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pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it. Go, make you ready.
[Exeunt Players, Enter POLONIUS, ROSENCRANTZ, and GUILDENSTERN. How now, my lord ? will the king hear this piece of work?
Pol. And the queen too, and that presently.
Ham. Bid the players make haste. [Exit Pol. Will you two help to hasten them? Both. Ay, my lord.
[Exeunt Ros, and Guru Ham. What, ho; Horatio!
- Enter HORATIO. Hor. Here, sweet lord, at your service.
Ham. Horatio, thou art e'en as just a man
Hor. O, my dear lord, -
Nay, do not think I flatter:
8 t he pregnant hinges of the knee,] I believe the sense of pregnant in this place is, quick, ready, prompt. Johnson.
See Vol. III, p. 453, n. 7. Steevens. 9— my dear soul -] Perhaps-my clear soul. Fohnson.
Dear soul is an expression equivalent to the pince ysvala, pinoy 5708, of Homer. Steevens. 3 And could of men distinguish her election,
She hath seald thee for herself:] Thus the quarto. The folio thus:
And could of men distinguish, her election
Hath seald thee &c. Steevens. Mr. Ritson prefers the reading of the quarto, and observes, that to distinguish her election, is no more than to make her election. Distinguish of men, he adds, is exceeding harsh, to say the best of it. Reed.
Whose blood and judgment are so well co-mingled,
Well, my lord:
Ham. They are coming to the play; I must be idle:
NIUS, OPHELIA, ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN, and Others.
2 Whose blood and judgment -- According to the doctrine of the four humours, desire and confidence were seated in the blood, and judgment in the phlegm, and the due mixture of the humours inade a perfect character. Johnson.
3 co-mingled,] Thus the folio. The quarto reads---Coo medled; which had formerly the same meaning. Malone.
my heart's core,] This expression occurs also in Chap. man's translation of the sixth Iliad:
“— he wandred evermore
“ Of his sad bosome.” Steevens.
“Now by the forge that stithied Mars's helm." The stith is the anvil, the stithy, the smith's shop. These words are familiar to me, being in constant use at Halifax, my native place. 7. Edwards.
King. How fares our cousin Hamlet?
Hum. Excellent, i’faith; of the camelion's dish; I eat the air, promise-crammed: You cannot feed capons so.
King. I have nothing with this answer, Hamlet; these words are not mine.
Ham. No, nor mine now. My lord, you played once in the university, you say??
0_ nor mine now.] A man's words, says the proverb, are his own no longer than he keeps them unspoken. Fohnson.
7- you played once in the university, you say?] It should seem from the following passage in Vice Chancellor Hatcher's Letters to Lord Burghley, on June 21, 1580, that the common players were likewise occasionally admitted to perform there: “Where. as it has pleased your honour to recommend my lorde of Oxenford his players, that they might show their cunning in several plays already practised by 'em before the Queen's majesty” (denied on account of the pestilence and commencement:) " of late we denied the like to the Right Honourable the Lord of Leicester his servants.” Fariner.
The practice of acting Latin plays in the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, is very ancient, and continued to near the middle of the last century. They were performed occasionally for the entertainment of princes and other great personages; and regularly at Christmas, at which time a Lord of misrule was appointed at Oxford, to regulate the exhibitions, and a similar officer with the title of Imperator at Cambridge. The most celebrated actors at Cambridge were the students of St. John's and Kiug's colleges: at Oxford those of Christ-Church. In the hall of that college a Latin comedy called Marcus Geminus, and the Latin tragedy of Progne, were performed before Queen Elizabeth in the year 1566; and in 1564, the Latin tragedy of Dido was played before her majesty, when she visited the university of Cambridge. The exhibition was in the body or nave of the chapel of King's college, which was lighted by the royal guards, each of whom bore a staff-torch in his hand. See Peck's Desider. Cur. p. 36, n. x. The actors of this piece were all of that college. The author of the tragedy, who in the Latin account of this royal visit, in the Museum, (MSS. Baker, 7037, p. 203,] is said to have been Regalis Collegii olim sociis, was, I believe, John Rightwise, who was elected a fellow of King's college, in 1507, and according to Anthony Wood, “ made the tragedy of Dido out of Virgil, and acted the same with the scholars of his school [St. Paul's, of which he was appointed master in 1522,] before Cardinal Wolsey with great applause.” In 1583, the same play was performed at Oxford, in Christ Church hall, before Albertus de Alasco, a Polish prince Palatine, as was William Gager's Latin comedy, entitled Rivales. On Elizabeth's second visit to Oxford, in 1592, a few years before the writing of the present play, she was entertained on the 24th and 26th of September,
Pol. That did I, my lord; and was accounted a good actor.
