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SCENE changes to a more remote Part of the
no further. Ghost. Mark me. Hain. I will.
Ghost. My hour is almost come,
Ham. Alas, poor Chost!
Ghost. Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing To what I shall unfold.
Ham. Speak, I am bound to hear.
hear. Ham. What?
Ghoft. I am thy father's Spirit; Doomed for a certain term to walk the night, And, for the day, confined to fast in fires; (18)
(18) And, for the day, confined 10 fast in fires;] I once fufpected this expression- to fall in fires; because though fasting is often a part of penance injoined us by the church. discipline here on earth, yet I conceive it would be no great punishment for a spirit, a being which requires no fustenance, to fast. "Mr Warburton has since perfectly convinced me that the text is not to be disturbed, but that the expression is purely metaphorical. For it is the opinion of the religion here represented (i. e. the Roman catholic) that falting purifies the soul here, as the fire does in the purgatory here alluded to; and that the soul must be purged either by fasting here, or by burning hereafter. This opinion Shakespeare again hints at, where he makes Hamlet fay;
He took my father groíly, full of bread. And we are to observe, that it is a common saying of the Romish priests to their people, “ If you won't fast here, you mult fast in fire."
'Till the foul crimes, done in my days of nature,
Ham.' Oh Heaven!
Ghost. Níurder molt foul, as in the best it is; But this most foul, ftrange, and unnatural.
Ham. Haste me to know it, that I, with wings As meditation or the thoughts of love, May sweep to my revenge.
Ghost. I find thee apt;
process of my death
Ham. Oh, my prophetic foul! my uncle?
Ghoft. Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast, With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifis, (O wicked wit, and gifts, that have the power So to seduce !) won to his Thameful luit VOL. XII.
The will of my most seeming-virtuous Queen.
I made to her in marriage; and to decline
(12) Unhouzzled, unanointed, unanealed;] The ghost, having secounted the process of his murder, proceeds to exaggerate. the inhumanity and unnaturalness of the fact, from the cir. cunstances in which he was surprised. But theit, I find, have
No reckoning made, but fent to my account With all my imperfections on my head. Oh, horrible ! oh, horrible ! molt horrible! If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not; been stumbling-blocks to our editors; and therefore I must ainend and explain these thrce compound adjectives in their order Instead of unhouzzled, we must refore unbonsilet, i to without the facrament taken, from the old Saxon word for the facrament, housel. So our etymologists, and Chaucer write it; and Spencer, accordingly, calls the sacramental fire huulling fire. In the next place, unauvintea is a sophistication of the text; the old copies concur in reading diju prindel. I corrected,
uchrufeled, unappointed. i. e no confeflion of fins made, no reconciliation to Heaven, 3o appointment of penance by the church. To this purpoic Vihello speaks to his wife, when he is upon the point of killing her;
If you lcthink yourself of any crime,
Solicit for it frait.
Therefore your best appointment make with speed,
To-morrow you set out. U narealed, I agree to be the Poet's genuine word; but I must take the liberty to difpute Mr Pope's explication of it, viz. No knell rang. I don't pretend to know what glofTarics Mr Pope may have consulted and trusts to; lut uhatsoever they are, I am sure, their comment is very fingular in the word alledged. The adjective formed from kill, must have been unknelled or unkioliid. So, in Macbeth;
Had I as many foos, as I have hairs,
And so his kivell is knolled. There is no rule in orthography for finking the k'in the deflexion of any verb or compound formed from knell, and melting it into a vowel. What sense does unanealed then bear? Skinner, in his Lexicon of old and obsolete Engljih terms, tells us, that arealed is unilus, from the Teutonia.
Let not the royal bed of Denmark be
what else ?
Remember thee-....Ay, thiou poor ghost, while memory holds a feat, In this distracted globe; remember the -----Yea, from the table of my memory (20) I'll wipe away all trivial fond records, all faws of books, all forms, all preilures past,
preposizion an, and ole, i c..cil; so that inasealed must confequently fignify unanointed, not having the extreme zijn.. So the Poet's reading and cxplication being a certained, he very finely makes his ghost complain of iliesc four dreadful hard thips, that he had been dispatched out of life without receiving the hote, or facrament; without being reconciled to heaven and a folrer'; without the benefit of extreme unction; or without so much as a confession made of his sins, The having no k.ell sung, I think, is not a point of equal conSequence to any of these; especially if we consider, that the Romish church admits the efficacy of praying for the deud. (20) Yea, from the table of my memory
I'll wipe away ail trivial fund records,] fchylus, I remember, twice uses this very metaphor; considering the mind or memory as a tablet, or writing-bo: k, on which we are to engrave things worthy of remembrance:
"Ην εγγράφι Συ μνήμoσιν. Δέλτους τρενάν. Prometh. Δελιoγράφω δε πάνθ' επωας γενι.