« PreviousContinue »
I have sworn't.
Hor. [Within.] My lord, my lord,
So be it!
Enter HORATIO and MARCELLUS.
Mar. How is't, my noble lord ?
What news, my lord ? Ham. O, wonderful ! Hon.
Good my lord, tell it. Ham.
No; You will reveal it.
Hor. Not I, my lord, by heaven.
Nor I, my lord. Ham. How say you then; would heart of man
once think it ? But you'll be secret, —Hon. Mar.
Ay, by heaven, my lord. Ham. There's ne'er a villain, dwelling in all
Denmark, * First folio, Mar. + First folio, Hor. # Quarto, never.
2 Hillo,-) This exclamation is of French origin. So, in the Venerie de Jacques Fouilloux, 1635, 4to. p. 12: “Ty a hillaut, &c. Steevens.
- come, bird, come.] This is the call which falconers use to their hawk in the air, when they would have him come down to them. HANMER.
This expression is used in Marston's Dutch Courtezan, and by many others among the old dramatick writers.
It appears from these passages, that it was the falconer's call, as Sir T. Hanmer has observed.
Again, in Tyro's Roaring Megge, planted against the Walls of
“ Yet, ere I iournie, Ile go see the kyte :
But he's an arrant knave.
Hor. There needs no ghost, my lord, come from
To tell us this.
Why, right; you are in the right;
Hor. These are but wild and whirling | words,
Ham. I am sorry they offend you, heartily ; yes, ’Faith, heartily. HOR.
There's no offence, my lord. Han. Yes, by Saint Patrick “, but there is, Ho
Hor. What is't, my lord ? we will.
* Quarto omits look you.
+ First folio, hurling.
by Saint Patrick,] How the poet comes to make Hamlet swear by St. Patrick, I know not. However, at this time all the whole northern world had their learning from Ireland ; to which place it had retired, and there flourished under the auspices of this saint. But it was, I suppose, only said at random ; for he makes Hamlet a student at Wittenberg. WARBURTON.
Dean Swift's “ Verses on the sudden drying-up of St. Patrick's Well, 1726,” contain many learned allusions to the early cultivation of literature in Ireland. Nichols.
Hor. Mar. My lord, we will not.
Nay, but swear't.
In faith, My lord, not I. Mar.
Nor I, my lord, in faith. Ham. Upon my sword. Mar. We have sworn, my lord, already. Ham. Indeed, upon my sword, indeed. Ghost. [Beneath.] Swear. Ham. Ha, ha, boy! say'st thou so ? art thou there,
true-pennys? Come on, -you hear this fellow in the cellarage,Consent to swear. Hor.
Propose the oath, my lord. Ham. Never to speak of this that you have seen, Swear by my sword o.
true-penny?] This word, as well as some of Hamlet's former exclamations, we find in The Malcontent, 1604 : “ Illo, ho, ho, ho; art thou there old True-penny ?"
Steevens. 6-Swear by my sword.] Here the poet has preserved the manners of the ancient Danes, with whom it was religion to swear upon their swords. See Bartholinus, De causis contempt. mort. apud Dan. WARBURTON.
I was once inclinable to this opinion, which is likewise well defended by Mr. Upton; but Mr. Garrick produced me a passage, I think, in Brantome, from which it appeared that it was common to swear upon the sword, that is, upon the cross, which the old swords always had upon the hilt. Johnson.
Shakspeare, it is more than probable, knew nothing of the ancient Danes, or their manners. Every extract from Dr. Farmer's pamphlet must prove as instructive to the reader as the following: “ In the Passus Primus of Pierce Plowman,
*David in his daies dubbed knightes,
. And did them swere on her sword to serve truth ever.' “ And in Hieronymo, the common butt of our author, and the wits of the time, says Lorenzo to Pedringano :
• Swear on this cross, that what thou say'st is true:
• Shall be a worker of thy tragedy.' To the authorities produced by Dr. Farmer, the following may
Ghost. [Beneath.] Swear.
Ghost. [Beneath.] Swear by his sword *.
earth of so fast ? * First folio omits by his sword. + First folio, ground. be added from Holinshed, p. 664 : “ Warwick kissed the cross of King Edward's sword, as it were a vow to his promise.”
Again, p. 1038, it is said—“ that Warwick drew out his sword, which other of the honourable and worshipful that were then present likewise did, when he commanded that each one should kiss other's sword, according to an ancient custom amongst men of war in time of great danger; and herewith they made a solemn vow," &c. Again, in Decker's comedy of Old Fortunatus, 1600 : “ He has sworn to me on the cross of his
Toledo." Again, in his Satiromastix: “ By the cross of this sword and dagger, captain, you shall take it.”
In the soliloquy of Roland addressed to his sword, the cross on it is not forgotten : - capulo eburneo candidissime, cruce aurea splendidissime,” &c. Turpini Hist. de Gestis Caroli Mag. cap. 22.
Again, in an ancient MS. of which some account is given in a note on the first scene of the first Act of The Merry Wives of Windsor, the oath taken by a master of defence when his degree was conferred on him, is preserved, and runs as follows: "First you shall sweare (so help you God and halidome, and by all the christendome which God gave you at the fount-stone, and by the crosse of this sword which doth represent unto you the crosse which our Saviour suffered his most payneful deathe upon,) that you shall upholde, maynteyne, and kepe to your power all soch articles as shall be heare declared unto you, and receve in the presence of me your maister, and these the rest of the maisters my brethren heare with me at this tyme.” Steevens.
Spenser observes that the Irish in his time used commonly to swear by their sword. See his View of the State of Ireland, written in 1596. This custom, indeed, is of the highest antiquity; having prevailed, as we learn from Lucian, among the Scythians. MALONE.
A worthy pioneer !--Once more remove, good
friends. Hor. O day and night, but this is wondrous
strange! Ham. And therefore as a stranger give it wel
come There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your * philosophy. But come; Here, as before, never, so help you mercy ! How strange or odd soe'er I bear myself, As I, perchance, hereafter shall think meet To put an antick disposition on,That you, at such times of seeing me, never shall, With arms encumber'd thus, or this head-shake, Or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase, As, Well, well, we know ;-or, We could, an if we would ;-or, If we list to speak ;-or, There be, an if they might ;Or such ambiguous giving out, to note That you know aught of me :This not to do,
swear ; So grace
and mercy at your most need help you'! Ghost. [Beneath.] Swear.
* First folio, our.
† First folio, time. ·
7 And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.] i. e. receive it to yourself; take it under your own roof; as much as to say, Keep it secret. Alluding to the laws of hospitality. WARBURTON. Warburton refines too much on this passage.
Hamlet means merely to request that they would seem not to know it-to be unacquainted with it. M. Mason.
an if they might ;] Thus the quarto. The folio reads -an if there might. Malone. 9 That you know aught of me:- This not to do, swear; So grace
and mercy at your most need help you !] This passage is thus given in the quarto :
" That you know aught of me:- This do swear,