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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 feal: Folded the writ up in form of the other; Subfcrib'd it; gave't the impreffion; plac'd it fafely, The changeling never known: Now, the next day Was our fea-fight; and what to this was fequent Thou know'ft already.

HOR. So Guildenstern and Rofencrantz go to't. HAM. Why, man,' they did make love to this employment;

They are not near my confcience; their defeat
Does by their own infinuation grow:"
'Tis dangerous, when the bafer nature comes
Between the pafs and fell incenfed points
Of mighty oppofites.


Why, what a king is this!

HAM. Does it not, think thee,' ftand me now


He that hath kill'd my king, and whor'd my mother; Popp'd in between the election and my hopes;

their fins another proof of Hamlet's chriftian-like difpofition. See Vol. XIV. p. 508, n. 5. STEEVENS.


-the model of that Danish feal:] The model is in old language the copy. The fignet was formed in imitation of the Danish feal. See Vol. VIII. p. 279, n. 5. MALONE.

4 The changeling never known:] A changeling is a child which the fairies are fuppofed to leave in the room of that which they fteal. JOHNSON.

s Why, man, &c.] This line is omitted in the quartos.


6 by their own infinuation-] Infinuation, for corruptly obtruding themselves into his fervice. WARBURTON.

By their having infinuated or thruft themselves into the employMALONE.



think thee,] i. e. bethink thee. MALONE.


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

What is the iffue of the bufinefs there.

HAM. It will be fhort: 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 myfelf;

For by the image of my caufe, I fee

The portraiture of his: I'll count his favours: 2
But, sure, the bravery of his grief did put me
Into a towering paffion.


Peace; who comes here?

8 Thrown out his angle-] An angle in Shakspeare's time fignified a fishing-rod. So, in Lyly's Sapho and Phao, 1591:

"Phao. But he may blefs fishing, that caught fuch a one in the sea. Venus. It was not with an angle, my boy, but with a net.”

MALONE. 9 To quit him-] To requite him; to pay him his due. JOHNSON. This paffage, as well as the three following fpeeches, is not in the quartos. STEEVENS.

± ——— I'll count his favours:] Thus the folio. Mr. Rowe first made the alteration, which is perhaps unneceffary. I'll count his favours may mean,—I will make account of them, i. e. reckon upon them, value them. STEEVENS.

What favours has Hamlet received from Laertes, that he was to make account of?—I have no doubt but we should read,

I'll court his favour, M. MASON.

Mr. Rowe for count very plausibly reads court. MALONE.

Hamlet may refer to former civilities of Laertes, and weigh them against his late intemperance of behaviour; or may count on fuch kindness as he expected to receive in confequence of a meditated reconciliation. STEEVENS.


OSR. Your lordship is right welcome back to Denmark.

HAM. I humbly thank you, fir.-Doft know this water-fly? 3

HOR. No, my good lord.

HAM. Thy ftate is the more gracious; for 'tis a vice to know him: He hath much land, and fertile : let a beast be lord of beafts, and his crib fhall stand at the king's mefs: 'Tis a chough; but, as I fay, fpacious in the poffeffion of dirt.

OSR. Sweet lord, if your lordship were at leifure, I should impart a thing to you from his majesty. HAM. I will receive it, fir, with all diligence of fpirit: Your bonnet to his right ufe; 'tis for the head.

OSR. I thank your lordship, 'tis very hot.

HAM. No, believe me, 'tis very cold; the wind is northerly.

OSR. It is indifferent cold, my lord, indeed.

3 Doft know this water-fly?] A water-fly skips up and down upon the furface of the water, without any apparent purpose or reason, and is thence the proper emblem of a busy trifler.


