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Whom I will trust, as I will adders fang'd,5-
They bear the mandate; they must sweep my way,
And marshal me to knavery: Let it work;
For 'tis the sport, to have the engineer
Hoist with his own petar: and it shall go hard,
But I will delve one yard below their mines,
And blow them at the moon: 0, 'tis most sweet,
When in one line two crafts directly meet.:-
This man shall set me packing.
I'll lug the guts into the neighbour room:9-
Mother, good night.-Indeed, this counsellor
Is now most still, most secret, and most grave,
Who was in life a foolish prating knave.
Come, sir, to draw toward an end with you:
Good night, mother.

[Exeunt severally; Ham. dragging in Pol.



adders fang'd,] That is, adders with their fangs or poi. sonous teeth, undrawn. It has been the practice of mountebanks to boast the efficacy of their antidotes by playing with vipers, but they first disabled their fangs. Fohnson.

they must sweep my way, &c.] This phrase occurs again in Antony and Cleopatra:

some friends, that will

Sweep your way for you.” Steevens. 7 Hoist &c.] Hoist, for hoised; as past, for passed. Steevens.

8 When in one line two crafts directly meet.] Still alluding to a countermine. Malone.

The same expression has already occurred in K. John, Act IV, speech ult:

“Now powers from home, and discontents at home,

" Meet in one line.Steevens. ' I 'll lug the guts into the neighbour room : ] A line somewhat similar occurs in King Henry VI, P. III:

“I'll throw thy body in another room, The word guts was not anciently so offensive to delicacy as it is at present;

but was used by Lyly (who made the first attempt to polish our language) in his serious compositions. So, in his Mydas, 1592: “ Could not the treasure of Phrygia, nor the tributes of Greece, nor mountains in the East, whose guts are gol satisfy thy mind ?" In short, guts was used where we now use. entrails. Stanyhurst often has it in his translation of Virgil, 1582:

Pectoribus inhians spirantia consulit exta.

“She weenes her fortune by guts hoate smoakye to conster.** Again, in Chapman's version of the sixth Iliad:

in whose guts the king of men imprest " His ashen lance; " Steevens.


The same.

King. There 's matter in these sighs; these profound

You must translate: 'tis fit we understand them:
Where is your son?
Queen. Bestow this place on us a little while.3

[To Ros. and Guil. who go out. Ah, my good lord,4 what have I seen to-night!

King. What, Gertrude? How does Hamlet?

Queen. Mad as the sea, and wind, when both contends
Which is the mightier: In his lawless fit,
Behind the arras hearing something stir,
Whips out his rapier, cries, A rat! a rai!
And, in this brainish apprehension, kills
The unseen good old man.

O heavy deed!
It had been so with us, had we been there:
His liberty is full of threats to all;
To you yourself, to us, to every one.
Alas! how shall this bloody deed be answer'd?
It will be laid to us, whose providence

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Come, sir, to draw toward an end with you :] Shakspeare has been unfortunate in his management of the story of this play, the most striking circumstances of which arise so early in its formation, as not to leave him room for a conclusion suitable to the importance of its beginning. After this last interview with the Ghost, the character of Hamlet has lost all its consequence.

Steevens. 2 Act IV.) This play is printed in the old editions without any separation of the acts. The division is modern and arbitrary, and is here not very happy, for the pause is made at a time when there is more continuity of action than in almost any other of the scenes. Johnson.

3 Bestow this place on us a little while.] This line is wanting in the folio. Steevens. my good lord,] The quartos readmine own lord.

Steevens. 5 Mad as the sea, and wind, when both contend &c.] We have precisely the same image in King Lear, expressed with more brevity:

he was met even now,
As mad as the vex'd sea." Malone.

Should have kept short, restrain'd, and out of haunt,
This mad young man: but, so much was our love,
We would not understand what was most fit;
But, like the owner of a foul disease,
To keep it from divulging, let it feed
Even on the pith of life. Where is he gone?

Queen. To draw apart the body he hath kill'd:
O'er whom his very madness, like some ore,?
Among a mineral of metals base,
Shows itself pure; he weeps for what is done.

King. 0, Gertrude, come away!
The sun no sooner shall the mountains touch,
But we will ship him hence: and this vile deed
We must, with all our majesty and skill,
Both countenance and excuse. --Ho! Guildenstern!

Friends both, go join you with some further aid:
Hamlet in madness hath Polonius slain,
And from his mother's closet hath he dragg'd him:
Go, seek him out; speak fair, and bring the body
Into the chapel. I pray you, haste in this.

[Exeunt Ros. and GUIL, Come, Gertrude, we 'll call up our wisest friends; And let them know, both what we mean to do,

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out of haunt,] I would rather read- out of harm.

