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Strengthen your patience in our last night's fpeech. [To Laer.
Good Gertrude, fet fome watch over your fon.
A Hall, in the Palace.
Enter Hamlet and Horatio.
Ham. So much for this, fir. "Now fhall you fee the other. You do remember all the circumstance?
Hor, Remember it, my lord?
Ham. Sir, in my heart there was a kind of fighting, That would not let me fleep; methought, I lay
fion to W. of altering Our to Or in the next line. He fays the fenfe of this reading (as it ftands in P.) is, Our rafhnefs le's us know that our indifcretion ferves us well, when, &c. But this, he fays, could never be Shakespeare's sense; and that we fhould read and point thus,Rafhness, (and prais'd be rajhness for it) lets us know; or indifcretion, &c. See Heath in loc.
But there is no difficulty in the paffage if we take it as we find it in all the editions before P. Hamlet is proceeding in his ftory, but interrupts himself with a reflection, Let us know, &c, to the end of the fpeech.
And prais'd be rafhnefs for it,- (Let us know,
Our indifcretion fometimes ferves us well,
When our deep plots do fail; and that should learn us
There's a divinity that shapes our ends,
Hor. That is moft certain.
Ham. Up from my cabin,
My fea-gown scarft about me, in the dark
Larded with many feveral forts of 1 reasons,
No, not to stay the grinding of the ax,
My head fhould be struck off.
Hor. Is't poffible?
Ham. Here's the commiffion, read it at more leifure; But wilt thou hear now how I did proceed?
Hor. 'I befeech you.
Ham. Being thus benetted round with villains",
A bafeness to write fair, and labour'd much
Hor. Ay, good my lord.
Ham. An earnest conjuration from the king, As England was his faithful tributary,
As love between them, like the palm " might flourish,
peace fhould ftill her wheaten garland wear,
And ftand a comma 'tween their amities
And many fuch like as's of great charge;
That on the view and knowing of these contents,
1 C. reads, Ay, befeech you.
m 7. reads villany.
n After villains H. reads and.
The qu's and C. read Or for Ere. P W. reads mark.
W. and T. read bane; objecting against brains as nonfenfe; but brains may be here read a metonymy of cause for effect, and made ufe of for the effect of Hamlet's brain, the counterplot. Vide Heath in loc.
H. reads, They having begun, &c.
u The fo's and R. read fhould for might.
w H. reads cement; W. and C. commere, a go-between, a procurefs. See Heath in loc.
x The qu's read, as fir; fo's, affis. I fhall here, for the great curiofity of it, transcribe an explanatory note of Dr. J.'s on this passage:
-As's of great charge;] Affes heavily loaded.
y The fo's and R. read know. z P. omits of; followed by the ref, except C. and J.
He should those bearers put to fudden death
Not thriving time allow'd.
Hor. How was this feal'd?
Ham. Why, even in that was heaven ordinant;
I had my father's fignet in my purse,
Which was the model of that Danish seal;
Hor. So, Guildenflern and Rofencraus go to't.
Ham. i IVhy, man, they did make love to this employment. They are not near my confcience; their defeat
Doth by their own infinuation grow:
"Tis dangerous when the baser nature comes Between the pass, and fell incenfed points
Of mighty appofites.
Hor. Why, what a king is this!
a So the qu's; the fo's and all the he has blotted out a beautiful metaphor, reft read the.
and given us tame profe in the room of
b The 4th f. R. P. and H. read fpirited poetry. But is it not ftrange No. that in this he should be followed by H.?
c The fo's, R. and P.'s q. read ordinate.
d Before folded R. and all after him read I.
e The fo's, R. and all after, omit the.
f The 2d, 3d and 4th fo's, R. and all after, except C. read gave, omitting the contracted it.
g P. alters this as follows, The change was never known, &c. By which means
h The fo's read fement for fequent. iThis line in italic is omitted in the qu's, P. and H.
k The fo's and R. read debate for defeat.
1 Qu's, does.
m The 2d, 3d and 4th fo's, R. P. and H. omit the. H. reads, when bafer natures come.
Ham. Does it not, " think thee, ftand me now upon? He that hath kill'd my king, and whor'd my mother, Popt in between th' election and my hopes,
Thrown out his angle for my proper life,
And with fuch cozenage; is't not perfect confcience
• To quit him with this arm?
and is't not to be damn'd,
To let this canker of our nature come
In further evil?
Hor. It must be fhortly known to him from England,
What is the iffue of the bufinefs there.
Ham. It will be fort. The interim is mine;
And a man's life's no more than to fay, one.
But I am very forry, good Horatio,
That to Laertes I forgot myself;
For by the image of my cause I fee
The portraiture of his; I'll count his ' favours ;
Hor. Peace, who comes here?