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And bid me hold my peace. I pray you all,
Our duty to your honour.
[Exeunt HoR. MAR. and BER.
A Room in Polonius' House.
Enter LAERTES and OPHELIA.
? 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,
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."
For he himself is subject to his birth :3
3 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.
Contagious blastments are most imminent.
Oph. I shall the effect of this good lesson keep,
O fear me not.
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,
Grapple them to thy soul with hooks of steel;'
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