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Question it, Horatio.
Mar. It is offended.
See! it stalks away.
[Exit Ghost. Mar. 'Tis gone, and will not answer.
Ber. How now, Horatio ! you tremble, and look pale.
Hor. Before my God, I might not this believe,
Is it not like the king ?
Mar. Thus, twice before, and jump at this dead hour",
s Enter Ghost.] "Armed ” is added in the corr. fo. 1632, perhaps needlessly; but see A. iii. sc. 4.
6 – it Harrows me] One of the senses of " to barrow" is to overthrow or subdue, and some lexicographers have contended that it is more properly spelt harry. The verb recurs, with an obvious meaning, in scene 5 of this Act. The 4to, 1603, here reads, " it horrors me," &c.
the SLEDDED POLACKS) i. e. The sledged Polanders ; " Polacks” (spelt Pollax) was the name by which they were known in Shakespeare's time.
8 -- and jump at this dead hour,] So every 4to : the-folio explains the meaning of "jump" by substituting just. See also A. v. sc. 2. “ Jump" was frequently used for just, as in Chapman's “May Day," 1611:
“ Your appointment was jump at three."
Hor. In what particular thought to work, I know not;
Mar. Good now, sit down; and tell me, he that knows,
That can I;
9 - such daily cast] Every 4to. prints "cast,” cost : the folio, 1623, corrects the probable error. 1
- as, by the same co-MART, And carriage of the article design'd,] The unusual word “co-mart” per. haps not having been understood, the folio, 1623, has cov'nant and design : the latter improvement was not made till the folio, 1632. The 4tos. have " co-mart.”
2 Of UNIMPROVED mettle] The 4to, 1603, reads, inapproved, i, e. unproved; which may have been the true reading, but all the other 4tos. and folios have “ unimproved."
3 — LAWLESS resolutes,] So every 4to, including that of 1603 : the folio, 1623, probably by an error, gives it," landless resolutes," and landless is amended to "lawless" in the corr. fo. 1632.
For food and diet, to some enterprize
Ber. I think, it be no other, but e'en soo :
Hor. A mote it is to trouble the mind's eye.
4 And terms coMPULSative,] So the folio, 1623, which suits the measure better than “And terms compulsatory” of the 4tos.
5 I think, it be no other, but e'en so :) This and the seventeen following lines are not in the folio, nor is any trace of them to be found in the earliest 4to, that of 1603. They are, however, contained in all the subsequent 4to. editions.
6 Well may it sort,] i. e. Agree or accord. See Vol. iv. pp. 141. 484. 7 As stars with trains of fire and dews of blood,
Disasters in the sun ;] As these lines are not in the folio, 1623, we can look for no emendation in the corr. fo. 1632: they are probably irretrievably corrupt, and, as in other cases of like difficulty, we give the text precisely as it is found in the oldest authentic copy, the 4to, 1604. Malone and others have gone upon the supposition that a line has been lost, but there is no sufficient reason for thinking so; and we shrewdly suspect that the error lies merely in the word “Disasters," which was perhaps misprinted, because it was immediately below “ As stars," and thus misled the eye of the old compositor. We do not imagine that Shakespeare used so affected and unpopular a word as astres, or asters : though it is found in both editions of Florio's Dictionary, in 1598 and 1611, it is not met with in Todd's Johnson, nor in Richardson ; but it has been speculated upon, last by Mr. W. W. Williams, of Tiverton, who proposes to print the passage thus:
“ Astres with trains of fire and dews of blood
Did overcast the sun,” &ć. No change is at all satisfactory to us, and we therefore, as in our former impression, leave the old text unaltered.
8 — of FIERCE events] So some of the later 4tos: that of 1604 has " feare events," perhaps for “fear'd events.”'
As harbingers preceding still the fates,
[Cock crows. Speak of it:-stay, and speak !—Stop it, Marcellus.
Mar. Shall I strike at it' with my partisan ?
'Tis here! Hor.
'Tis here! Mar. 'Tis gone.
[Exit Ghost. We do it wrong, being so majestical, To offer it the show of violence; For it is, as the air, invulnerable, And our vain blows malicious mockery.
Ber. It was about to speak, when the cock crew.
Hor. And then it started, like a guilty thing
9 Stay, illusion !] At these words there is a stage-direction in the edition of 1604, copied into the later 4tos, which seems to show the action used by the Ghost: the words are, “ It spreads his arms." Lower down, just before the Ghost disappears again, the stage-direction in the 4tos. (likewise omitted in the folios) is, “ The Cock crows :" this is added in MS. in the corr. fo. 1632.
i Shall I strike at it. The word at is found only in the folios_ strike at it."- It affords the regular number of syllables for the line.
2 – trumpet to the moon,] The folio has day for “ MORN;" but the cock is the trumpet to the “ morn," and not so properly to the day : we have not only “ day" just afterwards, but it seems used in such a manner as to show that
Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding throat
Mar. It faded on the crowing of the cock.
Hor. So have I heard, and do in part believe it.
Mar. Let's do't, I pray; and I this morning know
The Same. A Room of State. Enter the King, Queen, HAMLET, POLONIUS, LAERTES,
VOLTIMAND, CORNELIUS, Lords, and Attendants'. King. Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother's death The memory be green, and that it us befitted
“ morn” (found in all the 4tos. but that of 1603, which has morning) is the true lection. Drayton, as Malone observes, calls the cock "the morning's trumpeter."
3 — no spirit DARES stir abroad ;] So all the 4tos, but the first of 1603, which has “ dare walk :" the folio, can walk. Lower down, the folio has “the time,” for “ that time" of the 4tos; but it seems right, still lower, in substituting “ eastern " for eastward.
4 No fairy TAKES,] Talks in the folio. To “take” is to blast, strike, or infect; and talks is amended to “takes" in the corr. fo. 1632.
9 — and Attendants.] The corr. fo. 1632 adds, “ The King takes his seat."