old quarto reads,

Let it be TENABLE in your filence fill.

And this is right. WARBURTON.

5 My father's fpirit in arms!] From what went before, I once hinted to Mr. Garrick, that these words might be spoken in this


My father's spirit! in arms! all is not well ;


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And convoy is affiftant, do not fleep,
But let me hear from you.

Oph. Do you doubt that?

Laer. For Hamlet, and the trifling of his favour, Hold it a fashion, and a toy in blood; A violet in the youth of primy nature, Forward, not permanent, fweet, not lafting, The perfume and fuppliance of a minute;

No more.

Oph. No more but fo?

Laer. Think it no more:

For nature, crefcent, does not grow alone
In thews, and bulk; but, as this temple waxes,
The inward fervice of the mind and foul
Grows wide withal. Perhaps, he loves you now;
And now no foil, nor cautel, doth befmirch


6 The perfume, and fuppliance of a minute:] Thus the quarto: the folio has it,

Sevcet, not lafting,

The fuppliance of a minute.

It is plain that perfume is neceflary to examplify the idea of faveet, not lafting. With the word fuppliance I am not fatisfied, and yet dare hardly offer what I imagine to be right. I fufpect that fof fance, or fome fuch word, formed from the Italian, was then ufed for the act of fumigating with fweet fcents. JOHNSON.

The perfume, and fuppliance of a minute; i. e. what is fupplied to us for a minute. The idea feems to be taken from the Thort duration of vegetable perfumes. STEEVENS.

In thews,] i. e. in finews, mufcular strength. STEEVENS. 8 And now no foil, nor cautel,-] From cautela, which fignifies only a prudent forefight or caution; but, paffing through French hands, it loit its innocence, and now fignifics fraud, deceit. And fo he ufes the adjective in Julius Cæfar:

Swear priefts and cowards, and men cautelous.

But I believe Shakfpeare wrote,

And now no foil of cautel

which the following words confirm:

doth befmirch

The virtue of his will :-

For by virtue is meant the fimplicity of his will, not virtuous will: and both this and befmirch refer only to foil, and to the foil of craft and infincerity. WARBURTON.


The virtue of his will: but, you must fear,
His greatnefs weigh'd, his will is not his own;
For he himself is fubject to his birth:
He may not, as unvalued perfons do,

Carve for himself; for on his choice depends
9 The fafety and the health of the whole state;
And therefore muft his choice be circumfcrib'd
Unto the voice and yielding of that body,
Whereof he is the head: Then if he fays, he loves


It fits your wisdom fo far to believe it,
As he in his particular act and place

May give his faying deed; which is no further,
Than the main voice of Denmark goes withal.
Then weigh what lofs your honour may fuftain,
If with too credent ear you lift his fongs;

Or lofe your heart; or your chafte treasure open
To his unmafter'd importunity.

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So, in the second part of Greene's Art of Coneycatching, 1592: " and their fubtill cautels to amend the ftatute." To amend the flatute was the cant phrafe for evading the law. STEEVENS. This word is again ufed in our author's Lover's Complaints : "In him a plenitude of fubtle matter,

"Applied to cautels, all strange forms receives."


Virtue feems here to comprife both excellence and power, and may be explained the pure effect. JOHNSON.

9 The fanctity and the health of the whole ftate; What has the fanctity of the state to do with the prince's difproportionate mar riage? We should read with the old quarto fafety. WARBURTON Hanmer reads very rightly, fanity. Sandity is elfewhere printed for fanity, in the old edition of this play. JOHNSON.

Sanity and health may have the fame meaning. I therefore read with all the quartos,

The fafety and the health, &c.

The quarto reads


The fafety and health of the whole state.

and fo perhaps our author wrote. times pronounced as a trifylable.


Safety was, I believe, fome
Thus in Locrine, a tragedy,

"Fight always for the Britons' fafety." MALONE.
-unmafter'd-i. e. licentious. JOHNSON.



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