Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

Guild. We will provide ourselves:
Most holy and religious fear it is,
To keep those many, many bodies fafe,
That live and feed upon your Majefty.

Rof. The single and peculiar lite is bound,
With all the strength and armour of the mind,
To keep itself from noyance; but much more
That spirit on whole weal depends and reits
The lives of many. The ceate of Majesty
Dies pot alone, but, like a gulf, doth draw,
What's near it with it. It's a mally wheck
Fix'd on the summit of the highest mount,
To whose huge spokes ten thousand leffer things
Are mortized and adjoined; which, when it falls,
Each small annexment, petty confequence,
Attends the boisterous ruin. Ne'er alone
Did the King figh; but with a general groan.

King. Arm you, I pray you, to this speedy voyage; For we will fetters put upon this fear, Which now goes too free-fopted. Both. We will halte us. [Exeunt Gentlemen.

Enter POLONIU 3. Pol. My Lord, he's gone to his mother's closet; Behind the arras I'll convey myself To hear the process. Al warrant she'll tax him And, as you faid, and wisely was it said, [home. 'Tis meet that some more audience than a mother (Since nature makes them partial,) should o'er-hear The speech, of vantage. Fare you well, my Liege;

on that play. Perhaps, too, in the Merry W’ives of IVinifor, where all the editions read,

Why, wounan, your husband is in his old lines again; we onght to correct,

in his old lunes again; i, e. in his old fits of madness, frenzy.

I'll call upon you ere you go to bed,
And tell you what I know.

[Exit. King. Thanks, dear my Lord. Oh! my offence is rank, it smells to heaven, It hath the prima), eldest cin se upon't; (46) That of a brother's murder. Pray I cannot, Though inclination be as sharp as will; (47); (46) It hath be primal, eldest curse upon'l;.

Alrather's murder- -Pray I carinot,] The last rerse, 'tis evident, halts in the measure; and, if I don't mistake, is a little lame in the sense too. Was a brother's murder the eldcit curse? Surely it was rather the crime that was the cause of this eldest curse. We have no assistance, however, either to the sense or numbers from any of the copies. All

fic editions concur in the deficiency of a foot;. but if we can both cure the meafure, and help the meaning, without a prejudice to the Author, I think the concurrence of the printed copies: should not be suficient to forbid a conjecture. I have ventured at two supplemental syllables, as janocent in, tliemselves as necessary to the purposes for which they are introduced ;

That of a brother's murder.(47) Thrush inclination he] This line has lain, under the fuspicion of many pice observers; and an ingenious gentle. man started, at a bcat, this very probable emendation :.

Though:inclination be as sharp as 't will. The variation from the traces of the letter is very minute, at with an apostrophe before it only being added, which might very easily have flipt out under the printer's hands; so that the change will not be disputed, supposing there is a necesa fity for it; which however is submitted to judgment. 'lis certain the line, as it ftands in all the editions, has fo stronge ly the air of a flat tautology, that it .nay delerve a short comment, and to have the difference betwixt inclination and will ascertained. The word inclination, in its use vith us (as my friend M: Warburton defines it to me) is taken in these three acceptations. First, in its exact philofophical fense, is hgnifies the drawiog or inclining the will to determine itfelf one certain way; according to this fignification the line is nonsense; and is the same as to affirm, that the part is as big as the whole. In the next place, inclination fignifies the wil, and then it is the most absurd tautology. But, lahly,

My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent:
And, like a man to double busine's bound,
I stand in pause where I 11:111 fir it begin,
And both neglect. What if this curied hand
Were thicker than itself with brother's blood?
Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavers
To wash it white as snow? whereto ferves Niercy,
But to confront the vilage of offence?
And what's in prayer, but this two-fold force,
To be fore-stalled ere we come to fall,
Or pardoned being down? then I'll look up;
My fault is paít. But oh, what form of prayer
Can serve my turn? Forgive me my foul murder !...
That cannot be, since I am still poflefs'd
Of thofe effects for which I did the murder,
My crown, mine own ambition, and my queen.
May one be pardoned, and retain th' ofience!
In the corrupted currents of this world,
Offence's gilded hand may shove by justice;
And oft ’tis seen, the wicked prize itself
Buys out the law; but 'tis not so above:
There, is no shuffling; there, the action lyes
In his true nature, and we ourselves compelled,
Even to the teeth and forehead of our faults,
To give in evidence. What then? what refts?
Try what repentance can : What can it not?
Yet what can it, when one cannot repent?
Oh wretched state! oh bosom black as death!

it signifies a difpofition to do a thing, already determined of, with complacency and pleafure. And if this is, as it seems to be, the sense of the word here, theo the fentiment will be very clear and proper. For wait fignifying bareig the determination of the mind to do a thing, the sente will be this: “ Though the pleasure I take in this act, be as itrong as the determination of my mind to perform it, yet my Itronger guilt dcfcats my strong intent, &c."

[ocr errors]

Oh limed soul, that, struggling to be free,
Art more engaged! help, angels! make afay!
Bow, stubborn kuces; and, heart, with itrings of
Be soft as finews of the new-born babe! [iteel,
All may be well. [7°he King retires.and kneels.

Enter HAMLÉT.
Ham. Now might I do it pat, now he is praying,
And now I'll do't--and so he goes to heaven.-
And so am I revenged? that would be scanned;
A villain kills my father, and for that
], his sole son, do this same villain send
To heaven-O, this is hire and salary, not revenge.
He took my father grofly, full of bread,
With all his crimes broad blown, as flush as May;
And how his audit stands, who knows, fave Heaven?
But in our circumstance and course of thought,
'Tis heavy with him. Am I then revenged,
To take him in the purging of his soul,
When he is fit and seasoned for his paffage ?
Up, fword, and know thou a more horrid bent; (48)
When he is drunk, asleep, or in his rage,
Or in th’incestuous pleasure of his bed;

But as

(48) Yt, (word, and know tłou a mire horrid time.) This is a sophisticated reading, warranted by none of the copies of any authority. Mr Pope 'lays, I read conjectue sally ;

a more horrid bent. I do so, and why? The two oldest Quartos, as well as the two elder Folios, read,- -a more horrid bent. there is no such English substantive, it feems very natural to conclude, that, with the change of a fingle leiter, our Author's genuine word was beni, i. e drift, fcope, inclination, purpose, &c.

I have proved his frequent use of this word, in ny Shakespeare Restored; so hall fpare the trouble of making the quotations over again here. I took notice there, that throwing my eye casually over the fourth Folio edition, prioted in 1685, I found my correction there anticipated

At gaining, swearing, or about some act
That has no relish of falyation in't;
Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heaven;
And that his soul may be as dáinned and black
As hell, whereto it goes. My mother itays;
This phyfic but prolongs thy fickly days. [Exit.

The King, rises, and comes forward.
King. My words fly up, my thoughts remain

below; Words, without thoughts, never to Heaven go.

[Exit.

SCENE changes to the Queen's Apartment.

Enter Queen and POLONIUS. Pol. He will come straight; lock you lay home

to him: Tell him, his pranks have been too broad to bear

with;

And that your Grace hath sereened, and stood be

tween Much heat and him. I'll silence me e'en here; Pray you, be round with him.

Ham. [within.] Mother, mother, mother;Queen. I'll warrant you, fear me not, Withdraw, I hear him coming.

[Polonius hideshinifelf behind the Arras.

Enter HAMLET. Ham. Now, mother, what's the matter? [ed. Queen. Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offend

I think myself obliged to repeat this confession, that I may not be accused of plagiarism, for an emendation which I had made before ever I law a lingle page of that book.

« AnteriorContinuar »