Water-fly is in Troilus and Creffida used as a term of reproach, for contemptible from smallness of fize. "How (fays Therfites) the poor world is peftered with fuch water-flies; diminutives of nature. Water-flies are gnats. This infect in Chaucer denotes a thing of no value. Canterbury Tales, v. 17203, Mr. Tyrwhitt's edition: "Not worth to thee as in comparison


The mountance [value] of a gnat." HOLT WHITE,

'Tis a chough;] A kind of jackdaw. JOHNSON,

See Vol. VIII. p. 430, n. 7. STEEVENS,

HAM. But yet, methinks, it is very fultry and hot; or my complexion"—

OSR. Exceedingly, my lord; it is very fultry,as 'twere,-I cannot tell how.-My lord, his majefty bade me fignify to you, that he has laid a great wager on your head: Sir, this is the matter,HAM. I befeech you, remember_

[HAMLET moves him to put on his hat. OSR. Nay, good my lord; for my cafe, in good faith." Sir, here is newly come to court, Laertes:

5 But yet, methinks, it is very fultry &c.] Hamlet is here playing over the fame farce with Ofrick, which he had formerly done with Polonius. STEEVENS.

6 or my complexion-] The folios read-for my complexion. STEEVENS.

7 Exceedingly, my lord; it is very fultry,]


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igniculum brumæ fi tempore pofcas,

Accipit endromidem; fi dixeris æftuo, fudat." Juv.

I beseech you, remember-] "Remember not your courtesy,” I believe, Hamlet would have faid, if he had not been interrupted. "Remember thy courtefy," he could not poffibly have faid, and therefore this abrupt fentence may serve to confirm an emendation which I propofed in Love's Labour's Loft, Vol. V. p. 308, n. 6, where Armado fays,- —" I do befeech thee, remember thy courtefy;I beseech thee, apparel thy head." I have no doubt that Shakfpeare there wrote, -remember not thy courtefy,"—and that the negative was omitted by the negligence of the compofitor.



Nay, good my lord; for my eafe, in good faith.] This feems to have been the affected phrase of the time. Thus, in Marston's Malcontent, 1604: "I befeech you, fir, be covered.-No, in good faith for my cafe." And in other places. FARMER.

It appears to have been the common language of ceremony in our author's time. 66 Why do you stand bareheaded? (fays one of the fpeakers in Florio's SECOND FRUTES, 1591) you do yourself wrong. Pardon me, good fir (replies his friend;) I do it for my cafe." Again, in A New Way to pay old Debts, by Maffinger, 1633:

Is't for your eafe

"You keep your hat off?


believe me, an abfolute gentleman, full of moft excellent differences,' of very soft society, and great fhowing: Indeed, to speak feelingly of him, he is the card or calendar of gentry,' for you fhall find in him the continent of what part a gentleman would fee."

HAM. Sir, his definement fuffers no perdition in you; though, I know, to divide him inventorially, would dizzy the arithmetick of memory; and yet but raw neither, in refpect of his quick fail. But,


2 Sir, &c.] The folio omits this and the following fourteen fpeeches; and in their place fubftitutes only, "Sir, you are not ignorant of what excellence Laertes is at his weapon.'

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3 -full of most excellent differences,] Full of diftinguishing excellencies. JOHNSON.

Speak feelingly-] The first quarto reads,―fellingly. So, in another of our author's plays :

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"To things of fale a seller's praise belongs." STEEVENS.

the card or calendar of gentry,] The general preceptor of elegance; the card by which a gentleman is to direct his courfe; the calendar by which he is to choose his time, that what he does may be both excellent and seasonable. JOHNSON,

6 - for you fall find in him the contineut of what part a gentleman would fee.] You jball find bim containing and comprifing every quality which a gentleman would defire to contemplate for imitation. I know not but it fhould be read, You shall find him the continent. JOHNSON.

Sir, his definement &c.] This is defigned as a fpecimen, and ridicule of the court-jargon amongst the precieux of that time. The fenfe in English is, Sir, he fuffers nothing in your account of him, though to enumerate his good qualities particularly would be endless; yet when we had done our beft, it would still come fhort of him. However, in ftrictnefs of truth, he is a great genius, and of a character fo rarely to be met with, that to find any thing like him we must look into his mirrour, and his imitators will appear no more than his fhadows." WARBURTON. and yet but raw neither,] We fhould read-flow.



I believe raw to be the right word; it is a word of great latitude raw fignifies unripe, immature, thence unformed, imperfect, unskilful,

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