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yeelds many good fentences-hee will afford you whole Hamlets, I fhould fay, handfuls of tragicall speeches.'-I cannot determine exactly when this Epiffle was first published; but, I fancy, it will carry the original Hamlet fomewhat further back than we have hitherto done and it may be obferved, that the oldest copy now extant, is faid to be enlarged to almoft as much againe as it was.' Gabriel Harvey printed at the end of the year 1592, Foure Letters and certaine Sonnetts, especially touching Robert Greene:' in one of which his Arcadia is mentioned. Now Nab's Epiftle must have been previous to these, as Gabriel is quoted in it with applaufe; and the Foure Letters were the beginning of a quarrel. Nab replied in Strange News of the intercepting certaine Letters, and a Convoy of Verfes, as they were going privilie to victual the Low Countries, 1593.' Harvey rejoined the fame year in • Pierce's Supererogation, or a new Praise of the old Affe.' And Nah again, in Have with you to Saffron Walden, or Gabriell Harvey's Hunt is up;' containing a full anfwer to the eldest sonne of the halter-maker, 1596."-Nafb died before 1606, as appears from an old comedy called The Return from Parnaffus. STEEVENS.

A play on the fubject of Hamlet had been exhibited on the stage before the year 1589, of which Thomas Kyd was, I believe, the author. On that play, and on the bl. letter Hiftorie of Hamblet, our poet, I conjecture, conftructed the tragedy before us. The earliest edition of the profe-narrative which I have feen, was printed in 1608, but it undoubtedly was a republication.

Shakspeare's Hamlet was written, if my conjecture be well founded, in 1596. See An Attempt to afcertain the Order of his Plays, Vol. I. MALONE.

PERSONS represented.

Claudius, King of Denmark.

Hamlet,* in to the former, and nephew to the prefent,


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Cirick, a courtier,

Aiber courtier,
A Priet

Marcellus. Hers.
Bernardo, f

Franciico, det.

Reynaldo, runs to Folonius.
A Cagain, di Andalior.
Condor Hamlet's fiber.

Fortinbras, Prince of Norway.

Gertrude, Queen of Denmark, and mother of Hamlet. Ophelia, Zingh of Polonius.

Lards, Ladies, Officers, Saldiers, Plavers, Gravediggers, Sallars, Mongers, and other Attendants.

SCENE, Elsinore.

Hamist, is & dich. The & transferred from the end to the beginning of the same. SravaS

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FRANCISCO on his poft. Enter to him BERNARDO.

BER. Who's there?

FRAN. Nay, answer me: ftand, and unfold Yourself.

BER. Long live the king!'





FRAN. You come most carefully upon your hour.
BER. 'Tis now ftruck twelve; get thee to bed,

FRAN. For this relief, much thanks: 'tis bitter

And I am fick at heart.

BER. Have you had quiet guard?


Not a mouse stirring.

—me:] i. e. me who am already on the watch, and have a right to demand the watch-word. STEEVENS.

3 Long live the king!] This fentence appears to have been the watch-word. MALONE.

4 'Tis now ftruck twelve;] I ftrongly fufpect that the true reading is-new ftruck &c. So, in Romeo and Juliet, A& I. sc. i:

“But new ftruck nine." STEEVENS.

Bra. Well, good night.

If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus,

The rivals of my watch, bid them make hafte.

The tiras of my wai) Rock for partners.

So, in Heywood's Ine of Lacaz, 16;5:

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" And make thee run la the governments." Again, in damay at Cancer, AR MIS v:

-Saving made e of him in the wars again Pompey, predeadly deny d'bin og" STILVENS

Brod the heiser cemail mes partes (according to Pr. Warterton's explanation, or those whom he expected to watch with him Marcelles had watched with him before; whether as a centinel, a volunteer, or from were curicity, we do not learn: but, which ever it was, it seems evident that th dation was on the fame fpot with Bernardo, and that there is no other centinel by them relieved. Pomoly Marcelles was an eñcer, whofe batiness it was to visit each watch, and perhaps to continue with it fome time. Horatio, as it appears, watches cet of caricity. But in Act II. fc. i. to Hamlet's quetion, —“ Hold you the watch to-night?" Horatio, Marcelles, and Bernardo, ali miser,—“ We do, my honour'd lord." The follo indeed, reads-bre, which one may with greater propriety refer to Marcelles and Bernardo. If we did not and the latter gentleman in feen good company, we might have taken him to have been like Franciibo whom he relieves, an honest but common folder. The range indifcriminate ufe of Italian and Roman names in this and other plays, makes it obvious that the author was very little converiant in even the rudiments of either language. RITSON.

Rival is constantly used by Shakspeare for a partner or associate. In Bellokar`s Engig & Exprítór, 8vo. 16:5, it is defined, “ One that Jurth for the fame thing with anther;" and hence Shakipeare, with his ufcal licence, always ufes it in the fense of me exgaged in the Jame employment or offer sub amber. Competir, which is explained by Bullokar by the very fame words which he has employed in the definition of rival, is in like manner as Mr. M. Maton has observed,) always used by Shakspeare for eat. See Vol. III. p. 221, n. 5.

Mr. Warner would read and point thes:
If you do meet Horatio, and Marceïïas
The rival of my watch,—


FRAN. I think, I hear them.-Stand, ho! Who is there?

HOR. Friends to this ground.

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because Horatio is a gentleman of no profeffion, and because, as he conceived, there was but one person on each watch. But there is no need of change, Horatio is certainly not an officer, but Hamlet's fellow-ftudent at Wittenberg: but as he accompanied Marcellus and Bernardo on the watch from a motive of curiofity, our poet confiders him very properly as an affociate with them. Horatio himself fays to Hamlet in a fubfequent fcene,

❝ — This to me

"In dreadful fecrecy impart they did,

“And I with them the third night kept the watch.”

MALONE. 5 Hor. A piece of him.] But why a piece? He fays this as he gives his hand. Which direction should be marked.


A piece of him, is, I believe, no more than a cant expreffion. It is ufed, however, on a serious occafion in Pericles:

"Take in your arms this piece of your dead queen.”


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