Imagens da página

What is't, but to be nothing else but mad?
But let that go-----

Queen. More matter, with less art.

Pol. Madam, I swear, I use no art at all. That he is mad, 'tis true; 'tis true, 'tis pity; And pity 'tis ’tis true; a foolish figure,---But farewel it; for I will use no art. Mad let us grant hin then; and now emains That we find out the cause of this effect; Or rather say, the cause of this defect; For this effect, defective, comes by cause; Thus it remains, and the remainderthus.--Perpend.-I have a daughter; have, while she is mine; Who, in her duty and obedience, mark, Hath given me this; row gather, and surmise.

[He opens a Letter, and reads.] “ To the celestial, and my soul's idol, the most “ beatified (29) Opaelia."----- That's an ill phrase:

(29) To the celeslal, and nay frul's idol, the moi beautified Ophelia.) I have ventured at an emendation here, against the authority of all the copies; but, I hope, upon examination, it will appear probable and reasonable. The word beautified niay carry two distinct ideas, either as applied to a woman made up of artificial beauties (which our Poet afterwards calls,

The harlot's cheek beautied with plastring art) or as applied to a perfon rich in native charms. As, in the Two Gentlemen

Verona ;
And partly seeing you are beautified

With goodly shape. As Shakespeare has therefore chose to use it in the latter acceptation, to express natural comeliness; I cannot imagine, that, here, he would have excepted to the phrare, and called it a vile one. But a stronger objection still, in my mind, lyes against it. As celestial and roul's idol are the introductory characteristics of Ophelia, what a dreadful anticlimax is it to descend to such an epithet as beautified! On the other

beatified is a vile phrase; but you shall hear ---" These to her excellent white bosom, these”...

Queen. Came this from Hamlet to her ? · Pol. Good Madam, stay a while, I will be faithful.

« Doubt thou the stars are fire, [Reading
" Doubt that the sun doth move;
• Doubt truth to be a liar,

" But never doubt I love. " Oh, dear Ophelia, I am ill at these numbers; I “ have not art to reckon my groans; but that I « love thee best, oh most belt, believe it. Adieu. - Thine evermore, most dear Lady, whilit

66 this machine is to him, Hamlet." This in obedience hath my daughter shewn me; And, more above, hath his folicitings, As they fell out by time, by means, and place, All given to mine ear.

hand, beatified, as I have conjectured, raises the image ; but
Polonius might very well, as a Roman catholic, call it a
vile phrase, i e. favouring of prophanation ; fince the epithet
is peculiarly made an adjunct to the Virgin Mary's bonour,
and therefore ought not to be employed in the praise of a
mere mortal. Again, though beautified, perhaps, is no where
elle applied to an earthly beauty, yet the fame rapturous
ideas are employed in terms purely synonymous.
No Valentine indeed for sacred Sylvia.

Two Gentlemen of Verona.
Even she; and is she not a heavenly saint?
Call her divine.

My vows were earthly, thou a heavenly love.

Love's Labour's loft.
Celestial as thou art, ( pardon, Love, this wrong;
That fiags Heaven's praise with such an earthly tongue.

Ibid. And Beaumont and Fletcher, I remember, in A Wife for di Monik, make a lover subscribe his letter to his mistress, tbus ;

-To the blest Evanthe.

King. But how has the received his love?
Pol. What do you think of me?
King. As of a man faithful and honourable.
Pol. I would fain prove fo. But what might you

think? When I had seen this hot love on the wing, (As I perceived it, I must tell you that, Before my daughter told ine :) what might you, Or my dear Mujeity your Queen here, think? If I had played the dak or table-book, Or given my heart a working, mute and dumb, Or looked upon this love with idle sight'; What might you think? no, I went round to work, And my young

mistress thas I did bespeak;
Lord Hamlet is a prince out of thy sphere,
This must not be: and then I precepts gave her,
That the should lock herself from his retort,
Admit no messengers, receive no tokens:
Which done, she took the fruits of iny advice;
And he repulled, a short tale to make,
Fell to a fádness, then into a fait,
Thence to a watching, thence into a weakness,
Thence to a lightness, and, by this declension,
Into the madness wherein now he raves,
And all we wail for.

King. Do you chink this? .
Queen. It may be very likely.

Pol. Hath there been such a time, I'd fain know That I have positively said, 'tis fo,

[that, When it proved otherwise ?

King. Not that I know.
Po'. Take this from this, if this be otherwise.

[Pointing to his Head and Shoulder.
If circumstances lead me, I will find
Where truth is hid, though it were hid indeed
Within the centre.

King. How may we try it further?

Pol. You know sometimes he walks four hours Here in the lobby.

(together Queen. So he does indeed.

Pol. At such a time I'll loose my daughter to him; Be you

and I behind an arras then,
Mark the encounter: if he love her not,
And be not from his reason fallen thereon,
Let me be no audiftant for a Itate,
But keep a farm and carters.
King. We will try it.

Enter HAMLET, reading.
Queen. But look where sadly the poor wretch

comes reading.

[ocr errors]

I'll board him presently. [Exeunt King and Queen. Oh, give me leave.----How does my good Lord

Hamlet ? Ham. Well, God o' mercy, Pol. Do you know me, my Lord? Ham. Excellent well; you are a fishmonger. Pol. Not l, my Lord, Ham. Then I would you were so honest a man. Pol. Honest, my Lord ?

Ham. Ay, Sir; to be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of ten thousand.

Pol. That's very true, my Lord.

Ham. For if the fun breed maggots in a dead'dog, Being a good kissing carrion---Have you a daughter?

Pol. I have, my Lord.

Ham. Let her not walk i'th' fun; conception is a blelling, but not as your daughter may conceive. Friend, look to't.

Pol. How fay you by that? still harping on my

daughter ! Yet he knew me not at first; he said, I was a fish

He is far gone; and truly, in my youth, [Aside.
I suffered much extremity for love;
Very near this.--- I'll speak to him again.
What do you read, my Lord ?

Ham. Words, words, words.
Pol. What is the matter, my Lord?
Ham. Between whom ?
Pol. I mean the matter that



Lord. Ham. Slanders, Sir: for the fatirical slave says here, that old men have grey beards; that their faces are wrinkled; their eyes purging thick amber, and plumb-tree gum: and that they have a plentiful lack of wit; together with most weak hams. AH which, Sir, tho' I most powerfully and potent. ly believe, yet I hold it not honelty to have it thus set down; for yourself, Sir, shall be as old as I am, if, like a crab, you could


backward. Pd. Tho' this be madness, yet there's method in't. Will you

walk out of the air, Lord? Ham. Into my grave.--

Pol. Indeed, that's out o'th' air :-----
How pregnant (sometimes) his replies are !
A happinefs that often madness hits on,
Which sanity and reason could not be
So profp'rouly delivered of. I'll leave him,
And suddenly contrive the means of meeting
Between him and my daughter.
My honourable Lord, I will must humbly,
Take my leave of you.

Ham. You cannot, Sir, take from me any thing that I will more willingly part withal, except my life.


[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »