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And bid me hold my peace. I pray you all,
If you have hitherto conceal'd this sight,
Let it be tenable in your silence still ;?
And whatsoever else shall hap to-night,
Give it an understanding, but no tongue;
I will requite your loves: So, fare you well:
Upon the platform, 'twixt eleven and twelve,
I'll visit you.

Our duty to your honour.
Ham. Your loves, as mine to you: Farewel.

[Exeunt HoR. MAR. and BER.
My father's spirit in arms !8 all is not well;
I doubt some foul play: 'would, the night were come!
Till then sit still, my soul: Foul deeds will rise,
Though all the earth o’erwhelm them, to men's eyes.



A Room in Polonius' House.

Laer. My necessaries are embark'd; farewell:
And, sister, as the winds give benefit,
And convoy is assistant, do not sleep,
But let me hear from you.


doubt that?
Laer. For Hamlet, and the trifling of his favour,
Hold it a fashion, and a toy in blood;
A violet in the youth of primy nature,
Forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting,
The perfume and suppliance of a minute ;*
No more.


? Let it be tenable in your silence still;] Thus the quartos, and rightly. The folio, 1623, reads--treble. Steevens.

8 My father's spirit in arms!] From what went before, I once hinted to Mr. Garrick, that these words might be spoken in this

My father's spirit! in arms! all is not well; Whalley. 9 The pérfume and suppliance of a minute;]. Thus the quarto, the folio has it :

sweet, not lasting,
The suppliance of a minute.


No more but so? Laer.

Think it no more: For nature, crescent, does not grow alone In thews, and bulk; but, as this temple waxes, The inward service of the mind and soul Grows wide withal. Perhaps, he loves you now; And now no soil, nor cautel, doth besmirch The virtue of his will :: but, you must fear, His greatness weigh’d, his will is not his own;


It is plain that perfume is necessary to exemplify the idea of street, not lasting. With the word suppliance I am not satisfied, and yet dare hardly offer what I imagine to be right. I suspect that sof, fiance, or some such word, formed from the Italian, was then used for the act of fumigating with sweet scents. Johnson.

The perfume and suppliance of a minute;] i. e. what was supplied to us for a minute; or, as Mr. M. Mason supposes, amusement to fill up a vacant moment, and render it agreeable.” This word occurs in Chapman's version of the ninth Iliad, of Homer:

by my suppliance given.” Steevens. The words-perfume and, which are found in the quarto, 1604, were omitted in the folio. Malone.

1 In thews,] i. e. in sinews, muscular strength. So, in King Henry IV, p. 2: “ Care I for the limb, the themes, the stature, &c. See Vol. IX. p. 102, n. 3. Steevens. 2 And now no soil, nor cautel, doth besmirch

The virtue of his will:] From cautela, which signifies only a prudent foresight or caution; but, passing through French hands, it lost its innocence, and now signifies fraud, deceit. And so he uses the adjective in Julius Cæsar : “ Swear priests and cowards, and men cautelous.

Warburton. So, in the second part of Greene's Art of Coneycatching, 1592:

and their subtill cautels to amend the statute. To amend the statute, was the cant phrase for evading the law. Steevens.

Cautel is subtlety or deceit. Minsheu in his Dictionary, 1617, defines it, " A crafty way to deceive.” The word is again used by Shakspeare, in A Lover's Complaint :

“ In him a plenitude of subtle matter,

“ Applied to cautels, all strange forms receives.” Malone. Virtue seems here to comprise both excellence and power, and may be explained the pure effect. Johnson.

The virtue of his will means, his virtuous intentions. Cautel means craft. So, Coriolanus says: be caught by cautelous baits and practice."

M. Mason.

For he himself is subject to his birth :S
He may not, as unvalued persons do,
Carve for himself; for on his choice depends
The safety and the health of the whole state;*
And therefore must his choice be circumscrib'd
Unto the voice and yielding of that body,
Whereof he is the head: Then if he says, he loves you,
It fits your wisdom so far to believe it,
As he in his particular act and place
May give his saying deed ;5 which is no further,
Than the main voice of Denmark goes withal.
Then weigh what loss your honour may sustain,
If with too credent ear you list his songs;
Or lose your heart; or your chaste treasure open
To his unmaster's importunity.
Fear it, Ophelia, fear it, my dear sister;
And keep you in the rear of your affection,
Out of the shot and danger of desire.
The chariest maid is prodigal enough,
If she unmask her beauty to the moon:
Virtue itself scapes not calumnious strokes :
The canker galls the infants of the spring,
Too oft before their buttons be disclos'd;
And in the morn and liquid dew of youth

$ For he himself, &c.] This line is not in the quarto. Malone.

