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And curd, like eager droppings into milk,
Thus was I, sleeping, by a brother's hand,
Ham. O all you host of heaven! O earth! What else?
And shall I couple hell?-O fie!-Hold, hold, my heart;
And you, my sinews, grow not instant old,
1 In Sc. iv. we have eager air for sharp, biting air. Baret), sower, sharp; acidus, aigre."
2 Quarto 1603, deprived. To despatch and to rid were synonymous. 3 Unhouseled is without having received the sacrament.
4 Disappointed is the same as unappointed, and may be explained unprepared.
5 Unaneled is without extreme unction.
6 Uneffectual, i. e. shining without heat. The use of to pale, as a verb,
is rather unusual, but not peculiar to Shakspeare.
7 i. e. in this head confused with thought.
I'll wipe away all trivial, fond records,
O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain!
That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain ;
So, uncle, there you are. Now to my word;
Hor. [Within.] My lord, my lord,-
Heaven secure him!
Enter HORATIO and MARCELLUS.
Mar. [Within.] Illo, ho, ho, my lord!
Mar. How is't, my noble lord?
Ham. O wonderful!
So be it!
You will reveal it.
Hor. Not I, my lord, by Heaven.
What news, my lord?
Good my lord, tell it.
Nor I, my lord.
1 The quarto 1603 has-" Now to the words." By "Now to my word,” Hamlet means now to my motto, my word of remembrance. Steevens asserted that the allusion is to the military watchword. A word, mot, or motto, was any short sentence, such as is inscribed on a token, or under a device or coat of arms. It was a common phrase. See Ben Jonson's Works, by Mr. Gifford, vol. ii. p. 102.
2 This is the call which falconers use to their hawk in the air when they would have him come down to them.
Ham. How say you, then; would heart of man once think it?
But you'll be secret,
Ay, by Heaven, my lord. Ham. There's ne'er a villain, dwelling in all Denmark,
But he's an arrant knave.
Hor. There needs no ghost, my lord, come from the grave,
To tell us this.
Why, right; you are in the right;
You, as your business, and desire, shall point you ;—
Hor. These are but wild and whirling words, my
Ham. I am sorry they offend you, heartily; yes, 'Faith, heartily.
There's no offence, my lord.
Ham. Yes, by saint Patrick,' but there is, Horatio, And much offence too. Touching this vision here, It is an honest ghost, that let me tell you. For your desire to know what is between us, O'ermaster it as you may. And now, good friends, As you are friends, scholars, and soldiers,
Give me one poor request.
What is't, my lord?
Ham. Never make known what you have seen
Hor. Mar. My lord, we will not.
Nay, but swear't.
1 Warburton has ingeniously defended Shakspeare for making the Danish prince swear by St. Patrick, by observing, that the whole northern world had their learning from Ireland. It is, however, more probable that the Poet seized the first popular imprecation that came to his mind, without regarding whether it suited the country or character of the person to whom he gave it.
Nor I, my lord, in faith.
Ham. Upon my sword.
Ham. Ha, ha, boy! say'st thou so? art thou there, true-penny?
We have sworn, my lord, already.
Come on,-you hear this fellow in the cellarage,-
Propose the oath, my lord. Ham. Never to speak of this that you have seen, Swear by my sword.'
Ghost. [Beneath.] Swear.
Ham. Hic et ubique! then we'll shift our ground.Come hither, gentlemen,
And lay your hands again upon my sword.
Never to speak of this that you have heard.
Ham. Well said, old mole! Canst work i' the earth so fast?
A worthy pioneer!-Once more remove, good friends. Hor. O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!
Ham. And therefore as a stranger give it welcome. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
But come ;
Here, as before, never, so help you mercy!
That you, at such times seeing me, never shall,
1 The custom of swearing by the sword, or rather by the cross at the upper end of it, is very ancient. The name of Jesus was not unfrequently inscribed on the handle.
As, Well, well, we know ;-or, We could, an if we would;—or, If we list to speak;—or, There be, an if they might ;
Or such ambiguous giving out, to note
That you know aught of me.-This not to do, swear; So grace and mercy at your most need help you! Ghost. [Beneath.] Šwear.
Ham. Rest, rest, perturbed spirit! So, gentlemen,
May do, to express his love and friending to you,
SCENE I. A Room in Polonius's House.
Enter POLONIUS and REYNAldo.
Pol. Give him this money, and these notes, Reynaldo.
Rey. I will, my lord.
Pol. You shall do marvellous wisely, good Reynaldo, Before you visit him, to make inquiry Of his behavior.
My lord, I did intend it. Pol. Marry, well said; very well said.
Inquire me first what Danskers are in Paris;
1 The quarto 1604 reads, "this do swear." The sense is sufficiently obvious without explanation.
2 i. e. Danes. Warner, in his Albion's England, calls Denmark Danske.