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BER. Well, good night.

If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus,

The rivals of my watch, bid them make hafte.

4.The rivals of my watch,] Rivals for partners.

So, in Heywood's Rape of Lucrece, 1636; "Tullia. Aruns, affociate him.

"Aruns. A rival with my brother," &c.

Again, in The Tragedy of Hoffman, 1637:


"And make thee rival in thofe governments."

Again, in Antony and Cleopatra, Act III. fc. v:

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-having made ufe of him in the wars against Pompey, prefently deny'd him rivality." STEEVENS.

By rivals the fpeaker certainly means partners (according to Dr. Warburton's explanation,) or thofe whom he expected to watch with him. Marcellus had watched with him before; whether as a centinel, a volunteer, or from mere curiofity, we do not learn: but, which ever it was, it feems evident that his ftation was on the fame fpot with Bernardo, and that there is no other centinel by them relieved. Poffibly Marcellus was an officer, whofe business it was to vifit each watch, and perhaps to continue with it fome time. Horatio, as it appears, watches out of curiofity. But in Act II. fc. i. to Hamlet's queftion,-" Hold you the watch to-night?" Horatio, Marcellus, and Bernardo, all anfwer,-" We do, my honour'd lord." The folio indeed, reads—both, which one may with greater propriety refer to Marcellus and Bernardo. If we did not find the latter gentleman in fuch good company, we might have taken him to have been like Francifco whom he relieves, an honeft but common foldier. The ftrange indifcriminate ufe of Italian and Roman names in this and other plays, makes it obvious that the author was very little converfant in even the rudiments of either language. RITSON.

Rival is conftantly ufed by Shakspeare for a partner or affociate. In Bullokar's English Expofitor, 8vo. 1616, it is defined, "One that fueth for the fame thing with another;" and hence Shakspeare, with his ufual licence, always ufes it in the fenfe of one engaged in the fame employment or office with another. Competitor, 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. Mafon has obferved,) always used by Shakspeare for afficiate. See Vol. III, p. 221, n. 5.

Mr. Warner would read and point thus:
If you do meet Horatio, and Marcellus
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 becaufe, as he conceived, there was but one perfon 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 curiosity, our poet confiders him very properly as an associate 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.”


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."








• HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK.] The original story on which this play is built, may be found in Saxo Grammaticus the Danish historian. From thence Belleforeft adopted it in his collection of novels, in feven volumes, which he began in 1564, and continued to publish through fucceeding years. From this work, The Hyderie of Hamblett, quarto, bl. I. was tranflated. I have hitherto met with no earlier edition of the play than one in the year 1604, though it must have been performed before that time, as I have feen a copy of Speght's edition of Chaucer, which for merly belonged to Dr. Gabriel Harvey, (the antagonist of Nash) who, in his own hand-writing, has fet down Hamlet, as a performance with which he was well acquainted, in the year 1598. His words are thefe: "The younger fort take much delight in Shak fpeare's Venus and Adonis; but his Lucrece, and his tragedy of Hamlet Prince of Denmarke, have it in them to please the wifer fort, 1598."

In the books of the Stationers' Company, this play was entered by James Roberts, July 26, 1602, under the title of " A booke called The Revenge of Hamlett, Prince of Denmarke, as it was lately acted by the Lord Chamberlain his fervantes."

In Eastward Hoe, by George Chapman, Ben Jonfon, and John Marfton, 1605, is a fling at the hero of this tragedy. A footman named Hamlet enters, and a tankard-bearer asks him-"'Sfoote, Hamlet, are you mad?”

The frequent allufions of contemporary authors to this play fufficiently how its popularity. Thus, in Decker's Bel-man's Nightwalkes, 4to. 1612, we have " But if any mad Hamlet, hearing this, fmell villainie, and rush in by violence to see what the tawny diuels [gypfies] are dooing, then they excufe the fact" &c. Again, in an old collection of Satirical Poems, called The NightRaven, is this couplet:

“ I will not cry Hamlet Revenge my greeves,
"But I will call Hangman, Revenge on thieves."


Surely no fatire was intended in Eastward Hoe, which was acted at Shakspeare's own playhouse, (Blackfriers,) by the children of the revels, in 1605. MALONE.

The following particulars relative to the date of this piece, are borrowed from Dr. Farmer's Efay on the Learning of Shakspeare, p. 85, 86, fecond edition :

"Greene, in the Epiftle prefixed to his Arcadia, hath a lash at fome vaine glorious tragedians,' and very plainly at Shakspeare in particular. I leave all these to the mercy of their mothertongue, that feed on nought but the crums that fall from the translator's trencher. That could fcarcely latinize their neck verfe if they fhould have neede, yet English Seneca read by candlelight

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