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she says, –

Ham. Nay, why should I flatter thee?

real drama. Shakspere has most skilfully Why should the poor be flatter'd?

managed the whole business of the playerWhat gain should I receive by flattering thee, king and queen upon this principle; but, as That nothing hath but thy good mind?

we think, when he wrote his first copy, his Let flattery sit on those time-pleasing tongues,

power as an artist was not so consummate. To glose with them that love to hear their praise, In that copy, the first lines of the playerAnd not with such as thou, Horatio.”

king are singularly flowing and musical ; and QUARTO OF 1604.

their sacrifice shows us how inexorable was Ham. Horatio, thou art e'en as just a man his judgment:As e'er my conversation coped withal.

"Full forty years are pass'd, their date is gone, Hor. O, my dear lord,

Since happy time join'd both our hearts as one; Нат. Nay, do not think I flatter:

And now the blood that fill'd my youthful For what advancement may I hope from thee,

veins That no revenue hast, but thy good spirits,

Runs weakly in their pipes, and all the strains To feed, and clothe thee? Why should the poor

Of music, which whilome pleased mine ear, be flatter'd?

Is now a burthen that age cannot bear." No, let the candied tongue lick absurd pomp; And crook the pregnant hinges of the knee,

The soliloquy of the king in the third act Where thrift may follow fawning. Dost thou is greatly elaborated from the first copy ; hear?

and so is the scene between Hamlet and his Since my dear soul was mistress of my choice, mother. In the play, as we now have it, And could of men distinguish, her election Shakspere has left it doubtful whether the Hath seal'd thee for herself: for thou hast been queen was privy to the murder of her husAs one, in suffering all, that suffers nothing; band; but in this scene, in the first copy, A man that fortune's buffets and rewards Has ta'cn with equal thanks: and bless'd are

“But, as I have a soul, I swear by heaven, thosc,

I never knew of this most horrid murder.” Whose blood and judgment are so well comingled,

And Hamlet, upon this declaration, says,That they are not a pipe for fortune's finger And, mother, but assist me in revenge, To sound what stop she please: Give me that

And in his death your infamy shall die.” That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him

The queen, upon this, protests, In my heart's core, ay, in my heart of heart, "I will conceal, consent, and do my best, As I do thee. Something too much of this.” What stratagem soe'er thou shalt devise.”

Schlegel observes, that “Shakspere has In the amended copy, the queen merely composed 'the play' in ‘Hamlet' altogether

says, in sententious rhymes, full of antitheses.”

“ Be thou assured if words be made of breath, Let us give an example of this in the open

And breath of life, I have no life to breathe ing speech of the king

What thou hast said to me." “Full thirty times hath Phoebus' cart gone round,

The action of the amended copy, for the Neptune's salt wash, and Tellus' orbed ground; present, proceeds as in the first copy.

GerAnd thirty dozen moons with borrow'd sheen, trude describes the death of Polonius, and About the world have times twelve thirties Hamlet pours forth his bitter sarcasm upon been,

the king :-“Your fat king and your lean Since love our hearts and Hymen did our beggar are but variable services.” Hamlet hands

is despatched to England. Fortinbras and Unite, commutual in most sacred bands."

his forces appear upon the stage. The fine Here is not only the antithesis, but the artifi- scene between Hamlet and the captain, and cial elevation, that was to keep the language Hamlet's subsequent soliloquy, are not to be of the interlude apart from that of the found in the quarto of 1603. The madness



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of Ophelia is beautifully elaborated in the the exquisite narrative of Hamlet to Horaamended copy, but all her snatches of songs tio of the same circumstances, presents, to are the same in both editions. What she our minds, a most remarkable example of the sings, however, in the first scene of the ori- difference between the mature and the youthginal copy, is with great art transposed to ful intellect. the second scene of the amended one. The The scene of the grave-digger, in the oripathos of

ginal copy, has all the great points of the “And will he not come again ?"

present scene. The frenzy of Hamlet at the grave is also the same.

