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Hor. Before my God, I might not this believe, Without the sensible and true avouch
Is it not like the king?
Of mine own eyes.
Mar. Thus, twice before, and jump at this dead hour,
With martial stalk hath he gone by our watch.
Hor. In what particular thought to work, I know not; But, in the gross and scope' of mine opinion, This bodes some strange eruption to our state.
Mar. Good now, sit down, and tell me, he that knows,
Why this same strict and most observant watch
sledded —] A sled, or sledge, is a carriage without wheels, made use of in the cold countries.
7 He smote the sledded Polack on the ice.] He speaks of a prince of Poland whom he slew in battle. Polack was, in that age, the term for an inhabitant of Poland. Mr. Malone reads Polacks.
s — jump at this dead hour,] Jump and just were synonymous in the time of Shakspeare.
9 In what particular thought to work,] i. e. what particular train of thinking to follow.
gross and scope-] General thoughts, and tendency at
2 Why such impress of shipwrights,] Impress signifies here the act of retaining shipwrights by giving them what was called prest money (from prêt, Fr.) for holding themselves in readiness to be employed.
What might be toward, that this sweaty haste
That can I;
Our last king,
At least, the whisper goes so.
Did forfeit, with his life, all those his lands,
Had he been vanquisher; as, by the same co-mart,
His fell to Hamlet: Now, sir, young Fortinbras,
Hath in the skirts of Norway, here and there,
(As it doth well appear unto our state,)
as, by the same co-mart,
And carriage of the article design'd,] Co-mart is supposed to mean a joint bargain, a word perhaps of our poet's coinage. Carriage is import: design'd, is formed, drawn up between them.
+ Of unimproved, &c.] Full of unimproved mettle, is full of spirit not regulated or guided by knowledge or experience.
Shark'd up a list, &c.] Picked up without distinction, as the shark-fish collects his prey.
6 That hath a stomach in't:] Stomach, in the time of our author, was used for constancy, resolution.
So by his father lost: And this, I take it,
[Ber. I think, it be no other, but even so:
Hor. A mote it is, to trouble the mind's eye.
As, stars with trains of fire and dews of blood,
romage] Commonly written rummage. It is not, however, certain that the word romage has been properly explained. Romage, on shipboard, must have signified a scrupulous examination into the state of the vessel and its stores. Respecting land-service, the same term implied a strict inquiry into the kingdom, that means of defence might be supplied where they were wanted. Rummage, is properly explained by Johnson in his dictionary, as it is at present daily used, to search for any thing.
8 [I think, &c.] These lines, confined within crotchets, throughout this play, and some others which we have not noticed, are omitted in the folio edition of 1623. The omissions leave the play sometimes better and sometimes worse, and seem made only for the sake of abbreviation. JOHNSON.
9 Well may it sort,] The cause and effect are proportionate and suitable.
the question of these wars.] The theme or subject.
3 As, stars with trains of fire and dews of blood,
Disasters in the sun;] This passage is not in the folio. By the quartos therefore our imperfect text is supplied; for an intermediate verse being evidently lost, it were idle to attempt a union that never was intended. I have therefore signified the supposed deficiency by a vacant space. MALONE.
and the moist star, &c.] i. e. the moon.
Was sick almost to doomsday with eclipse.
But, soft; behold! lo, where it comes again!
If there be any good thing to be done,
If thou art privy to thy country's fate,
Or, if thou hast uphoarded in thy life
For which, they say, you spirits oft walk in death,
Mar. 'Tis gone!
We do it wrong, being so majestical,
Speak of it: stay, and speak.
'Tis here! [Exit Ghost.
And even-] Not only such prodigies have been seen in Rome, but the elements have shown our countrymen like forerunners and foretokens of violent events.
6 And prologue to the omen coming on,] i. e. the approaching dreadful and portentous event.
7 If thou hast any sound,] The speech of Horatio to the spectre is very elegant and noble, and congruous to the common traditions of the causes of apparitions. JOHNSON.
To offer it the show of violence;
For it is, as the air, invulnerable,
Ber. It was about to speak, when the cock crew.
Mar. It faded on the crowing of the cock.
Hor. So have I heard, and do in part believe it.
8 Whether in sea, &c.] According to the pneumatology of that time, every element was inhabited by its peculiar order of spirits, who had dispositions different, according to their various places of abode. The meaning therefore is, that all spirits extravagant, wandering out of their element, whether aerial spirits visiting earth, or earthly spirits ranging the air, return to their station, to their proper limits in which they are confined.
erring spirit,] Erring is here used in the sense of wan
1 No fairy takes,] No fairy strikes with lameness or diseases. This sense of take is frequent in this author.