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Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works.
Queen. Alas, how is't with you !
Start up and stand on end) I took notice, in my Shakespeare Restored, that this expression as much wanted an explanation, as any the most antiquated word in our Poet wants a gloss. Mr Hughes, in his imprellion of this play, has left it out; either because he could make nothing of it, or thought it alluded to an image too nauseous. The Port's meaning is founded on a physical determination, that the bair and nails are excrementitious parts of the body (as indeed they are) without life or sensation. Macrobus, in his Saturnalia, (lib. vii. cap. 2.) not only speaks of those parts of the human body which have on fenfation, but likewise affigns the reasons why they can have none. Ofa, dentes, cum unguibus el capillis, nimia siccitate ita densata sunt, iti penetrabilia non fint effé&tui anima qui fenfim mi nijtrat. Thercfore the Poet means to say, fear and surprise had such an effect upon Hamlet, that his hairs, as if there were life in those excre. mentitious parts, started up and stood op end. He has expressed the same thought more plainly in Macbeth ;
-and my fell of hair
As life were in't.
Why is time such a niggard of hair, being, as it is, so plentiful an excrement?
Comedy of Errors.
Start up, and stand on end gentle son,
Queen. To whom do you speak this?
[Pointing to the Ghost.
Ham. Why, look you there! look, how it steals, My father in his habit as he lived ! [away! Look, where he goes even now, cut at the portal.
[Exit Ghost Queen. This is the very coinage of your brain : This bodiless creation ecstasy Is very cunning in.
Ham. What ecstasy? My pulse, as yours, doth temperately keep time, And makes as healthful music. 'Tis not madness That I have uttered; bring me to the test, And I the matter will re-word; which madness Would gambol from. Mother, for love of grace,'.> Lay not that flattering unction to your soul, That not your trespass, but my madness, fpeaks :
For I must tell thee, it will please his grace (by the world) sometime to lean upon my poor Moulder, and with his royal: finger thus dally with my escreinent, with my musiacios. &c. &c.
Loie's Labour L.
It will but tkin and film the ulccrous place; (54)
(54) It will but skin and film the ulcerous place,
Whild rank corruption, running all wiihir,
Infiits unseen.] So, our Poet elsewhere speaking of the force of power;
Because authority, though it err like others,
Mem. for Mealo But why, in the passage before uis, has Mr Pope given us a reading that is warranted by none of the copies, and degraded one that has the countenance of all of them?.
Whilst rank corruption, mining all within,
Infects unseen, The Poet deferibės corruption as having a corrofive quality, caring its secret way, and undermining the parts that are skinned over, and seem found to exteriour view He, in another place, ufes the simple verb for the compound.
He lets me feed with his hiods, bars me the place of a bron ther, and, as much as in him lyes; mines my gentility with my education.
As You Like its (55) That' monster custom, who all fer fe doih cat,
of habit's devil, is crcel yet in tis;
Of habits evil, is angel yet in this;
[Pointing to Polonius,
Queen. What shallI.do?
Ham. Not this, by no means, that I bid you do. Let the fond King tempt you again to bed; Pinch wanton on your cheek; call you his mouse;. And let him, for a pair of reechy killes, Or paddling in your neck with his damned fingers,
That aptly is put on.) This paffage is left out in the two elder Folios; it is certainly corrupt, and the players did the discreet part to stifte what they did not understand. Habit's "evil certainly arose from some conceited samperer with the text, who thought it was neecffary, in contrast to an. gel The emendation of the text I owe to the fagacity of Dr Thirlby :
That monster custom, who all senfe doth çat:.:
Of habits evil, is angel, &c. ri. e. Custom, which by inuring us to ill habits, makes us lore the apprehention of their being really ill; as eally will seconcile us to the practice of good actions..
to ravel all this matter out, That I essentially am not in madness, But mad in-craft. 'Twere good you let him know. For who that's but a Queen, fair, fober, wise, Would from a paddock, from a bat, a gibbe, Such dear concernings hide? who would do to ? No, in despight of lense and secrefy, Unpeg the balket on the house's top, Let the birds fly, and, like the famous ape, To try conclusions, in the basket creep, And break your own neck down.
Queen. Be thou assured, if words be made of breath,
Ham. I must to England, you know that?
fExit Hamlet, tugging in Polonius.