Who but the poet is doubled, as it now stands, by the presence himself could have worked up this lineof Laertes. We are now arrived at a scene in the

" Anon, as mild and gentle as a dove,” quarto of 1603, altogether differnet from any-intothing we find in the amended copy. It is a

“ Anon, as patient as the female dove, short scene between Horatio and the queen,

When that her golden couplets are disclosed, in which Horatio relates Hamlet's return to

His silence will sit drooping." Denmark, and describes the treason which the king had plotted against him, as well as

The scene with Osric is greatly expanded the mode by which he had evaded it, by the in the amended copy. The catastrophe apsacrifice of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. pears to be the same ; but the last leaf of

the The queen, with reference to the


of 1603 is wanting. " — subtle treason that the king had plotted," says

There is a general belief that some play

under the title of Hamlet' had preceded the “ Then I perceive there's treason in his looks That seem'd to sugar o'er his villainy;

‘Hamlet' of Shakspere. Probable as this But I will soothe and please him for a time,

may be, it appears to us that this belief is For murderous minds are always jealous."

sometimes asserted too authoritatively. Mr.

Collier, whose opinion upon such matters is This is decisive as to Shakspere's original in- indeed of great value, constantly speaks of tentions with regard to the queen ; but the

“The old ‘Hamlet,'” in his ' Annals of the suppression of the scene in the amended Stage.? Mr. Skottowe is more unqualified copy is another instance of his admirable in his assertion of this fact :-“ The history judgment. She does not redeem her guilt of Hamlet' formed the subject of a play by entering into plots against her guilty which was acted previous to 1589 ; and, arhusband; and it is far more characteristic guing from the general course of Shakspere's of the irregular impulses of Hamlet's mind, mind, that play influenced him during the and of his subjection to circumstances, that composition of his own “Hamlet.' But, unhe should have no confidences with his fortunately, the old play is lost.”. In a very mother, and should not form with her and useful and accurate work, ‘Lowndes's BiblioHoratio any plans of revenge. The story of grapher's Manual,' we are told in express Rosencrantz and Guildenstern is told in six

terms of “ Kyd's old play of “Hamlet.'” Mr. lines :

Skottowe and Mr. Lowndes have certainly Queen. “But what became of Gilderstone and mistaken conjecture for proof. Not a tittle Rossencraft?

of distinct evidence exists to show that there Hor. He being set ashore, they went for Eng- was any other play of Hamlet' but that of land,

Shakspere ; and all the collateral evidence And in the packet there writ down that doom

upon which it is inferred that an earlier To be perform'd on them pointed for him:

play of Hamlet'than Shakspere's did exist, And by great chance he had his father's seal,

may, on the other hand, be taken to prove So all was done without discovery.”

that Shakspere's original sketch of Hamlet' The expansion of this simple passage into was in repute at an earlier period than is

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commonly assigned as its date. This evidence atre, with others, and some of note, below is briefly as follows :

him in the list of sharers. 1. Dr. Farmer, in his ' Essay on the Learn- 2. In the accounts found at Dulwich Coling of Shakspere,' first brought forward a lege, which were kept by Henslowe, an actor passage in 'An Epistle to the Gentlemen contemporary with Shakspere, we find the Students of the Two Universities,' by Thomas following entry as connected with the theatre Nash, prefixed to Green's 'Arcadia,' which at Newington Butts :he considers directed“ very plainly at Shak