Ham. And what did you enact?
Pol. I did enact Julius Cæsar:8 I was killed i’ the Capi. tol;' Brutus killed me.
Ham. It was a brute part of him, to kill so capital a calf there.-Be the players ready?
Ros. Ay, my lord; they stay upon your patience.
[Lying down at Ophelia's Feet.3
with the representation of the last-mentioned play, and another Latin comedy, called Belluin Grammaticale. Malone
8 I did enact. Julius Cæsar :] A Latin play on the subject of Cæsar's death was performed at Christ-Church in Oxford, in 1582; and several years before, a Latin play on the same subject, written by Jacques Grevin, was acted in the college of Beauvais, at Paris. I suspect that there was likewise an English play on the story of Cæsar before the time of Shakspeare. See Vol. XIV, p. 2. Malone.
9 I was killed i' the Capitol ;] This, it is well known, was not the case ; for Cæsar, we are expressly told by Plutarch, was killed in Pompey's portico. But our poet followed the received opinion, and probably the representation of his own time, in a play on the subject of Cæsar's death, previous to that which he wrote. The notion that Julius Cæsar was killed in the Capitol is as old as the time of Chaucer:
“ This Julius to the capitolie wente
Tyrwhitt's edit. Vol. II, p. 31. Malone. 1 It was a brute part of him,] Sir John Harrington in his Me. tamorphosis of Ajax, 1596, has the same quibble: “O braveminded Brutus! but this I must truly say, they were two brutish parts both of him and you; one to kill his sons for treason, the other to kill his father in treason.” Steevens.
2 — they stay upon your patience.] May it not be read more intelligibly,--they stay upon your pleasure ? In Macbeth it is:
“ Noble Macbeth, we stay upon your leisure.” Johnson. 3 at Ophelia's feet.] To lie at the feet of a mistress during any dramatick representation, seems to have been a common act
Onh. No, my lord.
of gallantry. So, in The Queen of Corinth, by Beaumont and Fletcher:
“ Ushers her to her couch, lies at her feet
“ At solemn masques, applauding what she laughs at." Again, in Gascoigne's Greene Knight's Farewell to Fancie :
“ To lie along in ladies lappes.” Steevens. 4. I mean, &c.] This speech and Ophelia's reply to it are omitted in the quartos. Steevens.
5 Do you think I meant country matters?) Dr. Johnson, from a casual inadvertence, proposed to read.--country manners. The old reading is certainly right. What Shakspeare meant to allude to, must be too obvious to every reader, to require any explanation. Malone.
6 - your only jig-maker.] There may have been some hu. mour in this passage, the force of which is now diminished: “
Changes, or Love in a Maze, by Shirley, 1632. In The Hog hath lost his Pearl, 1614, one of the players comes to solicit a gentleman to write a jig for him. A jig was not in Shakspeare's time only a dance, but a ludicrous dialogue in metre, and of the lowest kind, like Hamlet's conversation with Ophelia. Many of these jigs are entered in the books of the Stationers' Company :-" Philips his Jigg of the slyppers, 1595. Kempe's Figg of the Kitchin-stuff woman, 1595.” Steevens.
The following lines in the prologue to Fletcher's Love's Pil. grimage, confirms Mr. Steevens's remark:
“ for approbation,
“ Prais'd and applauded by a clamorous chime.” A jig was not always in the form of a dialogue. Many historical ballads were formerly called jigs. See also, p. 116, n. 3. Malore.