« PreviousContinue »
Hor. O day and night, but this is wondrous
grace and mercy at your most need help you !
9 Rest, rest, perturbed spirit!] The skill displayed in Shakspeare's management of his Ghost, is too considerable to be overlooked. He has rivetted our attention to it by a succession of forcible circumstances: by the previous report of the terrified centinels,—by the solemnity of the hour at which the phantom walks,mby its martial stride and discriminating armour, visible only per incertam lunan, by the glimpses of the moon,-by its long taciturnity,-by its preparation to speak, when interrupted by the morning cock,-by its mysterious reserve throughout its first scene with Hamlet,-by his resolute departure with it, and the subsequent anxiety of his attendants,--by its conducting him to a solitary angle of the platform,-by its voice from beneath the earth,--and by its unexpected burst on us in the closet.
Hamlet's late interview with the spectre, must in particular be regarded as a stroke of dramatick artifice. The phantom might have told his story in the presence of the Officers and Horatio, and yet have rendered itself as inaudible to them, as afterwards to the Queen. But suspense was our poet's object; and never was it more effectually created, than in the present instance. Six times
With all my love I do commend me to you:
SCENE I. A Room in Polonius's House.
Enter POLONIUS and REYNALDO. Pol. Give him this money, and these notes, Rey
naldo. Rey. I will, my lord. . Pol. You shall do marvellous wisely, good Rey
My lord, I did intend it.
has the royal semblance appeared, but till now has been withheld from speaking. For this event we have waited with impatient curiosity, unaccompanied by lassitude, or remitted attention.
The Ghost in this tragedy, is allowed to be the genuine product of Shakspeare's strong imagination. When he afterwards avails himself of traditional phantoms, as in Julius Cæsar, and King Richard III. they are but inefficacious pageants; nay, the apparition of Banquo is a mute exhibitor. Perhaps our poet despaired to equal the vigour of his early conceptions on the subject of preternatural beings, and therefore allotted them no further eminence in his dramas; or was unwilling to diminish the power of his principal shade, by an injudicious repetition of congenial images. STEEVENS.
Pol. Marry, well said: very well said. Look
you, sir, Inquire me first what Danskers' are in Paris ; And how, and who, what means, and where they
Rey. Ay, very well, my lord.
dishonour him ; take heed of that;
As gaming, my lord.
Rey. My lord, that would dishonour him.
quaintly, Danskers] Danske is the ancient name of Denmark.
another scandal—] i. e. a very different and more scandalous failing, namely habitual incontinency.
3 That's not my meaning :] That is not what I mean when I permit you to accuse him of drabbing.
That theyʻmay seem the taints of liberty :
But, my good lord,
Ay, my lord, I would know that. Pol. Marry, sir, here's
drift; And, I believe, it is a fetch of warrant : You laying these slight sullies on my son, As 'twere a thing a little soil'd i’the working,
Your party in converse, him you would sound,
Very good, my lord.
Rey. At, closes in the consequence.
Pol. At, closes in the consequence,-Ay, marry; He closes with you thus :-I know the gentleman ; I saw him yesterday, or tother day, Or then, or then; with such, or such; and, as you
say, There was he gaming ; there o'ertook in his rouse : There falling out at tennis ; or, perchance, I saw him enter such a house of sale,
* A savageness-] Savageness, for wildness. s Of general assault.] i. e. such as youth in general is liable to.
prenominate crimes,] i. e. crimes already named. VOL. IX.
(Videlicet, a brothel,) or so forth.
God be wil
Well, my lord.
Oph. My lord, as I was sewing in my closet,
Pol. Mad for thy love?
1- in yourself.] In your own person, not by spies.
8 Ungarter'd, and down-gyved to his ancle ;] Down-gyved means, hanging down like the loose cincture which confines the fetters round the ancles.