4 The safety and the health of the whole state ;] Thus the quarto, 1604, except that it has this whole state, and the second the is inadvertently omitted. The folio reads:

The sanctity and health of the whole state. This is another proof of arbitrary alterations being sometimes made in the folio. The editor, finding the metre defective, in consequence of the article being omitted before health, instead of supplying it, for safety substituted a word of three syllables.

Malone, 5 May give his saying deed;] So, in Timon of Athens : — the deed of saying is quite out of use.” Again, in Troilus and Cressida:

Speaking in deeds, and deedless in his tongue.” Malone. unmaster'd ---] i. e. licentious. Johnson.

keep you in the rear &c.] That is, do not advance so far as your affection would lead you. Fohnson.

8 The chariest maid -] Chary is cautious. So, in Greene's Never too Late, 1616: “ Love requires not chastity, but that her soldiers be chary." Again: “She liveth chastly enough, that liv. eth charily.Steevens.

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Contagious blastments are most imminent.
Be wary then: best safety lies in fear;
Youth to itself rebels, though none else near.

Oph. I shall the effect of this good lesson keep,
As watchman to my heart: But, good my brother,
Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,
Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven;
Whilst, like a puff'd and reckless libertine,
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads,
And recks not his own read.'

O fear me not.
I stay too long ;-But here my father comes.

Enter POLONIUS. A double blessing is a double grace; Occasion smiles upon a second leave.

Pol. Yet here, Laertes! aboard, aboard, for shame; The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail,1 And you are staid for: There,—my blessing with you;

[Laying his Hand on LAERTES' Head. And these few precepts in thy memory Look thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue, Nor any unproportion'd thought his act. Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar. The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,


recks not his own read.] That is, heeds not his own les. sons. Pope. So, in the old Morality of Hycke Scorner :

I reck not a feder." Again, ibidem :

“ And of thy living, I reed amend thee." Again, the old proverb, in The Two Angry Women of Abington, 1599:

“ Take heed, is a good reed." i. e. good counsel, good advice. Steevens. the shoulder of your sail,] This is a common sea phrase.

Steevens. 2 And these few precepts in thy memory

Look thou charácter,] i. e. write; strongly infis. The same phrase occurs in The Two Gentlemen of Verona :

I do conjure thee,
“ Who art the table wherein all my thoughts
" Are visibly charácter'd and engravid.” Malone.

Grapple them to thy soul with hooks of steel;'
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatch'd, unfledg'd comrade. Beware
Of entrance to a quarrel; but, being in,
Bear it that the opposer may beware of thee.
Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice:
Take each man's censure,5 but reserve thy judgment.
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy:
For the apparel oft proclaims the man;0
And they in France, of the best rank and station,
Are most select and generous, chief in that.?

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3 Grapple them to thy soul with hooks of steel ;] The old copies read—with hoops of steel. I have no doubt that this was a corruption in the original quarto of 1604, arising, like many othe from similitude of sounds. The emendation, which was made by Mr. Pope, and adopted by three subsequent editors, is strongly supported by the word grapple. See Minsheu's Dict. 1617: “To hook or grapple, viz. to grapple and to board a ship.”

A grapple is an instrument with several hooks to lay hold of a ship, in order to board it. This correction is also justified by our poet's 137th Sonnet:

Why of eyes' falshood hast thou forged hooks,

“ Whereto the judgement of my heart is tyd ?It may be also observed, that hooks are sometimes made of steel, but hoops never. Malone. We have, however, in King Henry IV, P. II :

A hoop of gold to bind thy brothers in." The former part of the phrase occurs also in Macbeth :

Grapples you to the heart and love of us.” Steevens. 4 But do not dull thy palm with entertainment

Of each new-hatch'd, unfiedg'd comrade.] The literal sense is, Do not make thy palm callous by shaking every man by the hand. The figurative meaning may be, Do not by promiscuous conversation make thy mind insensible to the difference of characters. Fohnson.

each man's censure,] Censure is opinion. So, in King Henry VI, P. II:

“ The king is old enough to give his censure.Steevens. 6 For the apparel oft proclaims the man ;] “ A man's attire, and excessive laughter, and gait, shew what he is." Ecclus XIX, ver. 30. Todd.

7 Are most select and generous, chief in that.] I think the whole design of the precept shows that we should read:

Are most select, and generous chief, in that. Chief may be an adjective used adverbially, a practice common

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