Fohnson. Out of haunt, means, out of company. So, in Antony and Cleapatra:

“ Dido and her Sichæus shall want troops,

“ And all the haunt be ours.” Again, in Warner's Albion's England, 1602, B. V, ch. xxvi: “ And from the smith of heaven's wife allure the amorous

haunt.” The place where men assemble, is often poetically called the haunt of men. So, in Romeo and Juliet :

« We talk here in the publick haunt of men.” Steevens.

like some ore,] Shakspeare seems to think ore to be or, that is, gold. Base metals have ore no less than precious. Johnson.

Shakspeare uses the general word ore to express gold, because it was the most excellent of ores. I suppose we should read of metal base" instead of metals, which much improves the canstruction of the passage. M. Mason. He has perhaps used ore in the same sense in his Rape of Luo

“ When beauty boasted blushes, in despite
“ Virtue would stain that ore with silver white."



And what's untimely done: so, haply, slander,
Whose whisper o'er the world's diameter,
As level as the canthon to his blank,
Transports his poison'd shot-may miss our name,
And hit the woundless air..-0, come away!
My soul is full of discord, and dismay. (Exeuny.

A mineral Minsheu defines in his Dictionary, 1617: “ Any thing that grows in mines, and contains metals.” Shakspeare seems to have used the word in this sense,--for a rude mass of metals. In Bullokar's English Espositor, 8vo. 1616, Mineral is defined," mettall, or any thing digged out of the earth.Malone.

Minerals are mines. So, in The Golden Remains of Hales of 7 Eton, 1693, p. 34: “ Controversies of the times, like spirits in the minerals, with all their labour, nothing is done.” Again, in Hall's Virgidemiarum, Lib. VI:

“ Shall it not be a wild fig in a wall,
“ Or fired brimstone in a minerall ?" Steevens.

so, haply, slander, &c.] Neither these words, nor the following three lines and an half, are in the folio. In the quarto, 1604, and all the subsequent quartos, the passage stands thus :

· And what's untimely done. “ Whose whisper o'er the world's diameter,” &c. the compositor having omitted the latter part of the first line, a's in a former scene, (see p. 154, n. 9,) a circumstance which gives additional strength to an observation made on Antony and Cleopatra, Act V, sc. i, Vol. XIII. Mr. Theobald supplied the lacuna by reading,-For haply slander, &c. So appears to me to suit the context better; for these lines are rather in apposition with those immediately preceding, than an illation from them. Mr. M Mar son, I find, has made the same observation.

Shakspeare, as Theobald has observed, again expatiates on the diffusive power of slander, in Cymbeline :

No, 'tis slander;
“Whose edge is sharper than the sword, whose tongue
“ Out-venoms all the worms of Nile, whose breath
“ Rides on the posting winds, and doth bely

“ All corners of the world.” Malone.
Mr. Malone reads-So viperous slander. Steevens.

cannon to his blank, ] The blank was the white mark at which shot or arrows were directed. So, in King Lear :

let me still remain “ The true blank of thine eye.” Steevens.

the woundless air.] So, in a former scene : “ It is as the air irouinerable." Malone:



Another Room in the same.

Enter HAMLET. Ham.-Safely stowed,-[Ros. &c. within. Hamlet! lord Hamlet!] But soft,2—what noise? who calls on Hamlet? O, here they come.

Enter RosENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN. Ros. What have you done, my lord, with the dead body? Ham. Compounded it with dust, whereto 'tis kin.

Ros. Tell us where 'tis; that we may take it thence, And bear it to the chapel.

Ham. Do not believe it.
Ros. Believe what?

Ham. That I can keep your counsel, and not mine own. Besides, to be demanded of a sponge!—what replication should be made by the son of a king?

Ros. Take you me for a sponge, my lord ?

Ham. Ay, sir; that soaks up the king's countenance, his rewards, his authorities. But such officers do the king best service in the end: He keeps them, like an apc, in the corner of his jaw; first mouthed, to be last


But soft.] I have added these two words from the quarto, 1604. Steevens. The folio reads:

Ham. Safely stowed.
Ros. &c. within. Hamlet! lord Hamlet.

Ham. What noise," &c.
In the quarto, 1604, the speech stands thus :

Ham. Safely stowed; but soft, what noise ? who calls on Hamlet?” &c.

I have therefore printed Hamlet's speech unbroken, and inserted that of Rosencrantz, &c. from the folio, before the words, but soft, &c. In the modern editions Hamlet is made to take nolice of the noise made by the courtiers, before he has heard it.

Malone. Compounded it with dust,] So, in King Henry IV, P. II:

Only compound me with forgotten dust.Again, in our poet's 71st onnet:

“ When I perhaps compounded am with clay.Malone.

like an ape,] The quarto has apple, which is generally followed. The folio bas ape, which Sir T. Hanmer has received, and illustrated with the following note :

“ It is the way of monkeys in eating, to throw that part of their food, which they take up first, into a pouch they are pro


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