“ 9 of June 1594, Rd. at hamlet . . VIII S.” spere in particular." It is as follows:-" It is a common practise now-a-days, among a The eight shillings constituted Henslowe's sort of shifting companions, that runne share of the profits of this representation. through every art, and thrive by none, to Malone says, that this is a full confirmation leave the trade of Noverint, whereto they that there was a play on the subject of Hamwere born, and busie themselves with the let prior to Shakspere's ; for “it cannot be endevors of art, that could scarcely latinize supposed that our poet's play should have their neck-verse if they should have neede ; been performed but once in the time of this yet English Seneca, reade by candle-light, account, and that Mr. Henslowe should have yields many good sentences, as Bloud is a drawn from such a piece but the sum of beggar, and so forth : and, if you intreat him eight shillings, when his share in several farre in a frosty morning, he will affoord you other plays came to three and sometimes whole Hamlets, I should say, handfuls, of tra- four pounds." We cannot go along with gical speeches." Farmer adds, “I cannot de- this reasoning. Henslowe's accounts are termine exactly when this epistle was first thus headed :-“In the name of God, Amen, published, but I fancy it would carry the beginning at Newington, my lord admirell original “Hamlet' somewhat further back men, and my lord chamberlen men, as folthan we have hitherto done.” Malone found loweth, 1594.” Now,“my lord chamberlen” that this epistle was published in 1589 ; Mr. men were the company to which Shakspere Dyce says 1587; but no proof of this earlier belonged ; and one of their theatres, the date is given (Greene's Works); and he, Globe, was erected in the spring of 1594. therefore, was inclined to think that the The theatre was wholly of wood, according to allusion was not to Shakspere's drama, con- Hentzner's description of it ; it would, therejecturing that the 'Hamlet'just mentioned fore, be quickly erected ; and it is extremely might have been written by Kyd. Mr. probable that Shakspere's company only used Brown, in his ingenious work on Shakspere's the theatre at Newington Butts for a very Sonnets, contends that the passage applies short period, during the completion of their distinctly to Shakspere ;-that the expres- own theatre, wbich was de to summer sion, “the trade of Noverint,” had reference performances. We can find nothing in Mato some one who had been a lawyer's clerk; lone's argument to prove that it was not —and that the technical use of law phrases Shakspere’s ‘Hamlet' which was acted by by Shakspere proves that his early life had Shakspere's company on the 9th of June, been so employed. We have then only the 1594. On the previous 16th of May, Hendifficulty of believing that the original slowe's accounts are headed, " by my lord sketch of “Hamlet' was written in, or before, admirell's men ;” and it is only on the 3rd the year 1589. Mr. Brown leaps over the of June that we find the “lord chamberlen difficulty, and assigns this sketch, as pub- men,” as well as the “lord admirell men," lished in the quarto of 1603, to the year performing at this theatre. Their occupa1589. We see nothing extravagant in this tion of it might have been very temporary ; belief. Let it be remembered that in that and, during that occupation, Shakspere's very year, when Shakspere was twenty-five, Hamlet' might have been once performed. it has been distinctly proved by Mr. Collier The very next entry, the 11th of June, is, that he was a sharer in the Blackfriars The- at the taminge of a shrewe ;" and Malone,

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in a note, adds,“ the play which preceded comparison of the original sketch with the Shakspere's.” When Malone wrote this note, perfect play, that the original sketch was an he believed that Shakspere's “ Taming of the early production of our poet. The copy of Shrew' was a late production ; but, in the 1603 is no doubt piratical; it is unquestionsecond edition of his · Chronological Order,' ably very imperfectly printed. Bu if the he is persuaded that it was one of his very passage about the “inhibition" of the players early productions. There is nothing to prove fixes the date of the perfect play at 1600, that both these plays thus acted were not which we believe it does, the essential differShakspere's.

ences between the sketch and the perfect 3. In a tract entitled “Wit's Miserie, or play_differences which do not depend upon the World's Madnesse,' by Thomas Lodge, the corruption of a text-can only be acprinted in 1596, one of the devils is said to counted for upon the belief that there was a be "a foul lubber, and looks as pale as the considerable interval between the production vizard of the ghost, who cried so miserably of the first and second copy, in which the at the theatre, Hamlet, revenge.” In the first author's power and judgment had become edition of Malone’s ‘Chronological Order,' he mature, and his peculiar habits of philosays, “ If the allusion was to our author's sophical thought had been completely estatragedy, this passage will ascertain its ap- blished. This is a matter which does not pearance in or before 1596 ; but Lodge may admit of proof within our limited space; but have had the elder play in his contempla- | the passages which we have already given tion.” In the second edition of this essay, from the original copy do something to prove Malone changes his opinion, and says, “Lodge it, and we have other differences of the same must have had the elder play in his contem- character to point out, which we shall do as plation."

briefly as possible. 4. Steevens, in his Preliminary Remarks Mr. Hallam (in his admirable work, the to “Hamlet,' has this passage :—“I have ‘Introduction to the Literature of Europe '), seen a copy of Speght's edition of 'Chaucer,' speaking of 'Romeo and Juliet' as an early which formerly belonged to Dr. Gabriel production of our poet, points out, as a proof Harvey (the antagonist of Nash), who, in his of this, “the want of that thoughtful philoown hand-writing, has set down ‘Hamlet'as sophy, which, when once it had germinated a performance with which he was well ac- in Shakspere's mind, never ceased to display quainted, in the year 1598.” Malone con- itself.”* “Hamlet,' as it now stands, is full sidered this decisive in the first edition of of this “ thoughtful philosophy.” But the his . Chronological Order,' but in the second original sketch, as given in the quarto of edition, having seen the book, he persuaded 1603, exhibits few traces of it in the form. himself that the date 1598 referred to the of didactic observations. The whole dratime when Harvey purchased it; and he matic conduct of the action is indeed detherefore rejects the evidence. He then monstrative of a philosophical conception of peremptorily fixes the first appearance of incidents and characters; but, in the form to “Hamlet'in 1600, from the reference that is which Mr. Hallam refers, the “thoughtful made in it to the “inhibition" of the players. philosophy” is almost entirely wanting in We shall speak of this presently. In the that sketch. We must indicate a few exmean time it may be sufficient to remark, amples very briefly, of passages illustrating that the passage is not found in the first this position, which are not there found, re. quarto of 1603, of the existence of which questing our readers to refer to the text:Malone was uninformed; and that, therefore, Act I., Sc. 3. “For nature, crescent,” &c. this proof goes for nothing.

4. “This heavy-headed revel,” &c. And now, leaving our readers to form their

„ II., , 2. “There is nothing, either good own judgment upon the external evidence as

or bad, but thinking makes to the date of ‘Hamlet,' we must express our


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it so,” &c. decided opinion, grounded upon an attentive

* Vol. ii. p. 390.

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6 the pangs


Act II., Sc. 2. “I could be bounded in a nut- cate the existence of the morbid feelings to shell," &c.

which Mr. Hallam alludes :4. “Bring me to the test, and I Act I., Sc. 2. “How weary, flat, stale, and the matter will re-word,” &c.

unprofitable,” &c. 3. “I see a cheryb,” &c.

II., 2. “Denmark 's a prison,” &c. 5. “Nature is fine in love,” &c.

“I have of late (but wherefore V., „ 2. “There's a divinity,” &c.

I know not) lost all my

mirth,” &c. Further, Mr. Hallam observes, “There

1. The soliloquy. All that apseems to have been a period of Shakspeare's life when his heart was ill at ease, and ill

pears in the perfect copy as

the outpouring of a wounded content with the world or his own conscience:

spirit, such as the memory of hours mis-spent, the pang of affection misplaced or unrequited, the expe

of dispriz'd love,” –“the

insolence of office,”—“the rience of man's worser nature, which intercourse with ill-chosen associates, by choice or

spurns that patient merit of

the unworthy takes,”circumstance, peculiarly teaches,—these, as they sank down into the depths of his great

generalized in the quarto of

1603, as follows :mind, seem not only to have inspired into it the conception of Lear and Timon, but that “ Who'd bear the scorns and flattery of the of one primary character, the censurer of

world, mankind.” The type, Mr. Hallam proceeds to

Scorn'd by the rich, the rich cursed of the poor, say, is first seen in Jaques,-then in the ex

The widow being oppress'd, the orphan wrong’d, iled duke of the same play,—and in the duke

The taste of hunger, or a tyrant's reign,

And thousand more calamities beside ?" of 'Measure for Measure;' but in these in the shape of “merely contemplative phi- Act V., Sc. 2. “Absent thee from felicity losophy." “In "Hamlet' this is mingled

awhile, with the impulses of a perturbed heart, un

And in this harsh world draw der the pressure of extraordinary circum

thy breath of pain.” stances.” These plays, Mr. Hallam points out, all belong to the same period—the be- We could multiply examples. But there are ginning of the seventeenth century: he is differences between the first and second copies speaking of the “Hamlet, "in its altered which address themselves more distinctly to form.” Without admitting the absolute cor- the understanding, in corroboration of our rectness of this reasoning, we may ground an

opinion that there was a considerable interval opinion upon it. If this type be not found in between the production of the sketch and the the ‘Hamlet' of the original sketch, we may perfect play. refer that sketch to an earlier period. It is

We will first take the passage relating to remarkable that in this sketch the misan- the "tragedians of the city,” placing the thropy, if so it may be called, of 'Hamlet,' | text of the first and second quartos in juxtacan scarcely be traced; his feelings have position :altogether reference to his personal griefs and doubts. Mr. Hallam says that, in the

QUARTO OF 1603. plays subsequent to these mentioned above, Ham. Players, what players be they? “ much of moral speculation will be found; Ros. My lord, the tragedians of the city, those but he has never returned to this type of that you took delight to see so often. character in the personages.”* We shall Ham. How comes it that they travel ? Do give a few examples, as in the case of the they grow restie?

thoughtful philosophy,” of the absence in Gil. No, my lord, their reputation holds as it the first sketch of the passages which indi

was wont.

Ham. How then? * Vol. iii. pp. 568 and 569.

Gil. Yfaith, my lord, novelty carries it away;


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